Annoyed by ‘Baby Shark’? City plays the song to keep homeless from staying

The tunes, she said, are meant “to discourage congregating at the building

The songs ‘Baby Shark’ and ‘Raining Tacos’ annoy parents, babysitters and other formerly sane adults in proximity to children.

City officials are using these songs in West Palm Beach Florida as a property management tool.

Three weeks ago, West Palm Beach officials began playing the catchy, obnoxious tunes to deter people experiencing homelessness from sleeping overnight at the city’s Lake Pavilion and Great Lawn, venues that offer “million-dollar views” for special events.

At 10 p.m., ‘Baby Shark’ begins

“Baby shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo

“Baby shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo

“Baby shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo

“Baby shark!

“Mommy shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo…..”

The tiny goldfish spends another one minute and 45 seconds for additional “doo doos” for Daddy, Grandma and Grandpa shark and sings “it’s the end” and thats true for the first round of the song but not the madness which lasts another eight hours until the sun rises over the intercoastal waterway that abuts the pavilion terrace.

Next up in the loop of torturous tunes is “Raining Tacos,” a song about tacos (“shell! meat! lettuce! cheese!”) falling from the sky:

“It’s raining tacos

“From out of the sky


“No need to ask why

“Just open your mouth and close your eyes

“It’s raining tacos.”

City spokeswoman Kathleen Walter said that the music volume complies with city code and is a temporary measure while officials explore setting enforceable hours for the Lake Pavilion and Great Lawn.

The tunes, she said, are meant “to discourage congregating at the building and, if applicable, to encourage people to seek safer, more appropriate shelter through the many resources that are available.”

West Palm Beach Mayor Keith James said that those resources include job training and a street team of advocates who “meet people where they are” and connect them with the help they need, including shelter and resources to deal with addiction or mental health issues.

“Guess it’s good that this story is capturing so much attention, because I do hope it opens up a broader conversation, a nationwide conversation frankly, about the state of homelessness throughout the country,” James said.

City officials brainstormed a few weeks ago on ways to deter unwanted behaviour at the waterfront pavilion, the mayor said, which included people sleeping but also “unpleasant souvenirs left there, including human feces.”

Music was suggested with the Parks and Recreation staff deciding on ‘Baby Shark’ and ‘Raining Tacos’.

So far, it’s working.

“All indications are that it’s having the results we anticipated,” James said. “Listen, it’s a very annoying song. So, yes.”

Director of Housing and Community Development for the city, Jennifer Ferriol told the Palm Beach Post that they “know all the homeless by name and engage with them on a regular basis.”

Everyone needs good sleep as it is important for a person’s overall physical and mental wellness, and lack of it can compound challenges that those experiencing homelessness are already struggling to manage.

“Having to live without a place that is home is tiring — physically, mentally, emotionally, in every way,” Bobby Watts, chief executive of the National Health Care for the Homeless Council, told Rewire.News last year.

“Your need for sleep is greater, but your ability to get sleep is even less than if you were living in a home.”

Illaya Champion told the Palm Beach Post that he lies in the shade by the pavilion patio to protect himself from the sun and rain.

“It’s wrong,” he said of the new music. “It don’t bother me. I still lay down in there. But it’s on and on, the same songs.”

James understands why people find the area attractive for sleep.

It’s quiet at night and the pavilion and lawn are right by the water which brings a pleasant breeze during Florida’s scorching summers.

“If you’re looking for a quiet place to lay your head, that’s where you would go,” James said.

But the area was built as a “jewel” for entertaining and events, he said.

“People pay good money to use the pavilion,” James said, “and we want them to have a good experience there.”

Within the next week, he said, the city plans to post signs that say the area is closed from midnight to 6 a.m. This will grant them enforcement power.

“Again, we’re not going to arrest our way out of the homeless problem,” he said. “I think it’s important to look at each person, to each situation, to make a decision” about how tackle the issue.