Canadian chanteuse Avril Lavigne has made any number of important contributions to the canon of Western song in her 31 productive years: “Sk8er Boi,” “Hello Kitty,” and “Complicated,” for instance. Each one a classic in its own right. It’s a wonder she ever found the time to marry the lead singer from Sum 41, let alone the lead singer from Nickelback. But one thing Lavigne has not done in her three decades on this planet is record a song called “Dolphins” with simple, perhaps too obvious lyrics such as: “Dolphins live in the ocean / Dolphins live in the sea.” So why do so many internet lyric sites insist that she did? Ethan Chiel has been on the “Dolphins” case, described in his piece at Fusion.
Thus far, the fake Lavigne song has proven to be a will-o’-the-wisp of modern popular culture. It cannot be pinned down. It cannot be grasped. It can only be gazed upon and admired from a distance. The only statement Chiel can make with complete confidence is this: “‘Dolphins’ is not an Avril Lavigne song.” In his diligent investigations, Chiel found that the lyrics to “Dolphins” had been circulating quite widely on Tumblr for the last few years, but due to that site’s dodgy search engine, no definitive attribution for the childish composition was forthcoming. A more intriguing revelation is that “Dolphins” was posted to LyricsMode way back in 2007, seemingly in response to Avril’s The Best Damn Thing album. But LyricsMode, alas, has no data about the unregistered user who uploaded the “Dolphins” lyrics. In the end, Chiel concludes that “there’s something very appealing to the idea that harmless bits of internet flotsam, planted in the far-flung past (read: 2007) can grow into these little mysteries.” And while Lavigne may never actually sing the song, that hasn’t stopped some fans from recording their own versions of “Dolphins” and uploading those to YouTube.
[Note: Fusion, like The A.V. Club, is owned by Univision Communications.]