“Mah Nà Mah Nà” is an unlikely children’s song. It was originally written by Italian composer Piero Umiliani for the 1968 film Sweden: Heaven and Hell. The London Institute of Contemporary Arts described the film as “an Italian shockumentary depicting the strange customs of the natives of Sweden in the ‘60s. It’s an archetypal mondo movie, with scenes of lesbian nightclubs, nasty bikers, teenage sex education, drugs, topless girl-bands and suicide.” The song appears during a scene where a bunch of young girls, wearing only towels, soak in a sauna.
We know some of you might be thinking, “Hold on, Willie and Wynton? Didn’t this album come out a few years ago?” Willie Nelson and Wynton Marsalis understand the possible confusion. They even prefaced this brand new album of Ray Charles cover hits by titling it Here We Go Again (also a track off the album, natch) in an attempt to clarify.
Back in 2007, Willie Nelson and Wynton Marsalis joined up for a two-night live show and created Two Men with the Blues. They found a connection as well as commercial success, so what seemed like a novelty cross-genre one-off became a lasting collaboration. In 2009, Nelson and Marsalis reunited, this time asking Norah Jones to join them at New York’s Lincoln Center. Two years later, the live album Here We Go Again: Celebrating the Genius of Ray Charles delivers the experience to all those who missed out.