The Strange Origins of 17 Popular Songs

Mental Floss

You’ve hummed along to them in the car, belted them out in the shower, performed them on karaoke night, and possibly even danced with your grandparents to one of them at your second cousin’s wedding. But do you really know the dark origins behind Van Halen’s “Jump” or the existential conversation that is Hanson’s “MMMbop”? The answers may not be as obvious—or innocent—as you might have thought. Here are the surprising origin stories behind 17 popular tunes.

1. “MMMBop” // Hanson

Yes, Hanson’s 1997 hit “MMMBop” contains such lyrics as “Mmm bop, ba duba dop ba du bop, ba duba dop ba du bop, ba duba dop ba du.” And it was written and performed by a trio of young brothers ranging from 11 to 16 years old at the time. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t deep. “It’s the most misunderstood successful song of all time,” Zac Hanson told Entertainment Weekly in 2017. “Even at the height of 1997, it’s a song nobody understood. [Ninety-nine] percent of the people who have any reference from it don’t understand it.” One month later, Zac gave an even more explicit answer about the meaning behind the song while appearing on the Kyle and Jackie O. Show, stating:

“‘MMMbop’ represents a frame of time: ‘In an MMMbop they’re gone’ it says in the lyrics of the song. The whole song’s about the fact that almost everything in your life will come and go very quickly. You’ve got to figure out what matters and you’ve got to grab onto those things.”

So that’s what “ba duba dop ba du” means.

HANSON: Our Favorite People


WEEKLY PIC

Creation was in high gear as we recorded new music for our upcoming Against the World album in one of the most legendary studios in the world, Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals Alabama. Tapping into the deep soul of the shoals, no turning back.


MESSAGE FROM THE BAND

The past few weeks have been a blur – road trips, southern food and lots of music, all things we love. We are well on our way to finishing a new album even though there is an encyclopedia length list of overdubs to do before music can be called complete.  At the moment we are taking a few days to recharge and then it will be back into the studio to get as much done as possible before we head to Honolulu for our first ever show in Hawaii.  With any luck it will be the perfect thing to do to celebrate completing a new album.

Speaking of shows, we are very nearly ready to announce a US run of shows in the late fall and we’re bringing several of our favorite people on the road with us.  We love playing live, but we’re especially looking forward to fall concerts because it will be our first chance to share some of this new music live.

If you are a Hanson.net member, we have two new videos from the making of In Real Life this week. You may never be able to listen to Better Days again without laughing.

Isaac, Taylor And Zac


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Album 7 – Possible Spoilers

Just a heads up – as song clips are released, we will be updating hansonstage with them.  Details will be posted to the stickied blog post (but you will need to click the “read more” in order to see the full post content)

Titles and/or place holders will also be posted in the database which will show up on the “Against the World” album listing page.  (Any songs that don’t end up actually making the album will get switched to “Unreleased” once we get an official track listing)

With these songs being included in the database – they WILL show up under the album on the songs heard live page!  If you don’t want to know any titles (or made up placeholder titles as it may be) scroll past this area on the songs heard live page or do not visit it until the album is released.   These songs will also turn up on the “Never Live” page as well as the “How many times have songs heard live” stats pages – as well as any other page that lists out all the track listings of albums and how many times they have been performed live.

 

HANSON: Inspired By Your Conscience


WEEKLY PIC

This week has been one for the record books. Long days, creating album #7.  Inspired, challenged and motivated as we head into Labor day weekend! Have a great week.


MESSAGE FROM THE BAND

It is very exciting to be in the studio recording this week.  We’re five days into a ten day recording session and at the pace we’re moving, we’re gonna run out of songs before we run out of days.  As always, the feel from song to song is eclectic, but when you pull back and listen to them as an album, there is a thread going through everything, which probably is just that we are writing them.  Songs may not always be autobiographical, but they are usually inspired by your conscience. People have perspectives that are bred into them, the same way places have sounds. There is something about the soil, the water, the bedrock or lack thereof that effects the buildings and the music that is made in them.

This week, we are sharing more video from the making of In Real Life, this time looking at the song Compromise as we were putting the final touches on the structure before the song was recorded. Hope you enjoy it.

Isaac, Taylor and Zac


JOIN HANSON.NET!

Don’t forget to renew your Hanson.net membership for 2019!

•    Members Only EP
•    Member lines at concerts
•    Meet & Greets opportunities with the band
•    Pre-sale concert ticket opportunities
•    Exclusive videos, photos and blogs
•    Exclusive merch for members and much more!

You can find your current expiration date by going to your My Account page. Not a member join today!

HANSON: It Only Seems Fitting


WEEKLY PIC

This weekend we’re priming the creative juices for new music recording with some live music on the east coast. Not a bad way to prepare for album 7.


MESSAGE FROM THE BAND

For the better part of the last month, we have been going nonstop writing and preparing to record new music, but no matter what they tell you, sometimes you can have too much of a good thing. This weekend, we are heading out into the world to play a few shows on the east coast. It is clear that much of the music we are writing takes inspiration from our history, all the many things we have been through as a band, but also with all of you. Because of that, it only seems fitting that the last thing we do before starting recording would be to take the stage and reflect on how much we have been through together these past 27 years.

It feels like a new chapter is about to begin, in many ways it is one we have been trying to write for a decade, but good things are worth waiting for. So much on the horizon, fourth quarter tour dates in the US are coming, and a world tour for 2020. Until then, Hanson.net members can enjoy more new videos form the making of In Real Life this week and the first look behind the scenes once we get in the studio next  month.

Isaac, Taylor And Zac


JOIN HANSON.NET!

Don’t forget to renew your Hanson.net membership for 2019!

•    Members Only EP
•    Member lines at concerts
•    Meet & Greets opportunities with the band
•    Pre-sale concert ticket opportunities
•    Exclusive videos, photos and blogs
•    Exclusive merch for members and much more!

You can find your current expiration date by going to your My Account page. Not a member join today!

Ellie Kemper: 25 Things You Don’t Know About Me

US Weekly 

Ellie Kemper has some fun with Us and reveals 25 things you might not know about her — including her biggest regrets, her favorite song as a child and the reason as to why she has so much squirrel paraphernalia. Read on to learn about the pregnant Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt actress.

12. I wish I’d recorded “MMMBop” by Hanson. Love that song.

 

Diehard Hanson fans spend the night outside The Queen to see 90s pop idols perform for charity

Delaware Online

Hanson was scheduled to perform at The Queen at 8 p.m. in 93.7 WSTW’s annual Help Our Kids Radiothon concert. For every ticket sold, $3 will go Nemours/A.I.duPont Hospital for Children, according to the radio station. Jessica Bies and Damian Giletto, Delaware News Journal

The Hansons – and their fans – are in their 30s, but still going strong

It’s been 22 years since Hanson released its hit song “MMMbop,” but the band — and its fans — are still going strong, with several of the so-called Fansons even spending the night outside The Queen in Wilmington to see the trio perform on Thursday.

“It’s not our first time doing this either, that’s the sad part,” New Yorker Kelli Fisher said, volunteering to talk for the group.

She had been camped outside the theater since 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, not for tickets, but to get a spot near the stage. She and nearly a dozen other fans were in line with chairs and blankets Thursday morning.

Hanson was scheduled to perform at The Queen at 8 p.m. in 93.7 WSTW’s annual Help Our Kids Radiothon concert. For every ticket sold, $3 will go Nemours/A.I.duPont Hospital for Children, according to the radio station.

“I would go regardless, but that’s a nice incentive,” Fisher said.

Fansons, like the Hanson brothers themselves, are now in their 30s, but haven’t lost any of their ardor for the Oklahoma pop-rock band, Fisher said.

Fisher estimated that she’s been to as many as 100 Hanson concerts, starting with her very first in New York at age 8. She’s also been to special island destination concerts in Jamaica.

She’s been following the band for so long that her relationship with the Hansons has changed, she said. While many early Hanson fans thought the brothers were cute and had crushes on them, the brothers are now married and have kids.

Now, it’s a deep appreciation for their music that keeps her coming back for more.

“I know I don’t have a chance with them,” Fisher said. “You just go for the music.

“(The concerts) haven’t changed much, because the fans are still crazy.”

She’s not the only one obsessed with their music. Among those waiting in line on Thursday were fans from Detroit, Toronto, Seattle and more.

Many have run into each other several times, at other concerts. Some of their favorite songs are among the band’s more recent, like “Joyful Noise,” which provides a good example of how much the band has matured musically.

“To be honest, I don’t think they’ll ever stop doing concerts,” Fisher said. “Because their fans are very loyal and dedicated.”

 

 

Hanson to perform in Wilmington, Delaware Thursday night

6ABC

WILMINGTON, Delaware (WPVI) — It’s been 22 years since they “Mmmbop-ed” into our hearts, and the Hanson brothers are still going strong.

Their tour is stopping in Wilmington, Delaware Thursday night and people have been lined up to get front row.

The concert is at the Queen Theater.

Fans of the 90s pop group arrived Wednesday and slept on the street, all to ensure they get as close as they can to the singers.

Tonight’s show starts at 8 and it’s a benefit concert.

Proceeds will go to Nemours Alfred I. Dupont Hospital for Children.