The Library of Congress has agreed that “it's fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A.”
The world’s largest library inducted the Village People’s gay anthem “Y.M.C.A” Wednesday to its National Recording Registry.
The registry honors tracks and albums (at least 10 years old) that are “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.”
“Y.M.C.A,” a song that alludes to gay cruising culture at athletic centers, was penned in 1978 by Village People leader Victor Willis in collaboration with Jacques Morali, a member who died in 1991 of an AIDS-related illness. Morali, who was French, had asked Willis to explain the purpose of a Y, which led to the origin of the track.
The song first appeared on the Village People’s album Cruisin’. Popular in queer clubs, it improbably became a fixture of mainstream events worldwide, along with the popular dance of forming the letters from the chorus with one’s arms.
“I had no idea when we wrote ‘Y.M.C.A.’ 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,” said Willis in a Library of Congress statement.
"'Y.M.C.A.' was written to have universal appeal. Whether you’re gay, straight, Democrat, Republican, it doesn’t matter to me. I tried to write it in an open enough way that anybody could find something in it and relate it to their life,” Willis added to The San Diego Union-Tribune.
The Library of Congress also added another gay anthem to its registry — Whitney Houston’s 1992 track of “I Will Always Love You,” which was originally written and recorded by Dolly Parton. The Wednesday induction also included Cheap Trick’s Live at Budokan (1978) and Dr. Dre’s The Chronic (1992).