"Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye" is a song written and recorded by Paul Leka, Gary DeCarlo and Dale Frashuer, attributed to a then-fictitious band they named "Steam". It was released under the Mercury subsidiary label Fontana and became a number one pop single on the Billboard Hot 100 in late 1969. The song's chorus remains well-known, and is frequently used as a crowd chant at many sporting events. It has also sometimes been used to say good riddance in general, for example when President George W. Bush left office in 2008 it was played by his critics.
Paul Leka, Gary DeCarlo and Dale Frashuer wrote a primitive version of the song in the early 1960s when they were members of a band from Bridgeport, Connecticut, called The Chateaus. The Chateaus disbanded after several failed recordings. In 1969, DeCarlo recorded several singles at Mercury Records in New York with Paul Leka as producer. The singles impressed the company's executives, who wanted to issue all of them as A-side singles. In need of "inferior" B-side songs, Leka and DeCarlo resurrected an old song from their days as the Chateaus, "Kiss Him Goodbye" with their old bandmate, Dale Frashuer.
With DeCarlo as lead vocalist, the three musicians recorded the song in one recording session. Instead of using a full band, Leka spliced together a drum track from one of DeCarlo's four singles and played keyboards himself. "I said we should put a chorus to it (to make it longer)," Leka told Fred Bronson in The Billboard Book of Number One Hits. "I started writing while I was sitting at the piano going 'na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na'... Everything was 'na na' when you didn't have a lyric." Someone else added "hey hey" (Bronson, 2003). "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye" reached number one in the United States for two weeks, on December 6 and 13 of 1969; it was Billboard's final multi-week #1 hit of the 1960s and also peaked at number twenty on the soul chart. By the beginning of the 21st century, sales of "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye" had exceeded 6.5 million records.
In 1971, vocal doo wop group The Belmonts sang an a cappella cover of the song for their Cigars Acappella Candy album.
The original recording of "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye" has been released in many collections of oldies songs and re-recorded by other groups. In February 1983, UK girl group Bananarama released the song as a single off their album Deep Sea Skiving. This version became a top ten hit in the United Kingdom (#5), but only a minor hit in the US (Billboard #101) later that year. Their music video features a feminist message as the girls undergo boxing training in order to retaliate against a bunch of guys. In a sketch on the early 1980s comedy show, Three of a Kind, Tracey Ullman spoofed Bananarama singing "Na Na Hey Hey" (as well as "Shy Boy"), with the words "We are nanas".
A disco remake of the song was recorded by original vocalist Gary DeCarlo (credited to his stage name Garrett Scott) and released as a 12" single in 1976 on the West End label as "Na Na Kiss Him Goodbye (Disco Version)". Another disco version was released by Pattie Brooks in 1977, as part of a medley that also included "Popcorn" & "Black is Black".
In 1987, Canadian quartet The Nylons released an a cappella version of this song as a single under the shortened title "Kiss Him Goodbye". It became their biggest hit on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number twelve that summer.
Following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, the song was placed on the list of post-9/11 inappropriate titles distributed by Clear Channel.
The song is featured prominently in the 2000 Boaz Yakin film Remember the Titans.
In 2000 the German heavy metal band Axxis recorded a cover of the song on the album Back To The Kingdom.
Thanks to Nancy Faust, organist for the Chicago White Sox, the song had a revival as a stadium taunt to visiting teams. The song was played at Hartford Whalers home games if the team won.
The song has also had significant prominence for use in the WWE. During the Bischoff era of Raw, GM Bischoff announced that star Edge had an arranged street fight with Batista and was not to return to RAW until he had won. Edge and then girlfriend Diva Lita were viciously sent off with this song. Edge would later sing this song again on when Dolph Ziggler was fired by Smackdown GM Theodore Long ("You being fired almost makes me want to sing" he said.) on February 25, 2011, the 600th episode of the show and when Ziggler's significant other, interim GM Vickie Guerrero was also fired the next week. The audience can be heard singing the song before the verdict. Edge first said that he could help her get her job back, "But instead, I think I would rather sing."
By CHARLES McGRATH
Published: March 29, 2011
SOUTHPORT, Conn. — Long thought to have been burned the way the North set fire to the cotton at Tara, the final typescript of the last four chapters of Margaret Mitchell’s “Gone With the Wind” has turned up in the Pequot Library in this Yankee seaport town. If not quite a spoil of war, the manuscript is a relic of some publishing skirmishes, and it will go on exhibit starting on Saturday, before traveling to Atlanta, Mitchell’s hometown, in time for the 75th anniversary of the novel’s publication in June.
The chapters, which contain some of the novel’s most memorable lines — like, “My dear, I don’t give a damn” and “After all, tomorrow is another day” — were given to the Pequot in the early 1950s by George Brett Jr., the president of Macmillan, Mitchell’s publisher, and a longtime benefactor of the library. Some pages from the manuscript were actually displayed at the Pequot twice before — in a 1979 exhibition of Macmillan first editions, also donated by Mr. Brett, and in 1991 for a show honoring “Scarlett,” Alexandra Ripley’s authorized, if not very good, sequel to “Gone With the Wind.”
But Dan Snydacker, executive director of the library, said nobody back then paid the manuscript much attention or recognized its importance.
The pages went back into storage and resurfaced only in response to a query from Ellen F. Brown, who was working with her co-author, John Wiley Jr., on “Margaret Mitchell’s ‘Gone With the Wind’: A Bestseller’s Odyssey From Atlanta to Hollywood,” published in February by Taylor Trade Publishing. Ms. Brown was interested in the Brett collection at the Pequot and curious to know if any of the library’s many foreign editions of “Gone With the Wind,” yet another bequest, had inscriptions from the author to her publisher.
They do, but most, it turns out, are pretty tepid. For at least part of the time, the relationship between Mitchell and Brett was somewhat frosty, and why Brett had the manuscript in the first place remains a mystery.
The manuscript itself is remarkably clean, typed on a Royal portable with just a few handwritten corrections fixing a typo, adding a word or changing a “that” to a “which,” often incorrectly. That it’s in this condition suggests something about Mitchell’s perfectionist nature and something about the unusual way “Gone With the Wind” was written and published.
Mitchell worked on the novel, which was originally to be called either “Tomorrow Is Another Day” or “Tote the Weary Load,” in fits and starts from 1925 to 1935. She wrote on blank newsprint and composed the book out of order, beginning with the last chapter and picking up other sections as her mood suited her. The finished chapters she put in individual manila envelopes, sometimes with grocery lists scrawled on them, and stored in a closet. Very few people saw them or even knew what she was doing.
In April 1935, however, while on a scouting trip to Atlanta, Harold Latham, the editor in chief of Macmillan, somehow pried the pile of envelopes loose from Mitchell and sent them to New York for evaluation. Ms. Brown said the draft at that point was a mess, with some chapters missing and duplicate versions of others, and yet Macmillan reacted enthusiastically and decided, with unusual haste, to bring the novel out the following spring.
From August 1935 to January 1936, Mitchell, with the help of John Marsh, her second husband (and best man at her marriage to the first), and some hired typists and stenographers, essentially rewrote and retyped the entire book, cutting, refining, straightening out inconsistencies and fixing historical inaccuracies. Until fairly late in the process the heroine was called Pansy, and when Mitchell changed the name to Scarlett, thank goodness, she paid 50 cents an hour to have every page mentioning Pansy retyped.
As each chapter was finished, it was sent off to New York, and that typescript, with very few alterations, became the final text of the novel. The manuscript you would really like to see is that jumble of newsprint pages stuffed into envelopes — what Macmillan called “MS of the Old South” — but most of that was destroyed by Mitchell’s husband, following her instructions, after her death in 1949. Mitchell always insisted that books should be judged by their final versions, not their drafts, and had grown weary of people and institutions pestering her for manuscript pages to be kept as souvenirs or put on display.
Marsh also burned, or so it was thought, most of the final typescript. He kept back two chapters, 44 and 47, which, along with some of the earlier material, are now stored in a vault in Atlanta, to be opened only if a question ever arises about the authorship of “Gone With the Wind.”
So what was George Brett doing with the last four chapters? At one point he didn’t even know he had them. That was in 1936, when he wrote to Mitchell asking if he could have a couple of manuscript pages to display at The New York Times Book Fair that year. Mitchell wrote back, irritated, to say that the manuscript had never been returned to her. Abashed, Macmillan found it in a vault and, insuring it for $1,000, sent it all back, or so everyone believed until just recently.
Mr. Snydacker said there were only a few explanations. Either Brett held onto part of the manuscript deliberately, or some of the chapters became separated (one of the pages, dusty and with a rusty paperclip mark, looks as if it had been stored on a windowsill somewhere), or Mitchell asked him to hold onto the chapters for safekeeping.
“It’s easy to give him the benefit of the doubt,” Joan Youngken, the guest curator of the Pequot exhibit, said. “If he kept it improperly, he wouldn’t be passing it along to a public library.”
Ms. Brown said: “I think those chapters must have been a gift. The story has always been that Mitchell and Brett didn’t get along because she felt he didn’t make a good enough deal for the movie rights. And it’s true that he didn’t. There are some angry letters, and there was a period when they weren’t speaking. But I’ve found plenty of evidence that by the end they had a very warm relationship.”
Carefully turning over the pages of the manuscript last week, Mr. Snydacker said: “I think it’s amazing that we have this. I love the book even though it’s inexcusably racist. It wasn’t written in the 1860s but the 1930s, for God’s sake. In some ways it’s pretty sympathetic to the K.K.K. But it’s a great work in spite of that. It’s a very powerful antiwar book, among other things. As a Vietnam vet, that part has always rung true to me, and I think that’s why it was so popular in Europe.”
He added: “No question, ‘Gone With the Wind’ is a part of the fabric of American life, and not just the movie, either. The book still sells something like 250,000 copies a year.”