Against the backdrop of Russia’s anti-gay laws, someone had the fun idea of asking lyricist and Village People lead singer Victor Willis if the song “YMCA” could be played at the upcoming Olympics in Sochi, Russia as a protest. His reply might come as a surprise to many people.
Speaking to WENN, he said ”If they want to use the song that way, go right ahead, but I think it’s silly because the lyrics were written by me as an expression of urban youths having fun at the YMCA. The words were crafted by me to be taken any number of ways but not specific to gays. It’s much broader than that. The song is universal.”
This might be news to the two other writers of the song, Jacques Morali and Henri Belolo, who detailed the origins of the song in a documentary. Morali, who was gay, put together the group after visiting the clubs of Greenwich Village. The tongue in cheek lyrics were added by Willis on a musical idea by Morali.
It must be said that the idea that “YMCA” is not a gay song is a little undermined by its inclusion on an album called “Cruisin'” and other songs in their repertoire such as “Sodom & Gomorrah”, “My Roommate” and “Macho Man”. It seems odd that Willis is trying to rewrite history in this way when the gayness of the track is such a large part of the song’s appeal.
What do you think?