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Encyclopedia > Mah Na Mah Na

"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. For Popular music (music that is popular, rather than of a specific genre or style), see Popular music. ... Piero Umiliani (born 1926 in Florence, Italy –- died February 14, 2001) was an Italian film music composer, most famous for his song Mah Na Mah Na of 1968, that was originally used for a Swedish soft porn documentary –- Svezia, Inferno e Paradiso (Sweden Heaven or Hell) (Easy Tempo 901) –- but... The following is a list of songs in which the lyrics are exclusively nonsensical words. ... Scat singing is vocalizing either wordlessly or with nonsense words and syllables as employed by jazz singers who create the equivalent of an instrumental solo using only the voice. ... In music, interpolation is an abrupt change of elements, with (almost immediate) continuation of the first idea. ... Hugo Emil Alfvén  listen (May 1, 1872 – May 8, 1960) was a Swedish composer, conductor, violinist, and painter. ... Santa Lucia is a well-known traditional Neapolitan song. ... Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, a song about a young bugler being drafted into the U.S. Army, was one of the major hits by the Andrews Sisters. ... Jazz standard refers to a tune that is widely known, performed, and recorded among jazz musicians. ... Lullaby Of Birdland is a popular song. ...

"Mah Nà Mah Nà" debuted as part of Umiliani's soundtrack for the Italian softcore pornography movie Svezia, Inferno e Paradiso (Sweden, Hell and Heaven) (1968), a pseudo documentary film about wild sexual activity and other behavior in Sweden. ("Mah Nà Mah Nà" played under a portrayal of lesbian BDSM in the film.) (In a coincidental third link to Sweden, songs based on "Santa Lucia" (the well-known Neapolitan song) are traditionally sung in Sweden every year on St. Lucia Day.) A soundtrack album, "Svezia, Inferno e Paradiso" was released in 1968. The movie was also released under the English title Sweden Hell and Heaven. Pornography (from Greek πορνογραφια pornographia — literally writing about or drawings of harlots) is the representation of the human body or human sexual behaviour with the goal of sexual arousal, similar to, but (according to some) distinct from, erotica. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... A lesbian is a girl or woman who is aesthetically, sexually, or romantically attracted to other women. ... A collar is a common symbol of BDSM. BDSM is a term which describes a number of related patterns of human sexual behavior. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Saint Lucy. ...

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. Henri Salvador (born July 18, 1917, Cayenne, French Guiana) is a French singer. ...

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 Bip Bipadotta and two Anything Muppet girls. The Muppets in Weezers Keep Fishin The Muppets are a group of puppets and costume characters, and the company created by Jim Henson. ... Ed Sullivan The Ed Sullivan Show was an American television variety show that ran from June 20, 1948, to June 6, 1971, and was hosted by Ed Sullivan. ... Sesame Street is an educational television program designed for preschoolers, and is recognized as a pioneer of the contemporary standard which combines education and entertainment in childrens television shows. ...

In 1976, the first episode of The Muppet Show featured "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 Muppet Show is a television program featuring a cast of Muppets (diverse hand-operated puppets, typically with oversized eyes and large moving mouths) produced by Jim Henson and his team from 1976 to 1981. ...

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

Cultural references

  • The song is in the soundtrack of two 1978 episodes of The Benny Hill Show.
  • The song was used for the backing music for the BN biscuit adverts in the UK during the 1990s.
  • The song was sung in Arabic by Samir Ghanem (Egyptian Comedian) saying "ana 3ayez anam" ("I want to sleep"). (1990s)
  • The Muppets' comeback series Muppets Tonight (1996-1998) revisited it as a parody using the word phenomena 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.
  • It was featured in the pilot of the sitcom Committed, in which Marni attempted to get her date to sing a duet with her in a restaurant, and has continued to appear in the background as her ringtone.
  • A cover of the song was performed by Cake on the 2002 album For The Kids a compact disc whose sales proceeds go to the VH1 Save the Music Foundation.
  • 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, IL) 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.
  • The song was remixed by Jamster and used 2 orange monsters and 1 purple monster that lives in garbage cans for the ringtone. (similar to Oscar from Seasame Street.)

Born Alfred Hawthorn Hill (January 21, 1924/1925 - April 20, 1992), Benny Hill was a prolific comic British actor. ... Muppets Tonight was a television series created by Jim Henson Productions and featuring the Muppets. ... A phenomenon (plural: phenomena) is an observable event, especially something special (literally something that can be seen from the Greek word phainomenon = observable). ... Kermit has a TV star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame located at 6801 Hollywood Blvd. ... Sandra Annette Bullock (born July 26, 1964) is an American film actress. ... 1996 (MCMXCVI) was a leap year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International Year for the Eradication of Poverty. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Skin were a hard rock band active in the mid 90s. ... 1997 (MCMXCVII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... A sitcom or situation comedy is a genre of comedy performance originally devised for radio but today typically found on television. ... Committed is a television sitcom that aired on NBC from January 4, 2005 to March 15, 2005. ... Cake (often written CAKE, with all capital letters) is a band from Sacramento, California, formed in 1991. ... Pato Fu is a brazilian band from Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais. ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Childrens music provides an important and entertaining means of teaching children about their culture, other cultures, good behavior, facts and skills. ... Community radio is a type of radio service that caters to the interests of a certain area, broadcasting material that is popular to a local audience but is overlooked by more powerful broadcast groups. ... A view of Champaign from above (see wider view). ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Irn-Bru in a 250ml plastic bottle Irn-Bru (pronounced Iron Brew) is a popular caffeinated soft drink in Scotland. ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Comic relief is the inclusion of a humorous character or scene or witty dialogue in an otherwise serious work, often to relieve tension. ... Dick and Dom in da Bungalow was a CBBC childrens television series presented by Richard McCourt (Dick) and Dominic Wood (Dom). In the final series, Series 5, five children and one celebrity guest (known as Bungalow Heads) came to stay the weekend in their bungalow. Throughout the two shows... The Micallef Program (also known as The Micallef Programme in its second season, and The Micallef Pogram in its third season) was an Australian sketch comedy TV series hosted by Shaun Micallef that ran from 1998 to 2001 on ABC TV. // Format and Cast The show took the loose guise... Shaun Micallef is an Australian comedian. ... A banana boat (or water sled), often referred to simply as a banana, is an unpowered recreational boat designed to be pulled by a larger boat. ... Sunscreen (also known as sunblock, suncream, suntan lotion) is a topical lotion that helps protect the skin from the suns ultraviolet radiation, and which reduces sunburn and other skin damage, ultimately leading to a lower risk of skin cancer. ... The opening credits The Office is a British television comedy series, created, written and directed by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, and first aired in the UK on BBC Two on July 9, 2001. ...

Alternate spellings

The lyrics of Mah Na Mah Na are exclusively nonsensical words. Though the words easy to say, it is hard to guess the "right" spellings of most of them.
Here are some of the more common variations, of "Mah Na Mah Na" only, with the counts on Google (May, 2006):
"Ma Na Ma Na" 12,100; "Mana Mana" 995,000; "Manamana" 255,000
"Mah Na Mah Na" 60,800; "Mahna Mahna" 160,000; "Mahnamahna" 69,000
"Ma Nah Ma Nah" 1,170; "Manah Manah" 31,800; "Manahmanah" 674
"Man na man na" 46; "Manna manna" 15,400; "Mannamanna" 622
"M na m na" 770; "Mna Mna" 13,700; "MnaMna" 698
"Manamanah" 11,700; "Manahmana" 634
"Mnah Mnah" 1000; "MnahMnah" 569
"Munnah Munnah" 30
Punctuation and accent variations:
"Mah Nà Mah Nà" (The song title listed on the album covers!)
"Mah-Na-Mah-Na"; "Mah-Na Mah-Na"; "Mnah-Mnah"; ...
The large number of mentions shows that people remember this song and its performances.
The large number of spellings shows the difficulty of spelling unfamiliar words from hearing. The following is a list of songs in which the lyrics are exclusively nonsensical words. ... Proper spelling is the writing of a word or words with all necessary letters and diacritics present in an accepted, conventional order. ...

External links

Videos of the Manah Manah Monsters. The Internet Movie Database (IMDb) is an online database of information about actors, movies, television shows, television stars and video games. ...

  Results from FactBites:
Who is Piero Umiliani? Italian film music composer who wrote Mah Na Mah Na (covered by the Muppets) (3019 words)
Mah Na" on Sesame Street, which would almost certainly have preceded 1977; it was the same actual performance, though, with the two pink cows and the blue monster.
Mah Na" on Sesame Street, which would almost certainly have preceded 1977; it was the same actual performance,though, with the two pink cows and the blue monster." This isn't quite right....I was watching Sesame Street the other day, and they've been doing cool stuff to celebrate their 30th anniversary.
They played the Sesame Street version of "Mah na mah na" after the end credits (I can guess that it was filmed for a 1975 show, since that'd be 30 years ago), and it wasn't quite the same recording.
Jerry Kindall: Mah na mah na (717 words)
But I HAD to share what I found, after some research,on the "Mah na Mah na" ditty Dr.Pepper is using lately (the later version by the Muppets):
Curiously enough, Swedish artist by the name of Piero Umiliani wrote and performed the original "Mah na mah na" in 1968 on the LP "Svezia,Inferno E Paradiso" (found this was re-released on CD in 1998, see Amazon).
Piero Umiliani's "Mah na Mah na" reached #55 by September 6, 1969 on Billboard charts...
  More results at FactBites »



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