In 1978 the disco scene was still reigning over pop music. Dancing was back in vogue and the result was a plethora of dance songs. Most of these songs and dances did not stand the test of time, but one song somehow caught the attention of crowds and evolved out of the disco scene into an anthem for parties, weddings, and sporting events all over the world.
"Y.M.C.A." was the song written and performed by the Village People, and made it to number 2 on the pop charts in the U.S.
The song which is based on a double meaning lauds the benefits of residing at the Young Man’s Christian Association (YMCA). In the 1970s YMCAs were popular places for homeless men and young men that were members of the gay community. Victor Willis one of the co-authors of the song claims it wasn’t intended to attract solely a gay audience, although the band’s primary audience was, in fact, the gay community. The band's outrageous costumes that included Cowboys, Indians, Bikers and Construction Workers seemed to reinforce the idea that gay men are found in every walk of life.
Regardless, of the social intent, the song spurred a dance that would stay with us long after the disco craze ended. The dance which was introduced by the band on American Bandstand in 1979, is so simple that anyone can follow along. In 2009 the song and the dance were entered into the Guinness Book of World Records when more than 45,000 people simultaneously danced and sang to the song at the 2008 Sun Bowl football game.
It is one of fewer than 40 singles to have sold over 10 million copies worldwide.
Our video shows the band on the streets of New York dancing and singing just outside a YMCA. It is a fun look back at a different time. So come on, get up and dance to today’s song. Y.M.C.A.