The Bleatles? How the web went goat crazy

Article by Miles Godfrey /
The Australian /
March 01, 2013 /
Click here to view original /

THERE’S no point bleating about it – goats have taken over the internet.

Their rise to prominence began in 2010 when a short video of Oprah appeared on YouTube, with clips of a wailing goat spliced in between the US chatshow host’s loud shouts to the audience.

The goat’s bleats appeared to fit pretty neatly with Oprah’s shrill tones – but the original video didn’t really take off, gaining just a million or so views.

Three years on, the idea has been revived and has exploded in popularity, with thousands of YouTube users across the globe splicing footage of wailing goats into a raft of music videos.

Fresh from his triple Grammy-winning success, Australia’s Gotye is among the latest artists to get the ‘goat edition’ treatment.

Over the past couple of days dozens of Gotye goat edition remixes have appeared on YouTube, with most sending up his 2011 hit, Somebody That I Used to Know.

One version is titled Somebody That I Ewes To Know.

Others have suggested he be renamed ‘Goatye’.

Other artists to receive the goat edition treatment include US songstress Taylor Swift, British warbler Adele and French house artist David Guetta.

The most popular versions of the goat edition songs have received millions of views.

University of Melbourne’s Dr Lauren Rosewarne said there’s little rhyme or reason for what goes viral on the internet – but she’d love to bottle the formula.

“What makes these trends so interesting is the complete lack of a recipe or formula for what will become viral,” Dr Rosewarne told AAP.

“And the majority of the time it’s completely random.

“If advertisers could only harness that enigmatic X-factor it would be a licence to print money – alas, it’s bizarrely fickle.”