- Macarena (song)
Name = Macarena
Los del Río
from Album = A mí me gusta
August 14, 1996
Recorded = 1995
Genre = Latin
CD single, 7"
Length = 3:53
Label = RCA
Certification = Gold (RIAA)
Last single = -
This single = "Macarena"
(1995) "Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix)" (1996)
Next single = "Macarena Christmas"
"Macarena" is a Spanish song by
Los del Ríoabout a woman of the same name, or any woman from the "La Macarena" neighborhood of Seville, Spain. It was very successful between 1995 and 1997.
The song became the second longest running #1 and best selling debut single of all time in the US. It was ranked the "#1 Greatest One-Hit Wonder of all Time" by
The song uses a type of clave.
The song ranks at #5 on "Billboard's All Time Top 100." It also ranks at #1 on "Billboard's All Time Latin Songs." [http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/specials/hot100/charts/top100-titles-10.shtml] [http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/specials/hot100/charts/top-latin.shtml]
Origin and history
As a result of their lounge act, Los del Río were invited to tour South America in March, 1992 and, while visiting
Venezuela, they were invited to a private party held by the Venezuelan impresario (of Cuban descent) Gustavo Cisneros. Many prominent Venezuelans were in attendance that night, including former president Carlos Andrés Pérez.
Cisneros had arranged for a local flamenco teacher, Diana Patricia Cubillán Herrera, to do a small performance for the guests, and Los Del Rio were pleasantly surprised by Cubillán's dance skills. Spontaneously, Romero recited the song's chorus-to-be on the spot, as an accolade to Cubillán, but naming her "Ma'dalena" (Magdalena): "Dale a tu cuerpo alegría, Ma'dalena, que tu cuerpo e' pa' darle alegría y cosa' buena'" ("Give your body some joy, Magdalene, 'cause your body is for giving joy and good things too"). In Andalusian culture labeling a woman "Magdalena" is to give her a faint association with
Mary Magdalene's reportedly seedy past, and more accurately describes her as being sassy or sensuous. [http://www.elmundo.es/papel/hemeroteca/1996/08/25/cronica/153124.html Spanish daily El Mundo's interview with Diana Cubillán, 1996]
Romero saw potential in the improvised rhyme and, back at their hotel, the duo came up with the basic structure of the song. Since "Magdalena" was also the title of another song by Mexican-Spanish singer
Emmanuelquite popular at the time, Romero suggested that they use "Macarena" instead which, besides being part of one of his daughters name, is a popular name in Andalusia, given its association with the Virgin of the Macarena, the incarnation of the Virgin Marythat is a patroness of Seville's "barrio La Macarena". The Virgin-Magdalene dichotomy probably explains the rest of the lyrics: a song about a young woman, the girlfriend of a recent recruit to the Spanish Army named Victorino (whose name may be inspired from a kind of bull with long horns, evoking the "cornudo", or male victim of his partner's infidelity, a mental image common in Spanish and Latin American culture), who celebrates his drafting by hooking up with two of his male friends. Macarena has a weakness for males in uniform, spending summers at Marbella, and dreams of shopping at El Corte Inglés("the" major Spanish department store chain), moving to New York Cityand getting a new boyfriend.
The song was originally recorded in 1992, and released in
1993as a rumba. This was the first of six versions of the song that can be associated to Los Del Rio. Another version, a new flamencorumba pop fusion theme with fully Spanish lyrics, attained significant success in Spainand Mexico. It also became popular in Puerto Ricobecause of its use as an unofficial campaign theme song for then-governor Pedro Rosselló, who was seeking reelection under the New Progressive Party of Puerto Rico's ticket. Being the base for many cruise ships, many visitors to the island were constantly exposed to the song during their stay in Puerto Rico. This may explain how the song spread to — and became a smash hit in — cities with sizeable Latino communities in the United States, particularly Miamiand New York City.
After being remixed by the
Bayside Boysand having English lyrics added, it became a worldwide hit in summer 1996. The single spent 14 weeks at number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100singles chart, one of the longest runs atop the Hot 100 chart in history. During its heyday, the song was played frequently at professional athletic games, rallies, conventions, and other places. The "Macarena" remained popular through 1996, but by the end of 1997, its popularity had diminished greatly. The song also broke records at the time by remaining in the Hot 100 chart for 60 weeks. The Bayside Boys remix includes a sample from Yazoo (also known in the United States as Yaz) track "Situation" - the laughter of Yazoo vocalist Alison Moyet.
The song was also covered by
Los del Mar, which was first released in 1995 and then again at the same time as the original in the United Kingdomand Australiain the hope of fooling people into buying their version by mistake. In the UK it missed the top 40 but the Los del Rioversion peaked at number two. However, in Australia, the Los del Marversion peaked at number two whilst the Los del Rioversion was still at number one. In Canada, however, the Los del Mar version was quite popular on MuchMusicand top 40 radio in the spring of 1995, eclipsing the later popularity of the original.
As of 1997, the song had sold 11 million copies. While only having a 25% take in royalties from the song, Romero and Ruiz became immensely wealthy. According to the
BBCNews Service, during the year 2003 alone — a full decade after the song's initial release — Romero and Ruiz made USD $250,000 in royalties. Julio Iglesiasis quoted as congratulating the duo personally: "My success singing in English from Miami is nothing compared to yours; coming out of Dos Hermanas with little international exposure elsewhere and selling these many records in Spanish takes two huge sets of " cojones". [http://www.antonioburgos.com/sevilla/sevillanos/1999/04/se042599.html, Short history of the song, featuring a photo of Los Del Rio and Cubillán] "
VH1's 2002 documentary " 100 Greatest One-hit Wonders", Macarena was ranked as #1. Macarena was also ranked #1 on a different VH1 documentary, "40 Awesomely Bad No. 1 Songs"
There are two different music videos. The most common, a video for the song created in 1996, featuring Los del Rio performing on a white backdrop. Some women are also seen dancing with the band. This version samples a line from "The Graduate" ("I am not trying to seduce you!") which was later removed due to possible copyright issues. The other, similar version of the music video was in black and white and was more instructional in that the women and men are clearly shown performing the specific dance moves.
The song was associated with a distinctive fast dance. The song originally had no dance, and it eventually caught on with the rest of the world. The Macarena dance is performed in time with the refrain of the song. To perform the dance,
*One places his/her arms forward, palm down, left arm, then right arm.
*Then the dancer turns his arms over so that his palms are up, left, then right.
*The dancer puts his hands on his shoulders, first left hand on right shoulder, then right on left.
*Then the dancer puts his hands on the back of his head, again left, then right.
*The dancer then places his arms on his hips, left hand on right hip, then right on left.
*Then the dancer's hands go on their respective hips or rear end, left then right
*The routine finishes with a pelvic rotation in time with the line "Ehhhh Macarena!"
*Then the dancer turns
90 degreescounter clockwise and repeats the same motions throughout the whole song.
An alternative version of the dance replaces the pelvic rotation with a series of pelvic thrusts, as shown in the video for
Los del Rio's recording of the song.
Remixes and parodies
The Chipmunksmade a parody on the video and sang a version of the song.
*During the season in which the
Green Bay Packerswon Super Bowl XXXI, Milwaukee radio morning show Dan Weber & Jane Matenaer from WMYX-FMreleased a parody called the "Packarena," in which the chorus was replaced with names of players on the team.
Christmasversion of the song was created for the 1996 Holiday Season. It involved the original song with short lines from classic Christmas carols in between the popular verses.
Deathgrindband Brujería made a parodic version called "Marijuana"; this appeared in the same named EP album.
The GrooveGrass Boyz, a group known for blending bluegrass and funk, recorded a country musicversion of the "Macarena", with re-written lyrics.cite web |url=http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:jcfyxq9jldse~T1 |title=GrooveGrass biography |accessdate=2008-08-21 |last=Ankeny |first=Jason |work= Allmusic] This rendition peaked at #70 on the Hot Country Songscharts and #7 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100.
*A version of the song, with English lyrics, appears on Black Lace's Greatest Hits.
*In the season one finale of Flight of the Conchords, Todd and Demetri gain huge success off of their song 'Doggy Bounce'. The video for the song parodies the original video of Macarena, with the singers in suits on a white backdrop, and dancing girls.
screen saverfeatures animated elbow macaroni, doing a dance to the song, with its parody verse ending with, "Heeey, macaroni!" It can be found on various download sites, including "PC World". [http://www.pcworld.com/downloads/file/fid,1924-order,1-page,1-c,alldownloads/description.html]
Zoey 101episode "Zoey's Balloon", a parody of the song called the "The Macalana" was featured at the end, while everyone did a dance similar to the Macarena dance.
Cory in the Houseepisode "We Built This Kitty on Rock 'n' Roll", Cory tries to trick Sophie to join his band which Sophie does join but Sophie wants Cory and his band to play her song of Kittens on a cloud and Meena says in Bahavia there is a dance called the "Yakarena" which she did similar moves to the Macarena dance and she says the cat song is more embarrassing than the "Yakarena".
* [http://www.packarena.com Packarena Website]
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