Mah Nà Mah Nà

"Mah Nà Mah Nà" is a well-known pop music song, written by Piero Umiliani. It was a hit in many countries, including the USA, in 1968–1969. The song's lyrics contain no actual words, only nonsense words resembling scat singing. The original version interpolates melodies from "Swedish Rhapsody" ("Midsommarvaka" ("Midsummer Vigil")) by Hugo Alfvén, "Santa Lucia", "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy", the jazz standard "Lullaby of Birdland", and others.

"Mah Nà Mah Nà" debuted as part of Umiliani's soundtrack for the Italian softcore pornography movie Svezia, Inferno e Paradiso (Sweden, Heaven and Hell) (1968), a pseudo-documentary film about wild sexual activity and other behavior in Sweden ("Mah Nà Mah Nà" accompanied a scene set in a sauna). A soundtrack album, "Svezia, Inferno e Paradiso" was released in 1968. The movie was also released under the English title Sweden Heaven and Hell.

In 1969, Henri Salvador recorded a variation titled "Mais Non, Mais Non" ("But No, But No"), with lyrics he had written in French to Umiliani's tune.

The song became familiar to many from its renditions by the Muppets on national television. On November 30, 1969, "Mahna Mahna" was performed on the The Ed Sullivan Show by a Muppet also known as Mahna Mahna, and the Snowths. Also in 1969, "Mahna Mahna" was performed on Sesame Street by a character that was later known as Bip Bipadotta, along with two Anything Muppet girls.

During its 1969-70 season, "The Red Skelton Show" used the Umiliani recording as background music for a recurring blackout sketch. The otherwise silent bits featured Red and another performer, dressed as Moon creatures, playing with equipment left behind by the Project Apollo astronauts.

In 1973, a rendition of "Mah-na-Mah-na" on the Moog synthesizer was released on the album More Hot Butter (Musicor MS 3254) by Hot Butter, best known for the pop tune "Popcorn". It was re-released on CD in 2000.

In 1976, the first episode of The Muppet Show to be recorded (featuring Juliet Prowse) used "Mahna Mahna" as the first sketch. It was performed by the Muppets "Mahna Mahna and the Snowths". As a result, the original Piero Umiliani recording finally became a hit in the UK, where the Muppet Show soundtrack album featuring the Muppets' version went to number one.

The original, the Muppets', and other versions of the song are available on various collections and recordings.

* The song was used many times in the 1970s and early 1980s in The Benny Hill Show. It usually formed part of an instrumental medley, which also contained the 1970s UK hit Gimme Dat Ding, a jazzed-up 4/4 arrangement of Ludwig van Beethoven's Für Elise, and (of course) Yakety Sax.
* The song was used for the backing music for the BN biscuit adverts in the UK during the 1990s, with the lyrics changed to "B - N, B - N".
* The song was sung in Arabic by Samir Ghanem (Egyptian Comedian) saying "ana 3ayez anam" ("I want to sleep"). (1990s)
* In the early 1990s, a version of the song was used in television and radio commercials for Dunkin' Donuts in the Montreal area, to promote the chain's mini doughnuts; the lyric was changed to "mini mini."
* The Muppets' comeback series Muppets Tonight (1996-1998) revisited it as a parody using the word phenomenon in place of the title. Kermit the Frog and actress Sandra Bullock appeared in place of "Mahna Mahna" to provide the lyric phenomena.
* A cover was performed in 1996 by the hard rock band Skin.
* It formed the basis for a 1997 UK hit single, "No Way No Way" by Vanilla.
* A cover of the song was performed by Cake as the opening track of the 2002 album For The Kids, a CD whose sales proceeds went to the VH1 Save the Music Foundation. The cover also appears on Cake's 2007 album Rarities.
* Pato Fu, a Brazilian pop group used the melody of "Mah Na Mah Na" as a basis for their song "Made in Japan", the chorus uses a vocoded voice singing "Made in Japan" instead of "Mah Na Mah Na".
* The Muppet version of the song was used in a 2005 advertisement for Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper. A couple are on a date in a restaurant; as the girl is poured a Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper, all she can hear is "Mahna Mahna" with everyone including her date appearing to sing along.
* In 2004 a children's music radio show on WEFT 90.1fm (a community radio station in Champaign, Illinois) called "Mah Na Mah Na" began. The show features the song as its theme song.
* The song appeared in a 2005 series of Irn Bru advertisements with the tagline "It's Phenomenal".
* The song was featured in 2005 on Tuesday 8th March during a Comic Relief in Da Bungalow! special.
* At the end of one episode of the Australian comedy show "The Micallef Programme", host Shaun Micallef ended his remarks with the word phenomenon. The rest of the crew immediately sang "do doo, do do do", as per "Mah Na Mah Na". He then repeated "phenomenon", looking puzzled. The crew continued to sing the song. They alternated for the rest of one verse. At the end, Micallef looked relieved and says, "Oh, I get it."
* The song was parodied on an ad for Banana Boat sunscreen.
* The song was sung by Tim's arch nemesis Gareth and David Brent in the first episode of the second series of BBC's The Office.
* Jamster re-recorded the song and animated it with 2 orange monsters and 1 purple monster in garbage cans. Titled Manah Manah or Mah-Na Mah-Na, by Monsters or Les Gentils Monstres, the performance is offered as Video Ringtimes, Animated Screensavers, Polyphonic Ringtone, Real Music Sound and Colour Wallpapers.
* David Baddiel made fun of Steve McManaman's name by calling him Steve Mahnamahna on British television.
* The bonus track at the end of The Smugglers' Rosie includes a version with the chorus changed to "penis", pronounced with a lisp. The "announcer" then proclaims it a "terribly evil song". The song begins at 18:24 of the bonus track.
* The "Weird Al" Yankovic song "Couch Potato" (a parody of Eminem's "Lose Yourself") references The Muppet Show rendition of the song.
* The Muppets filmed a new version of the song in 2005, for a New Zealand charity called CanTeen. In the ad, an updated version of the Mahna Mahna puppet was performed by Bill Barretta, and the lyrics were changed to "Bandanana", supporting CanTeen's "Bandanna Week".
* In September 2006, the UK television station, ABC1 used the song in their "September Comedy" month promo.
* A parody by Mr. Devious was released during the Pittsburgh Steelers' NFL playoff run and eventual Super Bowl XL victory. Titled "Puhlamalu" (a reference to Steelers safety Troy Polamalu), it featured the singer mumbling the names of many Steelers.Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts.
Virtual Magic is a human knowledge database blog. Text Based On Information From Wikipedia, Under The GNU Free Documentation License. Copyright (c) 2007 Virtual Magic. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

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