"Macarena" is a song by Los del Río about a woman of the same name. It was originally released in 1993, as a new flamenco rumba pop fusion theme with fully Spanish lyrics, with a significant success in Spain and Mexico. After being remixed by the Bayside Boys and having English lyrics added, it became a worldwide summer hit in 1996. The single spent 14 weeks at number-one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. During its heyday, it was played frequently at professional athletic games, rallies, conventions, and other places. The Macarena remained popular through 1996, but by the end of 1997, its popularity had diminished greatly. The song also broke records at the time by remaining in the Hot 100 chart for 60 weeks (about 15 months).
In VH1's documentary 100 Greatest One Hit Wonders Macarena was ranked as number-one.
On a different VH1 documentary, 40 Awesomely Bad No. 1 Songs, Macarena was also ranked as number-one.
On the Israeli national radio station "Galatz", Macarena was chosen as the worst song of the 1990s.
The song was associated with a distinctive fast dance. The song originally had no dance, until a Venezuelan Flamenco instructor created it for her class to dance to, and it eventually caught on with the rest of the world. The Macarena dance is performed in time with the refrain of the song. To perform the dance,
one places one's arms out, palm down, right arm, then left arm.
Then the dancer turns his arms over so that his palms are up, right, then left.
The dancer puts his hands on his shoulders, first right hand on left shoulder, then left on right.
Then the dancer puts his hands on his head, again right, then left.
The dancer then places his arms on his hips, right hand on left hip, then left on right
places the hands on their respective hips (or pelvis), right then left
and finishes with a pelvic rotation in time with the line "Hey Macarena!"
Then the dancer turns 90 degrees clockwise and repeats the same motions throughout the whole song.
An alternative version of the dance replaces the pelvic rotation with a series of pelvic thrusts, as shown in the video for Los del Rio's recording of the song.
In 1996, Charo produced an instructional video for this complex dance, called Blame it On the Macarena (a twist on Eydie Gormé's 1963 hit song "Blame it on the Bossa Nova").
Inevitable parodies arose, such as a screen saver that circulated around that time, called "Hey Macaroni", with pieces of elbow macaroni doing the dance accompanied by the song, with new lyrics describing the preparation of the pasta for dinner. The screen saver, created by Eric Robichaud of Rhode Island Soft Systems, registered one million downloads within a month of its debut.
The Chipmunks made a parody on the video and did their version of the song.
The world record for largest Macarena dance is held by St. Bede's School, Surrey, England. 1,712 pupils danced the Macarena for 5 minutes on 9 March 2004.
A Chistmas version of the song was created for the 1996 Holiday Season. It involved the original song with short lines from classic Christmas carols in between the popular verses.
Religious conservatives like Mother Angelica and Pat Robertson publicly denounced the words to the song, saying they were sordid and scandalous.