"Macarena" () is a Spanish dance song by Los del Río about a woman of the same name. Appearing on the 1993 album A mí me gusta, it was an international hit and dance craze throughout the second half of the 1990s. The song got the group ranked the "#1 Greatest One-Hit Wonder of All Time" by VH1 in 2002. The song uses a type of clave rhythm. In 2012, it was ranked No. 7 on Billboard's All Time Top 100. It also ranked at No. 1 on Billboard's All Time Latin Songs.

The "Bayside Boys Mix" version's meaning is later revealed to be about a woman who cheats on her boyfriend while he is being drafted into the army.


Macarena's composition features a variant on the clave rhythm. The song is written in the key of A♭ major, moves at a tempo of 103 beats per minute, and follows the repeated chord progression A♭–G♭ throughout.

Origin and history

As a result of their lounge act, Los del Río were invited to tour South America in 1992 and, while visiting Venezuela, they were invited to a private party held by the Venezuelan empresario Gustavo Cisneros. During the celebration, a local flamenco teacher, Diana Patricia Cubillán Herrera, performed a dance for the guests, and Los del Río were pleasantly surprised by Cubillán's dance skills. Spontaneously, Antonio Romero Monge, one half of the Los del Río duo, recited the song's chorus-to-be on the spot, as an accolade to Cubillán: "¡Diana, dale a tu cuerpo alegría y cosas buenas!'" ("Give your body some joy, Diana"). When the authors wrote the song, they changed the name to Macarena, in honor to Antonio's daughter Esperanza Macarena.

English-language remix

In mid-1996, the song became a worldwide hit roughly one year after the Bayside Boys (composed of Mike Triay and Carlos de Yarza) produced a remix of the song that added English lyrics. Jammin Johnny Caride, a radio personality at Power 96 in Miami, first learned of the "Macarena" when clubgoers at a club where he worked as a deejay requested the song. Caride brought the "Macarena" to his supervisors at Power 96 who asked him to create an English-language version of the song.

Caride recruited his two partners at Bayside Records, Mike "In The Night" Triay and Carlos de Yarza, to remix the original song. The new, English-language lyrics were written by Carlos de Yarza. The Bayside Boys, Triay and de Yarza, added a new dance beat with English-language lyrics sung originally by a studio singer, then later during a concert tour by Carla Vanessa. Vanessa accepted a fixed-fee contract for her participation and live performances, and so does not receive any residual performer royalties. The finished version was called "Macarena (Bayside Boys Remix)." The Bayside Boys remix hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in August 1996 and remained at the top of the chart for fourteen weeks.

Critical reception

Dave Fawbert from ShortList commented that "Macarena" is "a song that exists independently of cool, time, criticism – it’s just there."


The reworked "Macarena (Bayside Boys remix)" spent 14 weeks at No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 singles chart becoming one of the longest runs atop the Hot 100 chart in history. behind Old Town Road, Despacito & One Sweet Day. The single spent its final week at No. 1 on its 46th week on the chart, recorded as the latest No. 1 single in Hot 100 history. Billboard ranked it as the No. 1 song for 1996. In the United Kingdom the song was released in June 1996 and peaked at No. 2 on 17 August 1996, kept off the No. 1 spot by the huge popularity of the Spice Girls song "Wannabe." In Australia, it was the number one song for 1996.

"Macarena" remained popular through 1996, but by the end of 1997, its popularity had diminished. The song stayed in the Hot 100 chart for 60 weeks, the longest reign among No. 1 songs, only surpassed fifteen years later by Adele's "Rolling in the Deep". The Bayside Boys remix includes a sample from Yazoo (also known in the United States as Yaz) track "Situation"—the laughter of Yazoo vocalist Alison Moyet. The chorus uses female vocal samples previously used by the Farm in their song "Higher and Higher (Remix)" from their album, Spartacus. The Bayside Boys toured the U.S. and the world, and featured singer Carla Vanessa.

By 1997, the song had sold 11 million copies. While having only a 25% take in royalties from the song, Romero and Ruiz became immensely wealthy. According to the BBC News Service, during the year 2003 alone—a full decade after the song's initial release—Romero and Ruiz made US$250,000 in royalties. Julio Iglesias is quoted as congratulating the duo personally: "My success singing in English from Miami is nothing compared to yours; coming out of Dos Hermanas with little international exposure elsewhere and selling these many records in Spanish takes two huge sets of cojones."

In VH1's 2002 documentary 100 Greatest One-hit Wonders, "Macarena" was ranked as No. 1. "Macarena" was also ranked No. 1 on a different VH1 documentary, 40 Awesomely Bad No. 1 Songs.

On America's Best Dance Crew, it was danced to on the Whack Track Challenge, given to the Ringmasters.

Music video

The music video for the reworked Bayside Boys-remix of "Macarena" was directed by Vincent Calvet. It features ten different women singing and dancing with Los del Río on a white background.

1996 Democratic National Convention

In the United States, the song, and its corresponding Macarena dance, became popular during the same week as the 1996 Democratic National Convention in August that year. C-SPAN filmed Delegates dancing to the song in an afternoon session, which years later became a popular view on YouTube. Vice President Al Gore, having a reputation for stiffness, made a joke about doing the Macarena dance during his speech. He said, "I would like to demonstrate for you the Al Gore version of the Macarena," then remained motionless for a few seconds, and eventually asked, "Would you like to see it again?"


(*) indicates the list is unordered.

Charts and certifications


Weekly charts

Year-end charts

"Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix)"

Weekly charts

Year-end charts

Decade-end charts

All-time charts

Sales and certifications

"Macarena Christmas"

Critical reception

Music & Media wrote about the song: "Just when you thought this was just a version of their worldwide smash with a couple of jingle bells added, this seasonal single erupts into a cheerful medley of Joy To The World, Jingle Bells and Silent Night. For all those who are looking for an uncomplicated Christmas."


Weekly charts

Year-end charts


Los Del Mar version

The song was covered by Los del Mar with vocals by Pedro Castaño.

It was first released in 1995 and then again at the same time as the original in the United Kingdom and Australia. In the UK it only reached No. 43 in the charts, but remained on the charts for almost two months; however, the Los del Rio version peaked at number two. In Australia, the Los del Mar version was more successful than in the United Kingdom, and peaked at No. 2 whilst the Los del Rio version was still at No. 1. In Canada, the Los del Mar version was quite popular on MuchMusic and top 40 radio in 1995.

Music video

A music video was produced for the song. In it, a man (Wil Veloz) sits in his house with his cat, getting ideas for the dance by watching clips of children dancing to the song. Two people comes to his house with a made-up dance to it. Soon, more people come outdoors of his house, performing the Macarena line dance. A girl's body transfers to a CGI replica on a screen, doing the dance. From this point, the video focuses on everyone doing the dance from it while Veloz sings it. At the mark of 2 minutes and 50 seconds, a car comes near the house. Two men come out of it. In Spanish, they say (complete with captions) "Hey! Can everybody dance your Macarena?". Soon, they (and two doubles) join the dance, leading into a fade-out. This removes 20 seconds out of the song.

Track listings

Australian CD single #"Macarena" – 3:49 #"Macarena" – 6:08


Weekly charts

Year-end charts


Tyga version

On 13 November 2019, American rapper Tyga released a remix, rap version of the song, called "Ayy Macarena". J Balvin also sings the hook of the original song at the beginning of this version. This version has a more club-oriented sound.

In addition to this, a music video premiered on Tyga's official YouTube channel on 17 December 2019. Los Del Rio also make a cameo appearance at the beginning of The Mask-inspired music video, performing the original's iconic hook; they also make sporadic appearances throughout the video as well.



Other remixes, covers and parodies

MC Rage parody

MC Rage released the single "Fuck Macarena" in November 1996. It is a hardcore techno parody of Los del Río's "Macarena" and mocks the original version's lyrics, as do the dancers in the music video. MC Rage sings vulgar mocking lyrics as an outburst against the huge success of "Macarena". It peaked at number 7 in the Dutch Top 40 on 27 December 1996, and at number 8 in the Dutch Mega Top 100 on 25 January 1997. The song has a music video featuring gabber ravers dancing hakken.

The GrooveGrass Boyz version

In 1997, The GrooveGrass Boyz recorded a country music version of the "Macarena", with re-written lyrics. This rendition peaked at number 70 on the Hot Country Songs charts and number 7 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100. This version was released on Imprint Records and sold over 80,000 copies.

Physics parody regarding the holographic principle

At the Strings 1998 conference in Santa Barbara about string theory, shortly after the publication of the paper "Anti De Sitter Space And Holography" by Edward Witten, Jeffrey A. Harvey composed a parody song "The Maldecena" about the Holographic principle.