Happy hump day, LemonWire readers! Our song of the day today comes straight from the Stranger Things Season 3 soundtrack. It’s a bit of a weird one, admittedly. But based on the multiple Weird Al references in this season, we couldn’t resist taking a look at one of his first big parody hits, “My Bologna”.
If you’re just joining us, this week we’re taking each song of the day from the list of ’80s songs found on the Stranger Things Season 3 soundtrack. Season 3 shows its love for the ’80s more than the previous two. Not only is it loaded with tons of references, but also a collection of songs that showcase the very fabric of the era.
Usually, we format our discussions with a brief background on the artist and historical context, then move on to an analysis of the lyrics. But this week we’re doing things a bit differently, by breaking down the scene each song is included in.
We’ll only be discussing the first two episodes today, so no need to worry about any spoilers.
In the second episode of Stranger Things Season 3, things are starting to pick up, albeit slowly. The kid gang is basically back together, but with some trouble in the paradise of El and Mike’s relationship. Everyone goes to the mall. And, we get the added gem of setting up the buddy team of Steve “The Hair” Harrington and Dustin.
Meanwhile, Joyce Byers wants to learn about magnets. So she goes to the only guy in town who knows anything, Mr. Clarke. As she shows up, we get a glimpse of Mr. Clarke’s personal life, which consists of crafting alone in his garage while blasting Weird Al’s “My Bologna” from a stereo. Sounds about right.
That isn’t the only Weird Al reference, though. In the very next episode, you can spot Dustin rocking a Weird Al t-shirt. As uber-nerds, Dustin and Mr. Clarke both share a love for Weird Al’s parody skills.
“My Bologna” was written by “Weird Al” Yankovic in 1979, as a parody to “My Sharona”, by The Knack, which was released in the same year. The parody was released as a single, which led to a record deal, and was then included on Weird Al’s self-titled, debut album in 1983. The album also included parody hits, “Another One Rides the Bus”, “Ricky”, and “I Love Rocky Road”.
The lyrics to “My Bologna” are an ode to the Oscar Meyer brand of bologna sausage. Yes, it’s stupid, but it’s also kind of brilliant how well each line matches up to the original, “My Sharona”.
I mean, just take a look at how it starts.
“Oooh, my little hungry one,
Open up a package of my bologna.
Oooh, I think the toast is done,
The toast is done.
Top it with a little of my bologna.”
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The real payoff comes in at the chorus.
“Never gonna stop,
Eat it up.
Such a tasty snack,
I always eat too much,
And throw up.
But I’ll soon be back
For my my my yi yi wooo!
Even though it might hurt my reputation, I’ll admit that I had a pretty huge Weird Al phase between the ages of eight and thirteen. For those five, awkward years I listened to little else, and came to be introduced to too many classic songs through Weird Al’s parodies. In my eyes, Billy Joel’s “Piano Man” couldn’t hold a candle to Weird Al’s “Ode To A Superhero”, in which he sings, “Sling us a web, you’re the Spider-Man”. Yeah, I was a weird kid. I also loved Spider-Man.
Including Weird Al in the third season of Stranger Things only made me love it more. And seeing Dustin sporting his Weird Al t-shirt was just icing on the cake.
That about wraps up our discussion for today. Tomorrow, we’ll be back with another song straight from the soundtrack to Stranger Things Season 3.