Suggest a Songfact / Artistfact
Album: Sex & ViolinsReleased: 1994Charted:
In this song, the man "Cotton Eye Joe" is a hot potato who rides from town to town charming and manipulating all the woman, ruining them for the other guys. "If it hadn't been for Cotton Eye Joe, I'd been married a long time ago," the guy says in the first line.
This song originated in America in the 1800s, and is commonly associated with the American South. It became a popular song in country bars, as it was perfect for line-dancing. It's a traditional folk song, and many country artists recorded it.
The 1980 John Travolta movie Urban Cowboy renewed interest in this song. In the film, it was performed by Bayou City Beats, and the line dance was demonstrated.
Rednex is a group of Swedish producers who recorded this as a dance song. They formed the group for the express purpose of releasing this song, the group name being a play on the word "Redneck," which is a term for an old-school southerner in America. When this song became a hit, performers were dispatched to act as the group and the album was released to capitalize on the success of the single.
This has become a staple of minor league baseball games, where it is often played between innings, often with fans or entertainers dancing to it, sometimes on top of the dugouts.
Rednex soldiered on, releasing more material in the hillbilly parody vein and playing up that image with their costumes. In 2002, they released a remix of "Cotton Eye Joe" along with a new video directed by Patric Ullaeus, whose specialty is metal bands. This updated video looks like something between a hoedown and a cage fight.