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Interpretive Dunce - Mmmbop by Hanson

34378[1] You folks had some great ideas for the Interpretive Dunce, I tell you. Some great songs to pick apart. The fates, however, made their choice, and we're all stuck with it. So let's look at this wonderful song by Hanson, shall we? Let's discuss what it really means, deep down inside. We'll start with a video, after the jump!

Now I know this song was really popular and, at the time, I wondered why. I took it at face value: some annoying kids mumbling about candy or something until their parents sold them into musical slavery. But that was the easy, obvious meaning and here at the ID we reach down and dig deeper for the true meaning of songs.

You have so many relationships in this life
Only one or two will last
You go through all this pain and strife
Then you turn your back and they're gone so fast
And they're gone so fast
So hold on to the ones who really care
In the end they'll be the only ones there
When you get old and start losing your hair
Can you tell me who will still care?
Can you tell me who will still care?

Right away you'll notice that these kids are discussing eternity and how you will end up alone and bald and unhappy. No one will care, they tell you. Only one or two relationships will ever last. Even those vanish in a blink. They're warning you. They're trying to teach you that the end is coming and His name should be loved upon this planet. You might, now, want to guess His name. You would be wrong. I'm not talking about Jesus. I'm talking about Cthulhu and Yog-Sothoth.

Mmm bop, ba duba dop
Ba du bop, ba duba dop
Ba du bop, ba duba dop
Ba du


The first bit, in italics, is Hanson's chorus. The second bit is part of an incantation to raise the dead by summoning Yog-Sothoth. I won't give you the full incantation. I won't mess with the Deep Ones, I ain't dumb, is what I'm saying. Unlike Hanson.

Now you might claim that the two do not look similar. But go and listen to the song again. At the speed they sing it, oh it starts to. And they're brazenly keep admitting this is their goal!

Plant a seed, plant a flower, plant a rose
You can plant any one of those
Keep planting to find out which one grows
It's a secret no one knows
It's a secret no one knows

Plant something. Bring it to life. Reach down into the Earth and lower a seedling into the planet's breast. Bury it deep, like a tomb. Then bury more. Leave these bodies in the dust, and trust in none of them. For only one shall grow. Only one shall rise and it is not a secret which it shall be, for the glory of the Deep Ones, Cthulhu shall rise again!

In an mmm bop they're gone.
In an mmm bop they're not there.
In an mmm bop they're gone.
In an mmm bop they're not there.
Until you lose your hair. But you don't care.

With this incantation your world shall be gone, they're warning us. One Mmmbop from them and the Elder Ones shall rise from the deep to devour our souls. Gone, not there, vanished, consumed for the glory of Yog-Sothoth!

Can you tell me? You say you can but you don't know.
Can you tell me which flower's going to grow?
Can you tell me if it's going to be a daisy or a rose?
Can you tell me which flower's going to grow?
Can you tell me? You say you can but you don't know.

They're still warning you. Really once you unlock the code here the rest of the song is a general warning. Your time has gone, ends will come and you will end in a screaming huddled mass of rent flesh and, they focus on this a lot, bald. Why are they so focused on baldness? Is their hair a Shamanic device used to aid their summoning? Probably.

They're telling you they don't know which of the Deep Ones will come to devour you personally, but that at the core of it it doesn't matter. Daisy or rose, they're still a flower and smell as sweet. And as they wrest control of your immortal self from the mortal coil you call a body, their pedals will shine as brightly.

This has been the Interpretive Dunce. And this is how we play the game: Every week there will be a new song, chosen by you. In the comments, leave a song you'd like me to explain for you. I'll gather them up and pick a random one out of a hat. I have a hat just for this purpose. You name some songs, I'll pick a random one out of your suggestions and next week we'll come back and I'll continue help you find out the true meanings of songs. I promise.

You can read previous editions of the Interpretive Dunce here.

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MG Ellington

Oh this is awesome. I am going to share this with my squid filter on LJ. They will appreciate it so much!


There are actual words in this song? I had no idea. I thought it was just a bunch of random gibberish.

Perhaps someone will take these words and put them to tolerable music and chorus someday. Maybe then, and only then, will I ever make it past the first 5 seconds of it.


I never knew how obsessed with hair they were. Hmm.

I nominate Macarthur Park.


Maybe next week you could interpret the meaning of "Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard"?


Holy crap I just died with the laughing and squeeling. WELL FUCKING DONE.


I nominate "Little Red Corvette"


yellow ledbetter. HAHAHA...kidding.

but let's stick with PJ - how about "Black" from the album TEN?


This explains so much... =D Utterly genious. (the interpretation, not mmmbop...)

There's a lot of songs ripe for nomination here, but right now the only one I can think of is the theme song to the Muppets.


Second "Me and Julio"

Adam P. Knave

MAn you guys are wicked with your suggestions, I love it. Jen, though, pick a different song I think. Since every suggestion gets a chance, I don't want to give something two chances... *laugh*

Also, Erik: I think we'll stay away from theme songs for now.

But I'm glad you guys are enjoying the madness. I had to listen to Mmmbop 5 times for you folks. FIVE!


I might be in love with you now. Might. I used to turn in term papers like this for Beatles songs. I kind of wish I had thought to compare Yellow Submarine to the Deep Ones. Dammit.

So you, you're going to put All I Want For Christmas Is You in your hat. THanks.

Adam P. Knave

The Mariah one? I thought you said you might love me!


Hilarious! I enjoy this post so much. My suggestion, "Santa Baby"


Santa Baby gives me the heebie jeebies.

Just sayin'.


Adam, I'd feel bad for subjecting you to that song if you hadn't done such an awesome job! Hilarious. Your powers have truly been tested.

Adam P. Knave

Oh never actually feel bad! I kid because I love! Please, go for the songs you think will make me cringe and rend my clothing. Those tend to turn out gloriously for all of us.


Diana, Santa Baby gives me the heebie jeebies too...especially since it plays again and again on the Christmas cd at my part-time why am I doing this to myself retail mall job! I just think ID's theories would be worth it.


"I had to listen to Mmmbop 5 times for you folks. FIVE!"

Now that's dedication to the cause that's not to be taken lightly.

I nominate Spin Doctors - Two Princes for next week.

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