SNL’s Ode to Tracking Number (the lyrics), and more on this American (parody) classic

Ode to a Tracking Number, by Ton and Tanya Peeples. I can’t get that song out of my head, perhaps because more often than I care to, I have to read off tracking numbers to UPS or FedEx.

Kristen Wiig and Paul Rudd singin' 'bout a tracking number!
Kristen Wiig and Paul Rudd singin' 'bout a tracking number!

It’s a parody, inspired by the classic Ode to Billie Joe’s story-telling ways, and is performed by actor Paul Rudd (Ton) and Kristen Wiig (Tanya, or is it Tonya?) on Saturday Night Live (see there, kids, that show doesn’t totally suck all the time!):

Here it is at videogum (since I can’t embed video, it appears, from non-youtube sites….and hulu doesn’t have it)

July 2010 – just realized the video has been pulled, probably some time ago. Sorry. If you know where it’s at online, let me know.

AND HERE ARE THE LYRICS (transcribed by me, who has too much time on his hands today  – I think I got it right but let me know if I missed a number or got the customer names wrong! I’m not sure why I put the quotes in.)

Ode to Tracking Number

It was morning just like any other morning in the Georgia hill   (wiig)

She heard a knocking at her door and up her spine she felt a tingly chill  (rudd)

And she stumbled to the door and said “hey who’s that on the other side?” (wiig)

“I gotta package here for Lester Carl and Eleanor Alisha Pride.” (rudd)

She said listen here those people that you’re talking about they live next door. (wiig)

And he said “Wait a second isn’t this 5407 Johnson Road?”  (rudd)

She said “Yes it is but this here is a duplex and they live in back.” (wiig)

Then he said “Let me call my manager so I can get this package tracked.” (rudd)

Then he said “Lady can I use your phone my cell ain’t got no signal that’s clear.”  (wiig)

And she said “Sure enough but careful there’s a lot of broken glass over here.”  (rudd)

And he tip-toed to the kitchen and he called his manager Jerome. (wiig)

He started reading off the tracking number right into her M & M phone. (rudd)

He said  “31256935673452”  (wiig)

Then he continued “TKX45201267Q.”   (rudd)

Then he looked at her real weird and said “the rest is covered by tape.”  (wiig)

And then he lifted up the tape and read “J712438.”  (rudd)

“57143577GLD5Q”  (wiig)

Then it continues with “BR476913AP2”  (rudd)

Which was followed by an “asterisk then PPDL dash Q dash.”  (wiig)

and then “a lower case ‘u’ hyphen 55732….”.  (rudd)


And, in enjoying this song, I revisited the inspiration for this song, Ode to Billie Joe, and the performances by the singer/songwriter Bobbie Gentry. Here are two videos that show how great she is:

Niki Hoeky:

Ode To Billie Joe:

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