First Hit #1: August 3, 1996
Confession time: I did not re-listen to the entirety of the Macarena before writing this. In fact, I made it precisely 49 seconds in before saying “Nope, never need to hear this again, not worth it” and turning it off. In my defense, as someone who was alive in 1996, there was no need to ever, ever hear the song again.
It’s not that the Macarena is bad, though it is bad. It’s a song that’s pretty much one rapid-fire chorus over an unchanging beat that wears out its welcome about 50 seconds into the song. Sure, the Bayside Boys add a female vocal that helpfully translates the lyrics, but that does not really extend the song. It’s a song that is designed for repetition, so people can do the repetitive Macarena dance that came packaged with the song.
But that’s not why I hate the Macarena. No, it’s because I was alive in 1996, and if you were alive in 1996 you would have had the same experience – the damn song was everywhere, played for everything. There were people doing the dance, the song opened millions of events, it was the sound of the summer, the fall, even the winter – Los Del Rio actually tried a cash-in Christmas version – and since it was so repetitive, one would immediately know the song and immediately get sick of it.
After an initial period of curiosity – prompted mostly by being quite young and finding the dance somewhat compelling when observing the young women I had just begun to notice – the Macarena quickly became a song I hated, and pretty soon just the first few notes from the cheap as dirt synthesizers would have me reaching to change the radio dial. Eventually, the world had a similar reaction, and the Macarena was relegated to the same dustbin of history as Orbitz soft drinks and Hypercolor shirts. But for a time, it was the definition of ubiquity, and anyone who lived through the horror of its reign at the top can, in spite of their best efforts to block the memory, still probably recite most of the lyrics.
So no, I never need to hear this again. Nobody else does either, so don’t click the embedded video.