Friday, June 17, 2016

Original Versus Cover - Mah Na Mah Na

I really thought that the best version ever of Mahna Mahna was the one done by the Muppets for Sesame Street in 1969. All of that changed when I heard the version the band Cake released in 2002. Cake is known for its eclectic approach to music, and they are known for giving unique spins on other people's songs. Cake is also known for its ability to create a groove, and that is what makes their version of Mah Na Mah Na stand out.

Piero Umiliani wrote and recorded the original version of Mah Na Mah Na in 1968, and the damn thing is just addicting. It is a song that could never end if the artist wanted it to be that way, but most people who record this song usually cut it down to a couple of minutes. It is a fun song with a lot of character and, as a single, it sold very well.

Here is Umiliani's original recording of this fun song:

After the fourth run through this video, I decided to stop it and move on to the rest of this review. Let's face it, there are enough super serious songs out there and a lot of them are depressing. Sometimes, you just want to listen to something silly, and that is exactly what this song is.

I love the Muppets version, but I think that Cake does a great job at nailing the true essence of this novelty song. Here is Cake's version:

The thing I like about Cake's version besides the amazing groove, is the extra stuff that Cake puts into this song. You really never know what is coming next, which makes this song something I could listen to over and over again...just like the original. But Cake turns this into more of a song than just the constant repetition of the hook, and I can appreciate that.

The original and Muppet versions of this song are very similar, which is not necessarily a bad thing. But Cake takes this idea and turns it into something more substantial, and I appreciate that. 

By the way, here's the Muppets:

Verdict: I like the Cake version, but you cannot go wrong with any version of this song.

George N Root III is a music fan who likes a good laugh once in a while. Follow him on Twitter @georgenroot3, or send him a message at