Album: Macarena Non Stop (1996)
Charted: 2 1
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  • This was originally released on a local label in Spain in 1993, where it did fairly well. The next year, the American label BMG bought the Spanish label and set out to make "Macarena" a hit in America. They marketed an English language version to dance clubs and cruise ships, then released it as a single in 1995. It was a minor hit until the summer of 1996, when the Macarena dance craze hit America. The song went to #1 in July and stayed there for 14 weeks.
  • Los Del Rio (Antonio Romeo Monge and Rafael Ruiz) are a Spanish flamenco-pop duo. They were inspired to record this on a trip to Venezuela when they spotted a beautiful flamenco dancer named Diana Patricia. When the song became a hit, she became known in Venezuela as "Macarena."
  • This was the first hit for Los Del Rio since 1962 and their only hit in the US.
  • "La Macarena" is one of eight sections (known as "quarters") of Seville, Spain. That's where they got the name.
  • Macarena is a female name which means "Mother of God."
  • The song has been remixed many times. The US single was a remix by a Miami-based production team called The Bayside Boys. As with any good dance song sensation (like "The Twist"), it also spawned spin-offs. Here's a breakdown of the "Macarena"s that charted in America:

    Bayside Boys mix (#45 in 1995)
    Los Del Rio (the re-release, which went to #1 in 1996)
    Los Del Rio [non stop] (#23 in 1996)
    Los Del Mar (#71 in 1996 - "Mar" means "sea" in Spanish, while "Rio" is "river")
    GrooveGrass Boyz (#107 in 1997 )
    "Macarena Christmas" by Los Del Rio (#57 in 1996)
  • This became a hit in Europe and Latin America in 1995 when it was released on a compilation CD called Macarena Club Cutz.
  • The meaning of the song changes depending on what mix you are listening to. In the original version, Macarena is upset because her boyfriend, Vitorino, has joined the army. She retaliates by going out on the town and carousing with other men. In the Bayside Boys mix, Macarena gets mad at her boyfriend and goes out to shake it while he's out of town. In this version, she seems to be more promiscuous. The Bayside Boys also made it a first-person account, with the lyrics being the voice of Macarena.
  • This song stayed in the US Top 100 for 60 weeks, the one-time record for the longest run on the singles chart. In 1998 it was overtaken by LeAnn Rimes' How Do I Live, which spent 69 weeks in total in the Hot 100. The song's 33-week climb (over two separate chart runs) to the #1 position established the record for the longest journey to the Hot 100's summit.
  • Los Del Rio is named after the Virgin of Seville, the "Virgin Del Rocio" (Virgin of the Dew), which is equivalent to the Virgin Mary. The members of the group, who don't speak English, were convinced it was a gift of the "Virgin Del Rocio" when this became an international hit.
  • The chorus translates to English as: "Give your body joy, Macarena, that your body is to give joy and good things."
  • In the US, this was the biggest dance craze of the 1990s. It was played at weddings, office parties, cruise ships, and just about anywhere there was dancing. Like the earlier dance craze, the "Electric Slide," it was easy to learn and was done in a group, making it perfect for Americans who lacked rhythm.
  • The world record for the most people performing one dance at the same time was set by 50,000 people in Yankee stadium while dancing the "Macarena."
  • The Bayside Boys Mix version samples seven seconds in the laughter of Yazoo vocalist Alison Moyet. It was taken from Yazoo's 1982 single "Situation."
  • When the original version hit Miami Beach, local radio station Power 96 was inundated with requests for the Spanish-language tune, but the station excluded songs that weren't recorded in English. DJ Jammin' John Caride managed to sneak an airing at 1:30 am, and the station's program director was hooked. He gave Caride just two days to come up with an English remix, so the DJ brought the track to his friends Carlos De Yarza and Mike Triay (aka The Bayside Boys). The lyrics and melodies were structured in one day. "It's not the same melody," says De Yarza. "A lot of people think the words are a translation, but it's a different song using the Los del Rio chorus."

    Even though the Bayside Boys created a polished mix for BMG, the label went with the quickly mixed Power 96 demo version for the single release.
  • The English lyrics were sung by Carla Vanessa, who went on to join the Miami Sound Machine.
  • Despite becoming an international phenomenon, the song couldn't bring Los del Rio and the Bayside Boys together. "They seemed to have no interest," De Yarza told Billboard of the song's creators. "We wanted to get together with them."
  • In Muppets Most Wanted (2014) Miss Piggy, along with two flamingos, sings this to her "Kermitino."

Comments: 38

  • Rohan from MelbourneWho were the young women in the music video. Its the Music video that got me as well as the tune, the dance of the young women and its diversity sold it. Yet we never hear the names or the backgrounds of the 7 or 8 women who were part of the Music video. Its a shame I can't find anywhere on the internet their names and backgrounds. Where are they now I wonder being part of the biggest hit of the 1990s.
  • Esskayess from Dallas, TxOne version samples a line from The Graduate ('I am not trying to seduce you!') which was later removed due to possible copyright issues.
  • Camille from Toronto, OhA version of this song lives on in elementary schools across the United States. It's called the "Month-a-ray-na" We teach kids how to remember the months of the year by singing them to the music of the chorus. It fits p.e.r.f.e.c.t.l.y and the kids do the dance at the same time. Makes learning fun. C'mon, join me: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December, HEY Month-a-ray-na!
  • Matthew from Milford, MaWait, this song's lyrics actually mean something?!? I always assumed that it was just catchy gibberish! Then again, I have very little fluency in Spanish...
  • Jorge from Bronx, NyIn the 90's i was very much into rock music,everything sucked,,But then Brujeria a heavy metal band from Mexico made a song with the rhytmn of Macarena tittled 'Brujeria',comical lyrics,but sounded better,to me,that is
  • Cristian from Santiago, ChileAnother version was record in1993 by Majo & Co. Was number 1 in CHILE and is much better that the original version.
  • Paolo from Cosseria, ItalyYou know? in 1942 italian TRIO LESCANO recorded the song "Cantiamo in tre"

    this is the chorus!!!
  • Jennifer Harris from Grand Blanc, MiThey always play this at The Disability Network Christmas Party and CMH Dance every Year,there is a Christmas Macarena.
  • Chomper from Franjkin County, PaI remember when they showed the video on t.v. ..I thought the two guys were from the same country Desi Arnez was from ( Cuba ), and that it was a Cuban - Flamenco dance. I tried to get one Mexican woman who was working as a staff where I lived back in the 90s ; but she told me the the Spanish words were a little too dirty to be translated into English. But she did showed me the dance steps to the song, which I thought was a form of sexual move to attract the person of the opposite sex ; plus the lyrics when listen to are too awfully fast to understand.
  • Zal from Rochester, NyOr try Tatiana's version here...
    It's not the original, but you get the idea
  • Zal from Rochester, NyVerrrry interesting.
    Has anyone heard Los Rockin' Devils "Perro Lanudo", which is a Spanish version of Mickey Lee Lane's "Shaggy Dog", which hit the Top Ten in Mexico in '64? It seems as if Los Del Rio did, back then. "Macarena" copies all the moves, inflections and rhythmics of Perro Lanudo/Shaggy Dog, one after the other. But don't take my word for it. I was playing Perro Lanudo in my studio, and an engineer was passing by and said, "Ahhh, the Macarena", and just kept on walking.

    Perro Lanudo was the featured song in Mexico on a daily or weekly TV program, and is still popular on the dancefloors in the UK and the rest of Europe.
    Shaggy Dog also was Top Ten in Austrialia and reached #1 in Oklahoma City...back then.

    Los Del Rio was/were contemporaries of Mickey Lee Lane way back then (in the 60's)
  • Jane from Austin, TxI remember the first time i heard this song was at a club and a friend of mine taught us the dance. I thought the song was called "Margarita" and so the next day when i went to go find the song, the clerk corrected me and said it was "Macarena"
  • N.i. from Baltimore, MdWendy in Shawano, WI: Maybe I shouldn't have mentioned that "It Ain't What You Do" was originally a jazz song. It is primarily known to '80s listeners as a pop song (with a little reggae influence) by Bananarama. That very well could have been what your mother remembered.
  • Eugene from Minneapolis, MnThat laugh at the beginning samples Yaz's US dance/disco smash from 1982 called "Situation".
  • Wendy from Shawano, WiAccording to this, Macarena didn't exist before 1993. But when she heard it in the 90's, my mom said she REMEBERED it (as a teen, I think she said, and she just watched her grandson get married this past Saturday). Are we missing an artist here somewhere? (While it's possible she could be confusing it with "It Ain't What You Do, It's the Way That You Do It," I doubt it, because she never was into jazz/big band. And I can't say because I don't know the song.)
  • Al from Philidelphia, Paby the way, this was voted the most annoying summer song,just so you know.
  • Al from Philidelphia, PaGood God!!!!!!!! this is one of the most irratating excuses for a "song" it has ever been my misfortune to hear!!!!(i will never listen to this song under my own free will)
  • N.i. from Baltimore, MdThe tune to "Macarena" sounds similar to "It Ain't What You Do, It's the Way That You Do It," an old jazz song famously covered by Bananarama and Fun Boy Three in 1982.
  • Bertrand from Paris, FranceToday most people seem to simply think of "Macarena" as being ridiculously overplayed and forever identified as a quirky relic for wedding reception dances. The truth is it was one of the most instantly entertaining and catchy hits of the decade...the first 50 times you heard it.
  • Jeff from Sucpimento, CaLet's face it: it's "cool" to scoff at this song nowadays. It was so popular -- even among dorky-looking, stiff-dancing, middle-aged and senior tourists -- that it's become stylish to disparage The Macarena. But if you strip away the social history and the youthful, counter-cultural imperative to reject anything your parents actually like, what you're left with is one heckuva cool piece of music. Those who are "sick and tired" of The Macarena because it was "played all the time" should try listening to different radio stations and different styles of music occasionally. Back in '96 I hardly EVER heard this song because the stations I listened to rarely played it. If you're tired of it, it's your own dern fault. Fact is, it WAS a cool piece of music and it STILL IS a cool piece of music.
  • Mike from Hueytown , AlThis song was irritating now and then
  • Logan from Bellevue, WaThis song and dance was one of those things, while it was popular to do it at the time, you look back and think "Why was that ever popular?"
  • Darrell from EugeneI wore out almost all of my 8-track tapes in 1996 when "Macarena" was on every station. I had (and still have) a 1983 Isuzu Diesel pickup and a 1978 Dodge Magnum, and I drove the Magnum all the time to escape the Macarena because it had something other than plain AM/FM. I hated that song then, I still do and I am glad that no radio stations where I live play it.
  • Mandie from Port Royal, Pait use to be cool to dance to but now i would feel like an idiot to bust out to this song
  • Brian from New York, Nyyou always see video highlights of bernie williams or wade boggs doing the macarena from that day. crazy.
  • Mark from Lancaster, OhIn 1996 I was teaching a college engineering course in communications technology in which one of our lab exercises involved the use of a radio-frequency spectrum analyzer. By way of showing how the instrument could pick up a single frequency out of many, I hooked it to a wire antenna hung out the window. I was then able to tune into ship communication, aircraft radios, cell phone conversations, and television signals. At one point I gave the frequency selector a random punch and apparently hit the frequency of a local radio station: The Macarena came bursting forth from the speaker of the $50,000.00 device. Everyone roared: you hear that song _everywhere!_ But it is great fun, and dance crazes are a fundamental human activity, easily as important as electronics theory. M Kinsler
  • Mike from Manchester, EnglandI have noticed that the dance which accompanied the song Macarena has been credited to a ?Venezuelan Flamenco instructor (Mia Frye) with having invented the Macarena dance in 1996. She is supposed to created it for her class to dance to. The dance eventually caught on with the rest of the world.
    Can someone then please explain the following. The same steps/moves for this dance were doing the rounds in the 1970?s and usually to ?The Locomotion? (Little Eva). As a DJ during that period (before and after) I saw the dance performed at least once a week. In 1989 I even video?d my own daughter (aged 8 at the time) doing the exact same dance (but this time to Kylie Minogue?s version of ?The Locomotion?). I would like to say that this type of action of ?claiming? someone elses dance is rare.. but sad to say it is not. This has happened a number of times within ?Line Dancing?.
    ?and something else? and there will be at least 400 dancers to back me up.. February 1994, The Metropolis Dance Club, Fremantle, Australia? on comes the music ?Saturday Night? By Whigfield (some 6 months before it?s a hit in the UK)? and they are all doing the same dance.. at the bars.. on the stairs? on the balconies.. and of course ? on the dancefloor?. ALL doing THAT dance (two before it was ?created? by Mia Frye)
    I have been a choreographer of dance (Ballroom/Line/Soul) for nearly 40 years and have choreographed nearly 400 dances including an easily identifiable 'Line' dance going back to 1968 (which may blow the myth about 'The Bus Stop' being the first in 1975). At some point there may come a time when I may see one of my dances being ?claimed? as some elses creation ? whoa betide them if they try..
  • Megan from Washington, DcJeanne - I was in Egypt in October 1996 and was on a felucca in the Nile in Cairo with some fellow American ex-pats I came across. A cruise ship went by playing the Macarena and all the people on the cruise ship were dancing - from the sound of it, they were definitely American too. When was your trip to Egypt? That memory is one of my fondest and my heart started pounding when I read your post. How cool would it be if that was you on the cruise ship?! I registered for this site just to tell you that! :-)
  • Bryce from Kent, WaWhen i was in kindergarten in Ft. Sam Houston an army base right by San Antonio Texas they taught us the song in school to try to teach us north south east west ect. or maybe bacause it was easier than doing work the macarena was everywhere on the base and in san antonio
  • Stacy from Port Townsend, Wai am in a dance class at my high school and i have to do a dance with a group so we chose the macarena ... i found this site and its ok so far... i found out this info. and its pretty good, but i have to rewrite it.... uuuhhhhh!!! its gonna take for ever!

    off to type my paper... oh how i hate to type! yeah!
  • Kristina from Houston, Txoh come on everyone loves this song. i dont care about the words or the meanings or anything but its so much fun to dance to it with friends. it really lightens the mood.
  • Brian from Meriden, CtI think the world record for most people dancing cumulatively in one place for 10 years straight was, ironically, at the same place, Yankee Stadium, every time the Boston squad came to town.
  • Dc from Hilo, HiThe laughing heard in the song is actually sampled from Yaz's "Situation". Lead singer Alison Moyet is the one laughing...
  • Zac from Gastonia, AlThis is truly a travasty to how stupid americans are that a stupid song like this could be at #1 for 14 weeks its sad really
  • Stephanie from Denver, CoThis is reminds me of my teenage days when I would go after other men, mostly older men at dance clubs. This is one of my favorite songs.
  • Jeanne from Mcpherson, KsI had no idea about the history of the Macarena. The first time I encountered it, my husband and I were on a cruise ship on the Nile in Egypt. They played the Macarena, and before long, our whole group of 35 people were doing it non-stop. It was wonderful.
  • Meh from Cheyenne, Wyi remember watching a show about cruise ships, (one of those airport style 'reality' shows), and everytime they had a scene showing the dance floor/nightclub on board ship, they seemed to always, without fail, be dancing the macarena... lol
  • Tiffany from Dover, FlI danced this in numerous parties in the past and I appreciated it!
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