TOS - Dirt man


The ‘Dirt Man’ TikTok song will be stuck in your head for weeks

No thoughts, head empty, just Dirt Man.


Charlotte Colombo

Pop Culture

That One Sound is a column from internet culture reporter Charlotte Colombo that explores the origin of popular sounds heard on TikTok.

They say music brings people together, and that is precisely what we love about “Dirt Man.” The niche, surrealist sound has inspired reactions from every corner of the internet. And honestly, it exemplifies what TikTok is all about.

@cartervailmusic We’re guys, ya know? #dirtman #dirt ♬ original sound – Carter Vail

The sound

The song begins with a man breezily declaring how “we’re guys,” before launching into how, on account of this masculinity, we must “leave a little dirt under the pillow for the Dirt Man.” 

Later on in the song, which spans 34 seconds, we learn that the reason for this feverish dirt-hiding is so we don’t get taken down to the Dirt Man’s underground lair wherein—you guessed it—he has even more dirt. By the sounds of it, this Dirt Man might be some kind of anti Tooth Fairy.

But if you really think about it, the lyrics are actually pretty dark for a song that sounds so deceptively upbeat. As one TikTok commenter puts it, “Dirt Man” sounds “straight out the brain of Charlie Day.”

@adamtahere Dirt Man #dirtman #talkbox @Carter Vail ♬ original sound – Carter Vail

Where’s it from?

The song was first uploaded to TikTok on April 27 by musician Carter Vail (@cartervailmusic). The simplicity and sheer weirdness of it all meant the song became a viral hit, amassing 11.8 million views and appearing in 1,289 videos. 

@thegavincoyle help. this has been stuck in my head all week. dirt man got me😭 – @Carter Vail 🤠 – #fyp #foryoupage #trending #viral #dance #dancechallenge #newdance #dirtman #dirt #cartervailmusic ♬ original sound – Carter Vail

Sound off

As the song continues to spread like wildfire online, TikTokers from all corners of the internet are putting their own spin on the ditty. We have an acoustic cover, a talkbox cover and even a musical notation cover

Visually, there’s also numerous artistic renditions of the song, with “Dirt Man” even getting its own TikTok dance. Naturally.

Now you can watch our That One Sound from TikTok column on YouTube! Subscribe to our channel and keep an eye out for new episodes every Wednesday:

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