"It was just, let's see how many times we can say 'five dollar foot-long.' Let's mention it as many times as possible without making someone hurt us." --Jerry Cronin and Jamie Mambro of the ad agency MMB
Admit it. There's something about that mindwormy little jingle that attracts. Unlike most of those annoying little sound-squibs, this one seems to retain its freshness. Almost like a new-made Subway.
For me it's always been the harmony over the syllable "longs"--no musical expert, I figured it had to be a minor chord, and I was right:
"The chord structure does imply something dark," [the composer, Jimmy Harned] agreed, getting out his guitar to demonstrate over the phone. "On the word long, [the guitar part] goes down from a C to an A-flat," he said, strumming, "which is kind of a weird place. It's definitely not a poppy, happy place. It's more of a metaly place. But at the same time, the singing stays almost saccharine." (The vocals shift to form an F minor over the guitar's A-flat.)
And for your pleasure there's an extended synth-pop version available. Don't drop your sandwich!
Better than Stephen Harper on YouTube, but that's just me. Get down and boogie, or whatever the cool kids are saying now.