Few children’s songs become as ubiquitous in popular culture as “ Baby Shark,” which has been performed by Ellen DeGeneres and James Corden and has even found itself on the pop charts.
A new version of the love-it-or-hate-it tune, however, could be its most unlikely interpretation yet.
Drag performer Marti Gould Cummings entertained patrons ― and one especially delighted 2-year-old ― at a New Jersey restaurant with a whimsical take on “Baby Shark” over the weekend. A short video of Cummings’ performance, which took place during brunch at Talde in Jersey City, went viral after the queen posted it to Twitter and Instagram.
The clip, which can been seen below, had been viewed over 630,000 times on the two platforms as of Tuesday morning.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) seemed to applaud Cummings’ performance when she liked the video on Instagram. Singer and actress Audra McDonald went a step further, retweeting the clip with an offer to hire Cummings to sing the song to her 2-year-old daughter, Sally James.
Still, Cummings admitted to one minor (and hopefully amendable) shortcoming.
Cummings, a Maryland native who prefers the pronouns “they/them” and has been a staple of the New York drag scene for more than a decade, said the song was requested by the young boy during a round of “drag roulette” on Saturday.
The response to the video, they told NBC News, “feels incredible.” But the clip has garnered its share of critics, too ― some of whom have questioned whether a drag performance is appropriate for children.
“Anyone who thinks drag isn’t for children is wrong,” Cummings said. “Drag is expression, and children are such judgment-free beings; they don’t really care what you’re wearing, just what you’re performing.”
“It would be nice if us adults could let the child inside of us out for a little bit, so maybe we could all be a little more accepting of others ourselves,” they added.