Title text: I hear that there are actual lyrics later on in Land of 1,000 Dances, but other than the occasional 'I said,' I've never listened long enough to hear any of them.
The repetition of the syllable "na" is often used to sing a tune without using any of the actual words. While this is normally done to practice or demonstrate a tune, repeated "na"s are also a part of some songs' lyrics, as shown in this comic. Following the various paths of the diagram forms the words of several well-known tunes, with each song branching off after the appropriate number of "na"s.
The top entry refers to the song "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye," originally recorded by Steam. The tune is often sung by the home fans of American sporting events at the end of a victory as a means of taunting the away team.
The right bottom entry refers to the song "Land of a Thousand Dances," originally recorded by Chris Kenner. The title text jokes that the tune's incessant repetition of "na" has annoyed Randall to the point that he does not have the patience to listen to the whole song.
There are likely countless other songs that uses "Na Na Na" as part of the lyrics. Some will be more popular than others. A very popular song that goes: Naaa Naaa Naaa Na Na Na Naaa, Na Na Na Naaaa, Hey Jude was left out. Hey Jude must have been brought to Randall's attention after this comic was released, as he made a comment about it in the comic header the day after this comic was released, see Trivia below.
- [A flowchart with 11 similar boxes on a line connected with arrows. After 8 there is two branches, one up (with three boxes above the rest of the 11 boxes) and one down to one box. After 10 there is one branch down to a larger box with two lines, and after that the last arrow is longer before reaching the last and 11th box. From this box there is an arrow that loops around to the last box again. This arrow is labeled.]
- Na → Na → Na → Na → Na → Na → Na → Na → Na → Na → Na
- Up 8 branch:→ Hey → Hey → Goodbye
- Down 8 branch:→ Batman!
- Down 10 branch:→ Katamari Damacy!
- Loop: Land of 1,000 Dances
- The day after after this comic was published, 2011-01-25, the following message was posted by Randall at the header of xkcd:
- I can't believe I forgot Hey Jude.
- I don't get do-overs, but I couldn't resist making a fixed version.
- This text was only on the front page until the next comic came out 2011-01-26. After that it stayed only as a unique header for this comic.
- At that time the standard header was:
- Protip: m.xkcd.com is a clean, mobile-friendly version of xkcd.com.
- Protip: Scripts can fetch comics and metadata automatically.
- The addition to the diagram refers to the song "Hey Jude," originally recorded by The Beatles.
- In this fixed version an extra Na has been inserted between the last two Na's, making the new Na the 11th, now out of 12. From this new 11th Na, there is another down branch that goes → Hey → Jude.
- Then the last line to the now 12 Na is no longer much longer than the previously, and the loop arrow is now above instead of below to make space for Jude, and also the text has been moved to the end of the chart instead of below the loop.
- The updated comic's URL, "https://xkcd.com/851_make_it_better/" is a reference to part of "Hey Jude"'s lyrics: "Take a sad song / And make it better."
- In the original comic picture "Hey Jude" is still missing, but the original comic has been made into a link to the "make it better" version.
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