Today is Hey Day at Auburn University, a friendly tradition dating to the 1940s… that just so happens to have been immortalized in song by Bjork. That Bjork. Actress and internationally renowned Icelandic queen of experimental pop. True story. At least Auburn grad Mia Dentice thinks it’s true.
Hey, the song is called “Hey.” And the lyrics to the chorus (translated from Icelandic) are “Hey! Hey! I said Hey! Hey! Hey!” And the song was released in Sept. 1989, 11 months after Bjork and her former band, The Sugarcubes, riding the strength of their first international single, “Birthday,” played Auburn along with Living Colour and the Godfathers as part of MTV’s New Music College Tour… the day before Hey Day 1988. Dentice volunteered to help with event production. The Auburn sophomore wound up hanging out and keeping tabs on the impish Icelanders lest they get into mischief the night of the concert, which was being filmed for an MTV special.
The band stayed at the Auburn Hotel and Conference Center. Mia met them there the next morning to escort them to Jordan-Hare Stadium for a photo shoot, footage from which — including a shot of a Sugarcubes graphic displayed of the stadium’s scoreboard — wound up in MTV’s broadcast.
“I went to class and it was Hey Day and I grabbed some name tags from one of the tables and the met them for breakfast at the conference center,” Dentice said. “They wrote their names on the tags and put them on and they were wearing them for those stadium shots. If you look, you can see the little Hey Day name tags.”
But is Dentice just assuming that Hey Day was the inspiration for “Hey”? Is it is just a coincidence?
“No, they told me,” she said. “They gave me their address and I kept up with them for a while.”
Happy Hae Dagur everyone!
More Bjork in Auburn stuff here: