Disco hit Y.M.C.A dances into history at US Library of Congress

NEW YORK • The disco hit Y.M.C.A. that became an international dance phenomenon was deemed on Wednesday to be historically important by the de facto national library of the United States.

The US Library of Congress said American disco group Village People's 1978 song, which has inspired partygoers globally to shape out letters on the dance floor, was one of 25 recordings to be added to the National Recording Registry.

Every year, recordings deemed to be culturally, historically or aesthetically significant are added to the registry at the world's largest library and research arm of the US Congress.

"I had no idea when we wrote Y.M.C.A. that it would become one of the most iconic songs in the world, and fixture at almost every wedding, birthday party, bar mitzvah and sporting event," Village People's lead singer Victor Willis, who wrote the lyrics, said in a statement.

The library said in a statement that the song, by a group of men "purposely campy and extravagantly costumed" as a cop, leather-clad biker, cowboy, mechanic, soldier and construction worker, was an "American cultural phenomenon."

"It is as likely to be heard at a Midwestern prom as it is at New York City's annual Gay Pride parade," the library said.

Other recordings named to the registry included music from the 1964 Broadway cast recording of Fiddler On The Roof and late singer Whitney Houston's version of I Will Always Love You.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 27, 2020, with the headline 'Disco hit Y.M.C.A dances into history at US Library of Congress'. Print Edition | Subscribe