Pop Goes the World (song)

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"Pop Goes the World"
Pop Goes the World single.jpg
Single by Men Without Hats
from the album Pop Goes the World
B-side "The End (Of the World)"
Released October 1987
Format 7", 12", CD single
Recorded 1987
Genre Synthpop, new wave
Length 3:43
Label Mercury
Songwriter(s) Ivan Doroschuk
Producer(s) Men Without Hats, Zeus B. Held
Men Without Hats singles chronology
"Nationale 7"
"Pop Goes the World"
"Nationale 7"
"Pop Goes the World"

"Pop Goes the World" is a song recorded by Canadian new wave/synthpop group Men Without Hats. It was released in October 1987 as the lead single from the album of the same name. The song reached number-one in Austria, and number 2 in Canada and Sweden.


The song very generally tells a story of "Johnny" and "Jenny," the two members of a musical group called "The Human Race" (the members' instruments of choice appear to change throughout the song, though Johnny is primarily a guitarist and Jenny is a bassist) on their quest for fame in the industry, though at one point the lyrics note that they come to the realization that they could make "more money on a movie screen."

Music video[edit]

The music video for the song features lead singer Ivan Doroschuk who tells the story of "Johnny and Jenny" played by guitarist Stefan Doroschuk (impersonating Elvis Presley) and an unknown actress (playing a left-handed Höfner 500/1 bass) dancing around a bubble-filled stage along with numerous other characters including a keyboard-playing baby and Bonhomme (the mascot of Quebec City's annual Winter Carnival). The word "Pop!", in writing reminiscent of a comic book appears periodically on screen, often timed with the popping noises that punctuate the song. The video was released on a CD Video in 1988.


Chart (1987) Peak
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[1] 1
Canada (RPM) 2
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[2] 15
South Africa [3] 3
Spain (AFYVE)[4] 11
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[5] 2
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 20
U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Play 27
Preceded by
"Wonderful Life" by Black
Austrian Singles Chart number one single[6]
February 15, 1988 (4 weeks)
Succeeded by
"My Love Is a Tango" by Guillermo Marchena


  • Ivan Doroschuk - vocals, guitar, keyboards, drum programming
  • Stefan Doroschuk - backing vocals, bass

2012 version[edit]

The song was re-recorded during the Love in the Age of War sessions, with Ivan Doroschuk on vocals, James Love on guitar and bass, and Louise Dawson on keyboards and drum programming.[citation needed] The recording was released as a digital single in 2012.[7]

In popular culture[edit]

The song was featured in the 1987 film Date with an Angel, which starred Phoebe Cates, Emmanuelle Béart and Michael E. Knight. The song was also featured very briefly in the 1991 film Scanners II: The New Order.

The main tune of the song has caught up among sports fans cheering for their teams in several countries across the world. In Argentina, for instance, it is arguably the most popular tune sung by football (soccer) fans, no matter what team or division they belong to. In Argentina, it also became very popular since December 2015, as an anthem of former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner's followers; they sing "Oooh, vamos a volver, a volver a volver, vamos a volver" ("Oooh, we will return, we'll return, we'll return, we will return"). It is also used by football fans in Japan (national team, Yokohama F. Marinos and other teams) and by fans of Sport Club Internacional football team in Brazil.[8][9] In Hungary, fans of Diósgyőr, use the song with the neyt lyrics: "Amíg élek én, nem érdekel más, csak a Diósgyőr, csak a Diósgyőr, csak a Diósgyőr!".

Cover versions[edit]

  • In 1997, Canadian band The Nils covered the song on their album Green Fields In Daylight.
  • In 1999, punk rock band Apocalypse Hoboken covered the song on their album Inverse, Reverse, Perverse.
  • In 1999, Barcelona covered the song and it appeared as the fifth track on the single for the song "Robot Trouble."
  • In 2004, DJ Ötzi performed "You Never Walk Alone" which uses the chorus melody of "Pop Goes The World"
  • In 2004, LMP covered the song in their box-set A Century of Song.
  • In 2007, the song was covered by Hyperbubble on the compilation NineteenEightySeven and by Canal Pop on the compilation Southern Waves: Argentinian Tribute To Classic Electropop.
  • In 2011, The Burning Hell covered the song. The cover was released on the Zunior sampler Have Not Been the Same, Vol. 1: Too Cool to Live, Too Smart to Die. On the same band's 2016 album Public Library, bandleader Mathias Kom wrote the original song "Men Without Hats" as a tribute to the band's role in his childhood; the song's first verse describes the experience of going to a record store to buy the album Pop Goes the World, and quotes both the "Johnny played guitar and Jenny played bass" lyric and a piece of the instrumental line from this song.
  • In 2012, Savoir Adore covered the song. The cover was subsequently featured in commercials for Tide Pods.