Y.M.C.A.

Album: Cruisin' (1978)
Charted: 1 2
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  • Lyrics
  • young man, there's no need to feel down.
    I said, young man, pick yourself off the ground.
    I said, young man, 'cause you're in a new town
    there's no need to be unhappy.

    young man, there's a place you can go.
    I said, young man, when you're short on your dough.
    you can stay there, and I'm sure you will find
    many ways to have a good time.

    it's fun to stay at the y-m-c-a.
    it's fun to stay at the y-m-c-a.

    they have everything for you men to enjoy,
    you can hang out with all the boys ...

    it's fun to stay at the y-m-c-a.
    it's fun to stay at the y-m-c-a.

    you can get yourself cleaned, you can have a good meal,
    you can do whatever you feel ...

    young man, are you listening to me?
    I said, young man, what do you want to be?
    I said, young man, you can make real your dreams.
    but you got to know this one thing

    no man does it all by himself.
    I said, young man, put your pride on the shelf,
    and just go there, to the y.m.c.a.
    I'm sure they can help you today.

    it's fun to stay at the y-m-c-a.
    it's fun to stay at the y-m-c-a.

    they have everything for you men to enjoy,
    you can hang out with all the boys ...

    it's fun to stay at the y-m-c-a.
    it's fun to stay at the y-m-c-a.

    you can get yourself cleaned, you can have a good meal,
    you can do whatever you feel ...

    young man, I was once in your shoes.
    I said, I was down and out with the blues.
    I felt no man cared if I were alive.
    I felt the whole world was so jived...

    that's when someone came up to me,
    and said, young man, take a walk up the street.
    there's a place there called the y.m.c.a.
    they can start you back on your way.

    it's fun to stay at the y-m-c-a.
    it's fun to stay at the y-m-c-a.

    they have everything for you men to enjoy,
    you can hang out with all the boys ...

    y-m-c-a ... you'll find it at the y-m-c-a.

    young man, young man, there's no need to feel down.
    young man, young man, get yourself off the ground.

    y-m-c-a ... you'll find it at the y-m-c-a.

    young man, young man, there's no need to feel down.
    young man, young man, get yourself off the ground.

    y-m-c-a ... just go to the y-m-c-a.

    young man, young man, are you listening to me?

    young man, young man, what do you wanna be?
    Writer/s: Jacques Morali, Henri Belolo, Victor Willis
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind
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Comments: 25

  • Chris from SomewhereActually, the Village People themselves did not even know about the dance until their appearance on American Bandstand that Barry from Sauquoit mentioned just earlier, until Dick Clark showed them the audience doing it, which caught their interest. In fact if you watch the original video (scroll up, will ya?) you'll notice they aren't doing the dance.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn June 6th 1844, the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) was founded by Sir George Williams in London, England.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn January 6th 1979, the Village People performed "Y.M.C.A." on the ABC-TV program 'American Bandstand'...
    Three months earlier on October 15th it entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; and on January 28th, 1979 it peaked at #2 (for 3 weeks) and spent exactly a half-year on the Top 100 (26 weeks)...
    "Le Freak" by Chic (for 1 week) and "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy" by Rod Stewart (for 2 weeks) kept it out of the top spot...
    Though it only reached #2 in the U.S.A. it did peak at #1 in Australia, Canada, and the U.K.
    Was track one on the group's debut album, Cruisin'.
  • Amber from Halifax, NsThis song is fun and i could dance to it for hours.
  • Dave from Liverpool, United KingdomThe best version of this is done by the Ground Staff at Yankee Stadium. At the bottom of the 5th inning, they come on and rake the diamond to this tune, and include their own choreography as well.

    Seeing is believing..........
  • Jeff from Austin, TxThis song was actually written about a special, secret branch of the YMCA. A branch where it is ok for men to hold each other tenderly, and listen to Bette Midler 8-tracks together.
  • Jeff from Austin, TxAlex Briley was the sailor. He was also sometimes wearing other military style outfits. He was known as "the G.I.". He was definitely wearing the hell outta that sailor suit when they did "In the Navy".
  • Rain from Clinton, Mdgay, straight, whatever, this was a catchy, silly and fun song!
  • Liquid Len from Ottawa, CanadaDisco died in 1980! Funkytown was known as "Disco's Last Hurrah". Gawd. I feel old.
  • Mike from New York, NyThe New York Yankees ground crew does a routine to this song while raking the dirt infield during games.
  • Joe from New York, NyI read an odd fact about this song. It was supposedly written with a specific branch of the YMCA in mind - the McBurney Branch, that until recently used to be on W23rd Street in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan. Right across the street from the the famous Chelsea Hotel and near a big gay district. (Also, my source said that Merrill met Lynch in the swimming pool here early in the 20th Century. Lastly, the steamroom scene in the Godfather was filmed there.)
    Hey! Didn't anybody mentioned that this song is played every day in Yankee Stadium when the field crew comes out to rake the infield mid-game?
  • Musicmama from New York, NyTo Iara, Jay and akb4: All of the stereotypes represented by members of The Village People were appropriated by the gay subculture, particularly in New York, during the '70's: Native Americans and construction workers because they are symbols of buff hyper-masculinity (and, when the weather gets warm, construction workers don't wear much), and bikers and cops because they often chased and beat gay men. The appropriation of bikers and cops is ironic, obviously, in much the same way as homosexuals using the term "queer" or calling each other "faggot." (You might also compare this to African-Americans using the "N" word in reference to each other.)




    As for the song, it is actually one of the best disco songs. To some that may not be saying much, and I'll admit to having participated in a couple of "Death to Disco" fests in my youth. But it does have an anthemic quality to it, so I can see how it became--and continues to be--iconic among gay men. Furthermore, it's what the Swedes call a kulturbarer--culturebearer--in that it represents a mood and mode of the time. No song like it could or would have been made after AIDS became widespread and killed so many of the Village People's contemporaries.




    By the way, has anyone ever noticed that disco "died" around 1982 or 1983--right about the time AIDS left the gay male subculture and spread to the wider homosexual community?
  • Andrew from Birmingham, United StatesI like this song for its disco beat and its abbreviation "Young Men's Christian Association". The gay part of it was never intended for that association. I'm not so sure that this song is about homosexuality. To me the gay part is people's commentary or made-up crap. I don't think that homosexuality has ever had anything to do with Y.M.C.A. But if it did, it sounds like something typical of the group "Queen" to sing about.
  • Matthew from Milford, MaThis song is playable on Elite Beat Agents for the Nintendo DS. Let's hunt for sunken treasure!
  • Steve from Fenton, MoOne of the better disco era songs.
  • Keith from San Francisco, CaThe "policeman" was Victor Willis and he was married to a then unknown actress who we all know now as Phylicia Rashad (yes, the Cosby mom)
  • Xavier from Noisy Le Sec, FranceThe song's chart record is incomplete: the song reached number one in UK and several other European countries including mine.
  • Annabelle from Eugene, OrDidn't one of the members of The Village People have on a Navy Suit, like the suit of a Sailor?
  • Jon from Oakridge, Or "People too old to have liked it when it came out, or people who weren't born yet, will not hear it the same way"-akb4, orange, NJ. I was in 5-8 grade when that crap came out and I was NEVER a fan of it. Here's a better way to put it: Anyone who had half a brain and/or good parenting hated that pop sh*t.
  • Pete from Nowra, AustraliaIara, that was the ice cream man
  • Akb4 from Orange, Nj
    As described above, the band was essentially engineered; designed and recruited by a producer to become successful and make money. Menudo, New Kids on the Block, N'Sync, and Backstreet Boys all also originated this way. Pop music from engineered groups is largely disposable; if you listen to it thirty years later, it's not because you like the chord changes, it's because it reminds you of some aspect of being alive when it was new. People too old to have liked it when it came out, or people who weren't born yet, will not hear it the same way.

    Marlon Brando popularized the biker look as an iconic tough guy image in the 1950s movie "The Wild One". The sadomasochistic subculture of gay male culture in the 1970s, particularly in new york city, adopted it both ironically and because it fitted the role playing and posturing that s&m frequently involves. You can see classic images of both sides of this in the movie "After Hours".
  • Greg from Victoria, Canadagay, straight, whatever....bad song...worse band.
  • Jay from Glen Burnie, MdIara, the other man's outfit was supposed to be a member of a biker (motorcylce) gang, and was dressed all in leathers (i.e. jacket, boots, chaps). The leathers, incidently, are not to "look tough" or any of the other stereotypical connotations that have developed over the years.
    They simply provide a measure of protection for a motorcyclist if he/she crashes on the road.
  • Jen from Ontario, CanadaThis song was on the movie waynes world 2 which is a secual to waynes world staring mike myers and dana carvey. It is the FUNNIEST movie ever!!!
  • Iara from Santiago, ChileHahaha,this guys were really fun.They looked pretty ridiculous dancing with their outfits.One was an american indian,other one was a street worker,another one was a policeman,but i can't figure out which suit had the 4th one.
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