Toddler’s viral ‘Dinosaurs in Love’ song is actually very good. Here’s why.

30 January 2020, 11:57 | Updated: 5 February 2020, 15:58

Fenn Rosenthal’s ‘Dinosaurs in Love’ has been viewed over 2 million times
Fenn Rosenthal’s ‘Dinosaurs in Love’ has been viewed over 2 million times. Picture: Buzzfeed / Tom Rosenthal

By Rosie Pentreath

Why three-year-old girl Fenn Rosenthal’s viral ‘Dinosaurs In Love’ song is actually a quality opus that stands up to established rules of music theory.

A song called ‘Dinosaurs in Love’ has gone viral and is leaving not a heart unbroken on the Internet.

The song’s viral status owes largely to the fact that its composer is just three years old, and almost too adorable. But there’s also another reason: the song is actually really good – and ridiculously catchy.

Written and performed by Fenn Rosenthal, ‘Dinosaurs in Love’ demonstrates well-established and respected rules around timbre, tone, structure and harmony in song-writing. And from a music theory perspective, ‘Dinosaurs in Love’ deserves high praise.

Here’s why...

The one-minute ditty tells the story of dinosaurs that are very much in love, filling their time with a party, eating cucumber, fruit and people, and – ultimately – dying in a plot twist worthy of any Italian tragic opera (watch in full below).

Read more: A musical analysis of the tune David Cameron hummed outside Downing Street >

While Rosenthal’s history isn’t as strongly fact-checked as it could be (we’re pretty sure dinosaurs didn’t exist at the same time as people, however prehistoric, but Fenn’s three, so let’s give her a break), the song is structured around familiar building blocks used in the most classic songs.

There’s a catchy ‘refrain’ from the outset: “Dinosaurs eating people / Dinosaurs in love/ Dinosaurs having a party, they eat fruit and cucumber”. It’s rhythmically varied and so hooks the brain in and encourages concentration, while the melody is based around a grounding tonic-dominant-tonic chord progression. Strong choice.

In a bold move, Rosenthal then opts for a bridge, with a spoken “They fell in love… They say thank you…”. This musical device generates incredible suspense. And the suspense is heightened by the expressive timbre, and fragile tone quality, of Rosenthal’s voice – and, of course, those devastating lyrics.

The refrain melody returns, continuing the gripping story of these in-love – and ultimately tragic – dinosaurs.

“A big bang came / and they died.”

Delivered with the three-year-old’s signature tone quality, inflected here with a moving vibrato, it’s a devastating blow to any listener – and our hearts inevitably break.

“Dinosaurs, dinosaurs, fell in love / They fell in love, but they didn’t say goodbyyye / They didn’t say good bye,” Rosenthal finishes with, in a frankly heart-rending, Grammy-worthy performance.

How did ‘Dinosaurs in Love’ go viral?

Fenn Rosenthal’s song, ‘Dinosaurs in Love’ was posted on Twitter by her dad, Tom Rosenthal (a songwriter in his own right, but not as well-known as his daughter) after Fenn had entered his studio at home and demanded songwriting time.

Only recorded in two takes, according to Buzzfeed, the song’s subject matter apparently wasn’t an obvious choice for Fenn. She’s no dinosaur expert (the glaring anachronism of dinosaurs eating people tells us that much) but apparently they had visited the Natural History Museum in recent times.

The well-put-together song features Fenn’s vocals with piano accompaniment from her dad, Tom, and the pair prove to be a strong duo.

The song has been viewed way over 2 millions times on Twitter, with fans commenting “OMG my heart’s just melted” and “an instant classic”, and even offering up their own covers of the song.

And to cap it all off, Spotify has jumped on Twitter to ask when the official release date is. We’re thrilled to see Tom Rosenthal has replied in the affirmative, so we’re closely watching this space…