Phantom Songs: “Oh Yeah” by Yello
Throughout the course of your life, there will be songs that your ears encounter that will go into the left and out the right. You may never hear this song again, or you may hear it every day until the end of your bitter existence, curled up inside an alleyway eating wet food logs, wondering why the fuck some song drove you into a homeless and insane state. Unfortunatley, today’s song can have the latter result. The song that I researched is practically inescapable. If you are between the ages of 21-50, chances are you have heard this song. The same chances also state that you never went out of your way to figure out what the song is called, who the hell made it, and where you can find their cassettes. This song used to be extremely unavoidable, and once you heard it, your life was forever changed. It has been featured in numerous movies, such as:
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
The Secret of My Succe$s
Any other movie featuring people/creatures that should be nimrods being really intelligent and witty.
Looking at the list alone, it’s easy to see which song I am talking about. Of course, it’s “Oh Yeah” by Yello, also referred to as “Day bow bow”, “Chica chica”, and “that weird song from the ’80s with the serial rapist singing”. In case you still don’t know what the fuck I’m babbling about, or you just need to hear this song again, here it is:
Okay folks, now let’s watch it again. This time, pay more attention to the creepiness of the actual video, the ruined voice/image perception, and try to figure out why the hell there is a little girl there.
When I first heard this song back in 1989, I had a lot of assumptions about it. First off, I pictured the singer to be a tall, muscular and slightly overweight man in Wayfarers having a good time. As it turns out, it’s actually sung by an awkward looking, curly haired mustached man, who is sunglassesless and appears to be having not exactly a good time. Well, I guess if he was having his own idea of a good time, then we really don’t want to know what this man is all about. It also might have something to do with the vocal inflections in the song, but every time I hear it, I always get the vision of the endless legs on a leggy blonde, wearing a swimsuit, or some weird one piece thing, kind of similar to that chick in Crocodile Dundee. But no, the video proves me wrong again. It’s a little girl. A little girl holding a shitty wad of tin foil. Words cannot describe how perplexed I am by this video. It’s the opposite of anything I ever thought about the song. It takes something mainstream and turns it into something underground. It’s like Michael Bay remaking “Meshes in the Afternoon”. It’s putting chocolate sauce on a ground bologna sando. It just doesn’t work.
In order to provide a more thorough analysis of this song, I feel like we need to break down the lyrics:
Oh Yeah Oh Yeah Oh Yeah
The moon, beautiful
The sun, even more beautiful
Oh Yeah Oh Yeah Oh Yeah
Oh Yeah Oh Yeah
bow bow, chic-chica-chica
Got any clues? Because I sure as hell don’t! At this point, I now need to refer to the geniuses at songmeanings.net, a place where people go to over-analyze songs incorrectly.
“this song rules! it makes me wanna bow bow chicka chicka if you know what i mean (wink wink)” – Sublime9117
Okay, thanks for the insight man. Perhaps this song was designed for going to the bone zone. Or at least that’s what I got out of his got out of report. Let’s see what someone else had to say.
“^^^ Hahaha you rock sublime :P” – g0dl1k3
…right on. That’s cool that you think he rocks. I also like your screenname. It’s not only a play on words, but a play on letters. This is all great fun, guys!
“i think this song is about having sex with asian girls!!! and has a real simon & garfunkel meets William Orbit feel to it, with a great melocholic thread happening to it!!!
BEST SONG EVA!!!
IN MY FAMILY OF 5 BROTHERS AND 9 SISTERS WE REFER TO THIS BAND AS OL’ YELLA” – mikus-fikus
The sad part is, I’m not even making these up. All these responses can be found right here! Okay, so I really don’t think this song is about Asian girls, because the girl in the video is white, so I really don’t know. Maybe Bobo Bob has better insight.
“how the hell did u get asian girls, i think u out of ur mind” – Bobo Bob
Good points, worse grammar. Next!
“i get asian girls with asian cooking BOB yummy!” – Mikus Fikus
Okay, now this is just getting silly! This is supposed to be a forum about art! Not the art of seducing asain women! Also, I now can only picture mikus as some characture of Ace Ventura. Is there anything to gain from this song?!?!?!?
“duffman can not die, only the actors that play him can!, o yeh! lol awesome” – qwertyu
Fuuuuuck this. I’m going to make my own analysis.
By the time this song was made in 1985, Swiss techno group Yello was already on the top of their own world. Although nobody in America knew or cared about who they were, they already had 7 chart-topping hits under their belt. I can only assume that a conversation like this was had:
Yello- Aight, so we need to write a song for all the Yankee blokes out thur.
Producer- Sheeit son, thaz eazy!
Y- But how, almighty producer? How?
P-Juz write aboot the shit youz gots. Those fuckers love shit like dat!
Y- Yeeeehhhhhhh. We’re fucking Yeller! We’re bigger than the sun!
P- You’re bigger than the moon!
Y- The sun is bigger.
P- But the moon is beautiful.
Y- That it is. But the sun. It’s more beautiful.
P- Oh yeaahhhh
Y- Good times
[Janitor comes by waxing the floor, as it makes a chic chika chika noise]
So, the song is actually about the powertrips of money-hungry artists. Either that, or a beauty contest between the sun and the moon. In the end, the sun was more beautiful. It was a good time. Oh yeah, it was a good time. Also, there appears to be one extra lyric in the song that wasn’t originally there:
Such a good time, a real good time
This lyric was added into a 1987 remake of the song, which was released after the immediate success of the original and it’s appearance in the blockbuster smash, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. In my opinion, this extra line is simply Yello expressing how fucking awesome it is to finally infiltrate the American market. The remake reached #51 on the US charts, which is peanuts compared to what they were doing overseas with much more creative songs. I would actually recommend listening to some of their other stuff. Some of it is pretty dece…if you’re into that kind of thing.
Either way, it’s a good time. Such a good time. So beautiful.