"Hey Sandy" is a song by the American indie rock band Polaris which serves as the theme song for the Nickelodeon television show The Adventures of Pete & Pete. It's well-known by fans of the show and the band alike for its lyrics, which are not only nearly indecipherable in the first place, but also have generated considerable debate as to their meaning.
The full lyrics were a subject of speculation for several years until they were (mostly) revealed to fans by band members. One line, the third one and the most difficult one to understand, was purposefully left a mystery by head songwriter Mark Mulcahy. The song may have referenced the Kent State shootings and Sandra Lee Scheuer (being the eponymous "Sandy" of the song), although the actual meaning of the song is in debate.
On the DVD set, the subtitles render the third line as "Can you settle to shoot me?", but are not claimed to be an official interpretation of the song's lyrics.
On the DVD commentary for season 2 of The Adventures of Pete and Pete, one of the show's creators, Chris Viscardi, mentions the missing lyric and says, "I've actually become very passionate about keeping that line a secret." There has been a lot of speculation about the missing line, and most people guess that it was originally kept a secret because Pete & Pete was a family show.
The full album version of "Hey Sandy" contains an introduction with a man speaking the following words:
- Jupiter, or Thor, is perfect. We need Atlas for our long-distance stuff. The Titan will be even better. They shouldn't have canceled Navaho. Wait 'til you see our submarines with Polaris.
- the intermediate-range Jupiter and Thor IRBM
- the Atlas ICBM, the first successful US intercontinental ballistic missile (for "long-distance stuff")
- the Titan family of ICBMs, successors of Atlas
- the cancelled SM-64 Navaho, an experimental cruise missile developed by the U. S. Air Force
- the UGM-27 Polaris, a submarine-launched ballistic missile
The initial sample is abruptly cut off and followed by another sample of a radio transmission, ostensibly from a military base:
- Attention all personnel, this is CVTS. Base vehicle pre-count operations will start on my mark in 5... 4... 3... 2... 1...
- Ufberg, Max. "Why a Fake Band From a 1990s Kids' Show Decided to Tour This Year" (Wired, October 3, 2014)
- Lloyd, Robert. "Critic's Notebook Polaris rising: Mark Mulcahy's 'Pete and Pete' band comes to town" (Los Angeles Times, April 24, 2015)
- Danton, Eric R. "How Nostalgia for 'The Adventures of Pete & Pete' Revived Miracle Legion" (Pitchfork, July 8, 2016)
- Hey Sandy by Polaris (Songfacts, 2017)