Gay anthem Y.M.C.A. dances into history at leading U.S. library

by Thomson Reuters Foundation
Wednesday, 25 March 2020 17:32 GMT

ARCHIVE PHOTO: Umpires dance to the popular song "YMCA" in Williamsport, August 26, 1998. REUTERS/Mike Segar

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The U.S. Library of Congress deemed Village People's 1978 song to be historical important

NEW YORK, March 25 (Openly) - The disco hit "Y.M.C.A." that became a gay anthem and international dance phenomenon was deemed on Wednesday to be historical important by the de facto national library of the United States.

The U.S. Library of Congress said 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 U.S. 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 Whitney Houston's version of "I Will Always Love You."

(Reporting by Matthew Lavietes; Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst and Belinda Goldsmith. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers the lives of people around the world who struggle to live freely or fairly. Visit http://news.trust.org)

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