I think it all started when I was 19…
Around that time my friends and I were going out clubbing three to four times a week. 5th Avenue saw us more than our families.
On a certain night, specific details I no longer recall, there was a song which came on.
I instantly recognised Michael Jackson’s voice, and as with any other song danced drunkenly with my friends without really thinking about it.
I didn’t know the words to the song I heard, so with any other new song I just mumbled as I sang. This particular song had a catchy chorus where I would mumble along by saying ‘Nandos!’, ‘I need a Nandos!’ Because that was all I heard MJ shouting back to me.
The topic of my weird lyrics never really came up for the longest time, I would just hear this one Michael Jackson song and sing my own version of it back to myself when it came on in the clubs.
Years later, some friends and I are sat around listening to a random playlist of pop songs. Michael Jackson’s Thriller comes on.
‘Do you like Michael Jackson?’ Someone asks me.
‘He’s okay, I prefer the song where he sounds like he’s shouting ‘Nandos!’ Though.’
‘What song is that?!’
Great question. I’d heard this song rarely, but enough to wager it was a Michael Jackson single. So I Googled for Michael Jackson’s Nandos song. It sounded so blatantly like he was screaming about the cheeky chicken joint that I was certain a result would come up for the actual song name.
But alas, no results. So I went crawling though MJ’s greatest hits. He has so many it’s no wonder I missed this track title on numerous occasions.
I couldn’t find it, but no worries. It was just some song.
The topic of Michael Jackson and Nandos became commonplace at the weekends of work. Because Nina, Thibaut and I love a cheeky Nandos, and we started regularly playing Spotify playlists when work was quiet on a Sunday.
Michael Jackson came up, and Nandos was certainly involved. So I pitched the song to them.
‘Do you know the song Michael Jackson sung about Nandos?’
I’m pretty sure Thibaut’s immediate assumption was that I had a swift drink on lunch on the way to pick up our chicken take out. Nina on the other hand went through a ton of songs with me before asking me an interesting question.
‘Did you imagine this?’
This was around a year ago, and I hardly rock up to clubs like I used to. I hadn’t heard the song in ages. I thought about what Nina said and was certain I didn’t imagine it.
A few months later I brought this up to Steph, and she suggested I may have imagined this too.
So I started to question myself, I mean, it had been a long time, and whenever I heard the song I was drunk in some club, not to mention having been through MJ’s discography with several people at this point trying to find something that loosely represented a chorus of glorious ‘NANDO’s’ screaming.
By 2015 I was fairly happy to admit I had imagined this, or somehow it wasn’t Michael Jackson I had been hearing.
But today it happened. Terry and I were trying out the new ‘Infamous Diner’ which opened last week in town.
A few lines in to the song and my head lifts, I turn to Terry and intensely say ‘This is it!’
‘What?’ He asks.
‘The Nandos song!’
Terry pauses, listens, and to my joy confirms that Michael Jackson did indeed appear to be singing about his love for Nandos to us.
I wasn’t crazy! Well, maybe, let’s face it, I’d been raving about this ridiculous song for years! I don’t even like Nandos all that much!
The next thing we did was frantically attack Siri with Shazam song identification requests, but she couldn’t hear the song loudly enough.
Time was running out! I leant over the bar where we were eating and interrupted the poor bar man.
‘Excuse me, but what song is this?! I have to know!’
The bar man and about four people who heard my desperation called back.
Eureka! I have finally identified the Nandos song after years of sounding ridiculous. I have informed everyone who has ever heard the tale and they have confirmed that it does sound like he is saying ‘I need a Nandos’ and not whatever he has to say about this Diana woman.
Wow this is a long post about a very sad subject. But this has been a fantastic day!
I think it all started when I was 19…