I always smirk at sports crowds as they sing and jump and down while doing all the hand gestures to the 1978 Village People hit "Y.M.C.A." The predominantly straight crowds, kids and all, gyrate and flail this way and that as they loudly enunciate the letters of this overly gay theme. Of course, what pops into my mind as I see the fun being had by the straight fans is the video for the 70s song, full of sweaty men, those tight and very small gym shorts, and the bath house like atmosphere that seems to be portrayed visually and by the lyrics. Straight people are so funny.
I've never been a huge fan of the song, and the Y.M.C.A. organization wasn't either.
“The YMCA that didn’t like [the song], and they were going to sue us,” Felipe Rose, the Native American in the band, told News Limited. “But they realised they didn’t own the copyright to four letters.” – theguardian.com
Then this new version was released by Boy George. And for me, it's like hearing the song for the very first time.
[On] Tuesday, YMCA Australia took the leap, partnering with British singer Boy George to rerecord the song in support of the Why Not? campaign which aims to shine a light on issues that are important to Australian young people: marriage equality, mental health and youth unemployment.
The decision to embrace the song – along with queerness and marriage equality – came from speaking to young people. “It was a challenging conversation for us as leaders – the baby boomers and Gen X,” Crole says. “We have to let go – it wasn’t about what we thought. It was about the young people.” – theguardian.com
Have a listen for yourself.
The first part of the song is very haunting as Boy George seems to be singing to a person just off screen, telling him everything will be all right. It soon turns more uplifting and inspirational. The words, the phrases are like brand new statements of power and promise that were there before, but not sung or heard like this.
For more on the WhyNot? Campaign, head over to theguardian.com.
What do you think of the new version?
More emotional and uplifting than the 78 disco version?