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Music

The world’s largest library has given one of its greatest honours The Village People’s YMCA

Josh Milton March 27, 2020
The Village People, the iconic band behind the equally iconic song, "YMCA". (Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

The Village People, the iconic band behind the equally iconic song, "YMCA". (Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

The American Library of Congress just said it’s fun to stay at the YMCA for, well, all of eternity.

The 1978 gay disco anthem by the Village People was added to the National Recording Registry Wednesday.

The registry honours tracks and albums that are more than 10 years old that the institution considers “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant”.

As a result, we at PinkNews are looking forward to when Lana Del Rey’s entire discography is included.

Village People classic added to the Library of Congress a ‘total surprise’ to frontman.

Other recordings announced for induction by the Library of Congress include from Whitney Houston’s 1992 version of the Dolly Parton-penned “I Will Always Love You”, according to the library’s 2020 list of inductions.

In acknowledgement of the coronavirus, the registry labelled the newest recordings the “Ultimate Stay at Home Playlist”.

The audience performs the "YMCA" dance with The Village People. Amanda Edwards/Redferns)
The audience performs the “YMCA” dance with The Village People. Amanda Edwards/Redferns)

With just 25 recordings added each year since 2000, Village People lead singer Victor Willis was euphoric about the band’s mark in the musical history books.

“I had no idea when we wrote ‘YMCA’ that it would become one of the most iconic songs in the world, and a fixture at almost every wedding, birthday party, bar mitzvah and sporting event,” Willis said in a statement issued by the Library of Congress.

Speaking to The San Diego Union-Tribune, Willis recounted how the selection “came completely out of the blue.

“It was a total surprise.”

Victor Willis remembers ‘YMCA’ decades on. 

“YMCA”, from the band’s third album Cruisin, was an instantaneous hit. Topping 17 country’s charts as the song was blasted from home speaker systems, wedding reception parties and a lot of gay clubs.

It even entered the Guinness World Record books when, in 2008, 40,148 attendees at the annual Sun Bowl college football game in El Paso performed the largest public “YMCA” ever.

The song was a collaboration between Willis and Village People co-founder Jacques Morali, who died in 1991. Willis, 68, reflected on the meaning behind the banger.

American Disco vocalist Victor Willis. (Paul Natkin/Getty Images)
American Disco vocalist Victor Willis. (Paul Natkin/Getty Images)

“Jacques had walked by a YMCA in New York City and asked me what YMCA meant, because he was from France,” Willis recalled.

“I explained to him that it was an acronym for Young Men’s Christian Association.

“And I told him that when I was a teenager, growing up in an urban area of San Francisco, my friends and I would go to the Y and play basketball, work out then, take a shower, have something to eat and then come home.

“That was my reference for my lyrics for the song — remembering what the Y was to me as a youngster.”

More: library of congress, The Village People, ymca

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