Unless you’ve been living under a Jurassic rock this past year, you probably know (and cried over?) three-year old Fenn Rosenthal’s viral song that hit the charts exactly a year ago.
When it was first released on social media, Dinosaurs In Love took the internet by storm, and broke hearts everywhere. Just as the dinosaurs fell in love, so did the world. Part of the success, of course, came from the fact that its composer is an adorable tot, but the song on its own is ridiculously catchy.
Young Fenn not only wrote the lyrics, but also performed it with her father, Tom Rosenthal who accompanied her on keyboard. A songwriter in his own right, but not as well-known as his daughter, Tom gave in to Fenn’s demands after she wandered into his studio at home and asked to sing a song about dinosaurs.
He then posted it on Twitter.
The one-minute song — which was recorded in two takes — tells the story of two dinosaurs that are very much in love. They party away, eating cucumber, fruit and people. Yes, people. Fenn’s only three so while we’re pretty sure dinos didn’t exist at the same time as people, nor did they eat cucumber, we’ll give her a pass on the fact-checking. The catchy refrain and melody touched many.
Then, ultimately, the dinosaurs, in a plot twist worthy of any Italian opera, tragically die.
“A big bang came / and they died.
Dinosaurs, Dinosaurs fell in love / but they didn’t say goodbye.”
Sung in Fenn’s fragile voice inflected with a moving vibrato, these devastating lyrics were a terrible blow to any listener.
Not surprising then, that the internet went crazy over the duo. The heart-wrenching ending was what had so much of social media talking. It has been viewed over 6 million times on Twitter with fans commenting “OMG my heart’s just melted” and it even found its way on to SNL sung by Jimmy Fallon.
Actress Sophia Bush responded “I am utterly gutted, in the very best way possible, at this. I love it.”
Accolades poured in: “[This song is] breaking everyone’s hearts” claimed Buzzfeed News; “A surprise hit. Honestly, we were not prepared to be devastated by this song,” gushed The Today Show; “’Dinosaurs in Love’ [has] adults reaching for tissues across the globe,” People effused. Even Rolling Stone weighed in, saying that the song “tapped into the universal experience of longing and loss in a few simple phrases.”
One year on, “the sweet and deceptively simple story about love, longing, and loss”, as the blurb says, has been turned into an irresistible m sing aloud picture book. Readers of all ages can enjoy Fenn’s lyrics again with charming illustrations from Hannah Jacobs (animator of the viral music video) and bonus material.
The book has been released in the US and is available worldwide on 28 January.