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Hey Macarena

There are certain songs that you hear and never forget or they stay playing in your mind. This is one song that I have heard which sort of keep repeating in my mind long after it has finished playing.

This pop song came along in 1996 and landed right on the American pop charts. The roots of the song were in Florida when it was a simple rumba in Spanish. Then a pair of Miami record producers discovered this song and music and made it into something so much bigger. The song is “Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix)” and it rose all the way to number one on the charts on August 3, 1996.  The photo on top is of Los Del Rio who are also on the video of this song.

The song stayed on the Billboard Hot 100 for 60 weeks and the group that was credited with singing this song was Los Del Rio. These were two Spaniards – Antonio Romero and Rafael Ruiz. This is where the song gets its interesting history. These two performers attended a private party in Caracas, Venezuela and it was there that Romero was inspired to recite a verse to honor a flamenco dancer named Diana Patricia.

In the verse, he addressed her as “Magdalena”  – a reference to Mary Magdalene. When it came time to record the song Los Del Rio changed Magdalena to Macarena. Macarena was the neighborhood in which they lived in Seville, Spain. However the chorus was not changed – “Give joy to your body, Macarena, for your body is for giving joy and good things”.

Their original recording of “Macarena” became a great hit in Latin America but wasn’t as popularly received in North America. Then a DJ – Jammin’ John Caride on Miami’s Power 96-FM radio asked to have this song added to his rotation but station managers informed him that no songs would be played that were only in the Spanish language. In stepped Carols De Yarza and Mike Triav. They wrote and recorded verses in English for the female voice of Macarena. Then they turned this song into a fun dance tune and their version “Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix)” became a big hit.


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