Monday, August 22, 2011

The Muppets and a History of "Mahna Mahna"

Man, these guys keep popping up. And now with ties to Italian sex films.

From OC Weekly:

Originally titled "Mah Nà Mah Nà," the song appeared on the soundtrack of the Italian film Sweden: Heaven and Hell (Svezia, Inferno E Paradiso). The film is a pseudo-documentary (now known as "reality television") about the wild sex lives of folks living in Sweden; the track was used in a scene that takes place in a sauna.

OK, maybe "Italian sex film" was a little much. But still, one wonders at the wisdom of introducing the material in a children's TV series, like Jim Hensen. Less than a year later in 1969, Hensen decided to cover the song during The Muppets debut year.

Since then, the song has appeared once more on the Muppet Show, and has also received attention from a number of modern recording artists, such as:

Cake (from B-Sides and Rarities);

and Hey White Boy

And most recently, the song will be featured in the new Muppets Green album by The Fray, available for streaming at NPR.


  1. Nice post - never knew the original. This is my favorite -

  2. Interesting that a staple of a children's show is rooted in softcore... Whooda thunk?

    And don't forget about the band responsible for the Oh Mander Best Album of 2010, Menomena. I like their spelling better - seems more phonetic.