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What is the Barbara Rhubarb Dance and how did it become a TikTok trend? | Science and technology news

You may have noticed an unusual German rap song playing in the background of more and more videos on your TikTok feed.

But what is it – and how did it spread so quickly?

What is Barbara Rhubarb Bar?

What sounds like a rap is actually a German tongue twister written by musical comedian Bodo Wartke and his content creator girlfriend Marti Fischer.

The pair released a two-part video called “Barbara’s Rhubarb Bar” in December last year, in which they recite the rhyme.

It begins: “There once lived a girl named Barbara in a small village. Barbara was known in the area for her excellent rhubarb pie.”

“Because everyone liked Barbara’s rhubarb cake so much, they called it Rhubarb Barbara.”

The rhyme goes on to explain that Barbara realized she could monetize her famous rhubarb pie and founded the “Barbara Rhubarb Bar” to sell it to customers.

As the tongue twister becomes more complex, he mentions “three barbarians” who had “beards” and therefore “went to the barber.”

In a final alliteration, the bearded barbarians who went to the barbershop liked to drink beer while eating Barbara’s rhubarb cake at Barbara’s Rhubarb Bar.

Where does the dance come from?

At the end of March, two young Australian theater artists named Stephanie and Christina uploaded one Tick ​​tock one of them performed a dance routine to Wartke and Fischer’s rap in a public toilet.

While the original version still has just over a million likes on the app, mostly from German-speaking speakers, the girls quickly reached more than 15 million likes worldwide thanks to the choreography.

When they recorded a follow-up version in the same bathroom – this time in their own clothes rather than the costume – they had to clarify that they were the same couple from the original dance clip.

Stephanie explained in a follow-up post: “We looked like that because we’re theater kids. We did this half an hour before a performance.”

“I appreciate it when people write to us saying they stole your dance and even went to the same bathroom. But I can assure you that it’s okay because we are actually the same person.”

Surprised by the success of their routine, they continued recording follow-up versions for TikTok, while US-based influencers Austin and Marideth Telenko (@cost_n_mayor) and actor-content creator Kaycee Stroh recorded their own – after spotting the trend.

After each racked up millions of views, the Barbara Rhubarb phenomenon came full circle and at the end of April, Wartke and Fischer showed themselves doing Stephanie and Christina’s dance.

Wartke wrote alongside the clip: “Thank you to @steph_who___ and @stasii777 for the great choreography you came up with for our song and thank you to everyone in the world dancing to it, especially @Cost_n_Mayor and @KayCee_Stroh, who made it.” a worldwide phenomenon!

“@Marti_Fischer and I are already working on the sequel…!”

How did an unknown song become so popular?

While it’s entirely possible for unknown songs to make it big on TikTok, the app’s recent developments may have given a boost to little-known content creators.

In late January, Universal Music Group (UMG) decided not to renew its contract with TikTok over concerns that artists would not be paid for the widespread use of their songs on the platform.

UMG is one of the largest music companies in the world – and owns the rights to the songs of countless high-profile artists, including Adele, Billie Eilish and Bob Dylan.

It accused TikTok of “attempting to build a music-based business without paying fair value for the music” and, in effect, “promoting the replacement of artists by AI” by allowing the site to use AI-generated music Recordings were “flooded”.

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Taylor Swift signed a deal with UMG in 2018, which facilitated her now-famous decision to re-record her albums to give her more rights.

Swift’s songs disappeared from the platform for 10 weeks following the UMG-TikTok dispute, but resurfaced last month.

This week, UMG reversed its decision and agreed that all of its artists’ songs will be available again on the app in the next two weeks.

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So while users were able to select some high-profile artists to soundtrack their TikToks during the dispute, the UMG decision created a vacuum that allowed lesser-known artists to break through.

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Will the US ban TikTok?

So is TikTok is threatened with a ban in the USA after the Senate passed a law requiring its Chinese owners Bytedance to sell to a U.S. owner within nine months.

If this does not happen, the US could follow India and ban the platform completely.

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