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YMCA by The Village People

Updated on December 21, 2012

The Village People and YMCA

YMCA was the first big hit for The Village People, and one that has become a classic to be played at parties and karaoke events all over the world ever since.

The YMCA lyrics are easy to learn, and together with the YMCA dance, are guaranteed to get everyone onto the dance floor.

So here are the lyrics, get ready to disco dance everyone, it's party time!

Song Lyrics: Y-M-C-A

Y-M-C-A - The Village People from the album "Cruisin" 1978

Young man, there's no need to feel down.

I said, young man, pick yourself off the ground.

I said, young man, 'cause you're in a new town

There's no need to be unhappy.

Young man, there's a place you can go.

I said, young man, when you're short on your dough.

You can stay there, and I'm sure you will find

Many ways to have a good time.

It's fun to stay at the Y-M-C-A.

It's fun to stay at the Y-M-C-A.

They have everything for you men to enjoy,

You can hang out with all the boys ...

It's fun to stay at the Y-M-C-A.

It's fun to stay at the Y-M-C-A.

You can get yourself cleaned, you can have a good meal,

You can do whatever you feel ...

Young man, are you listening to me?

I said, young man, what do you want to be?

I said, young man, you can make real your dreams.

But you got to know this one thing!

No man does it all by himself.

I said, young man, put your pride on the shelf,

And just go there, to the y.m.c.a.

I'm sure they can help you today.

It's fun to stay at the Y-M-C-A.

It's fun to stay at the Y-M-C-A.

They have everything for you men to enjoy,

You can hang out with all the boys ...

It's fun to stay at the Y-M-C-A.

It's fun to stay at the Y-M-C-A.

You can get yourself cleaned, you can have a good meal,

You can do whatever you feel ...

Young man, I was once in your shoes.

I said, I was down and out with the blues.

I felt no man cared if I were alive.

I felt the whole world was so tight ...

That's when someone came up to me,

And said, young man, take a walk up the street.

There's a place there called the y.m.c.a.

They can start you back on your way.

It's fun to stay at the Y-M-C-A.

It's fun to stay at the Y-M-C-A.

They have everything for you men to enjoy,

You can hang out with all the boys ...

Y-M-C-A ... you'll find it at the Y-M-C-A.

Young man, young man, there's no need to feel down.

Young man, young man, get yourself off the ground.

Y-M-C-A ... you'll find it at the Y-M-C-A.

Young man, young man, there's no need to feel down.

Young man, young man, get yourself off the ground.

Y-M-C-A ... just go to the Y-M-C-A.

Young man, young man, are you listening to me?

Young man, young man, what do you wanna be?

Village People CD's on Amazon

If you like The Village People, why not grab yourself one of their CD's or a Party Song CD and be ready for the next party.


About The Village People

The Village People are a concept disco group formed in the late 1970s. The group is well known for their on-stage costumes as for their catchy tunes and suggestive lyrics. Original members were: police officer (Victor Willis), American Indian chief (Felipe Rose), cowboy (Randy Jones), construction worker (David Hodo), leatherman (Glenn Hughes) and Military man (Alex Briley). For the release of "In the Navy", both Willis and Briley appeared temporarily as sailors. Originally created to target disco's primarily gay fan base by featuring stereotypical gay personas, the band's popularity quickly brought them into mainstream. The group is seen by some music critics as less serious for their camp style, appearance and musical choices.

Village People scored a number of disco and dance hits, including their trademark "Macho Man", "Go West", the classic club medley of "San Francisco (You've Got Me) / In Hollywood (Everybody is a Star)", "In the Navy", "Can't Stop the Music", "Sex Over the Phone" and their biggest hit, "Y.M.C.A.".

Collectively, the Village People have sold 85 million albums and singles. The group also recorded new materials under the name "The Amazing Veepers".

Don't forget to watch the hilarious video clips of people dancing the YMCA (or trying to) and please vote for your favorite, and feel free to add one too.


The group was created by Jacques Morali, who was a French musical composer. He had written a few songs when he heard Victor Willis singing background vocals in a studio. Morali approached Willis and told him, "I had a dream that you sang lead on my album and it went very, very big." Willis agreed to sing on the first album, Village People.

It was a success, so Morali and his business partner, Henri Belolo, (under the collaboration Can't Stop Productions), decided to build a real group around Willis for a stage act to showcase and perform their disco music creations. They took out an ad in a trade magazine band which read: "Macho Types Wanted: Must Have Moustache." The first recruit, Indian Rose, Morali literally bumped into on the streets of Greenwich Village. Rose was a bartender who wore jingle bells on his boots. He was invited along to take part in the sessions for the first album. Alex Briley (who eventually took on the soldierman persona) was a friend of Willis'. The other three, Mark Mussler (construction worker), Dave Forrest (cowboy) and the original leatherman, were quickly replaced, respectively, by Dave Hodo, Randy Jones and Glenn Hughes, who all had more experience as actors/singers/dancers. Leatherman Hughes had first been been spotted as a toll collector at the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel. Early on, one of the group's songwriters, Peter Whitehead, even performed with the group for a brief time.

Despite the French songwriters, the songs lyrics were all in English as Morali and Belolo used American lyricists. On the first album, they brought in songwriting legends Phil Hurtt and the aforementioned Peter Whitehead. For the next three albums (and on other Can't Stop Productions such as Ritchie Family and Patrick Juvet) lead singer Willis was the lyricist.

The band's name references New York City's Greenwich Village neighborhood, at the time known for having a substantial gay population. Morali and Belolo got the inspiration for creating an assembly of American man archetypes based on the gay men of The Village who frequently dressed in various fantasy attire.[citation needed]

While the song "Macho Man" put them on the map, their 1978 anthem "Y.M.C.A." made them one of the most successful disco groups.

In 1979, the United States Navy considered using "In the Navy", another Village People hit, in a recruiting advertising campaign on television and radio. They contacted Belolo, who decided to give the rights for free on the condition that the Navy help them shoot the music video. Less than a month later, Village People arrived at the San Diego Naval base. The Navy provided them with a warship, several aircraft, and hundreds of Navy men. The Navy later canceled the campaign.

Their fame reached its peak in 1979. The Village People were featured on the cover of Rolling Stone, Vol. 289, April 19, 1979.

Willis left the group at the end of 1979, and the group's downfall began.


Ray Simpson, brother of Valerie Simpson (of Ashford & Simpson), stepped into Willis' shoes in time for the group's highly anticipated 1980 feature film Can't Stop the Music, directed by Nancy Walker, written by Allan Carr and Bronte Woodard, music and lyrics by Jacques Morali (although Willis penned the lyrics to "Milkshake" and "Magic Night") and starring Steve Guttenberg, Valerie Perrine, Jean-Claude Billmaer, Bruce Jenner, and the Village People. By the time it was released, however, disco had waned and the movie "won" the Worst Picture and Worst Screenplay prizes at the 1980 Golden Raspberry Awards in March 1981 and was nominated in almost all the other categories. Despite that, the song, "Can't Stop the Music" became a Club Play chart hit and moderate radio hit. The soundtrack also featured the talents of "David London", who under his real name Dennis "Fergie" Frederiksen went on to become the future lead singer of Toto and one of the main contributors to the Village People's next album.

The group was one of the featured guests on a November 22nd, 1980 episode of Love Boat, (7th episode of season 4), entitled "Secretary to the Stars/Julie's Decision/The Horse Lover/Gopher and Isaac Buy a Horse". At the end of 1980 Randy Jones left the group to be replaced by Jeff Olson.

In 1981, with the popularity of disco long gone and New Wave music on the rise, Village People replaced its on-stage costumes with a new look inspired by the New Romantic movement, and released the New Wave album Renaissance; It only attracted minor attention and produced no hits.

Victor Willis returned to the group briefly in late 1981 to help out on the album Fox on the Box which was released in 1982 only in Europe but did have limited release in the U.S. in 1983 under the title In the Street. Miles Jaye had taken over for Ray Simpson as lead singer by 1983 and contributed an extra track to In the Street. Mark Lee replaced Hodo in 1982.

Although their last album containing new material, the 1985 dance/Hi-NRG release Sex Over the Phone, was not a huge commercial success, it fared better in sales and club play than their Renaissance album. The "Sex Over the Phone" music video, due to the rise of video on the Internet, has become a viral video phenomenon. The Sex album featured yet another new lead singer, Ray Stephens. Py Douglas came in to sub for Stephens for some of the group's appearances in 1985.

Some information extracted from Wikipedia

Village People YMCA Live

Village People In The Navy

Village People Items on eBay

There are a whole lot more items about The Village People and YMCA than the CD's and Videos. Take a look on eBay and see what other interesting and rare items you can find.

Please let me know if you liked this lens. It's always good to know what visitors think, so if you have a few moments, a comment from you would be much appreciated.

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The Visitors Book

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    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 

      6 years ago from United States

      In celebration of Friendship Day 2012, I am returning to some of my favorite lenses for fun, sharing and renewed blessings :) Friends Still Make it All Worthwhile!

    • mrsclaus411 profile image


      6 years ago

      I always find myself singing and dancing whenever I hear this song.

    • LisaDH profile image


      7 years ago

      I'm old enough to remember when this song came out, and it's still catchy enough today that my 11-year-old son and his friends know it, too.

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image

      Deb Kingsbury 

      7 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      I certainly know this one! (Sometimes I honestly wish I didn't, because if I hear just one line of it, the song gets stuck in my head.)

    • JoyfulReviewer profile image


      7 years ago

      YMCA used to be one of my favorite songs.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      A true classic.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      YMCA sure was a popular song at one time. I remember hearing on the radio just about every time I turned it on. Well, you know what that can do to a good song. ")

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 

      7 years ago from USA

      The groups success came from their being able to make everyone feel a part of their show. Enjoyable lens.

    • Mistl profile image


      7 years ago

      Once of the best songs to get a party started! :)

    • girlfriendfactory profile image


      7 years ago

      What a fun & nostalgic lens! I totally remember roller skating to this song and now the only time I hear it is at my son's school pep assemblies. I learned a lot from reading your lens though; you put a tremendous amount of effort into it! Well done! Consider this a flyby winging! :) Happy 2012, ~Ren

    • WriterJanis2 profile image


      7 years ago

      Village People Rock!

    • TrentAdamsCA profile image


      7 years ago

      Fun to find this here. I've always enjoyed this song -- great job on the background of the group and the highlights of their career. Thanks for the nostalgia fix.

    • iWriteaLot profile image


      7 years ago

      Such an iconic song and it's one of those tunes that sticks in your head. But I've never heard the words. I had no idea this song was actually promoting the YMCA in such a big way. Very interesting.

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 

      7 years ago

      I can hear LadyMermaid singing along beside me :) Had to fly by and swoop in with a treat blessing for the Village People, the 'original singing optimists' :)

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 

      7 years ago from Canada

      I can hear YMCA ringing in my ears as I type this. The song definitely became a classic quickly.

    • Retro Loco profile image


      7 years ago from USA

      I grew up listening to The Village People and danced and roller-skated to a lot of their songs, too! I saw The Village People perform at a music festival in Atlanta several years ago. I got brave and pushed myself through the crowd all the way to the stage! I couldn't help it, I wanted to see the Indian up close!! Hee-hee!! ;-) I thoroughly enjoyed your lens on The Village People's song lyrics. Great work!

    • phoenix arizona f profile image

      phoenix arizona f 

      8 years ago

      I think it's hilarious to watch people dancing to this song, especially when they are 3 sheets to the wind at a wedding.

    • LisaAuch1 profile image

      Lisa Auch 

      8 years ago from Scotland

      Well guess what I am singing the rest of the night, ooohhh! Yo man!

    • hsschulte profile image


      8 years ago

      My oh my, the village people. That brings back memories of skating rinks and trying to look cool as we motioned the letters with our arms. Well done lens.

    • cinstress profile image


      8 years ago

      The Village People didn't realize what they started..... a song that will forever be played at kid's dances and wedding receptions... ha ha great lens

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Haha great lens, I love The Village People. I'm afraid that both the YMCA song and dance can't ever be forgotten.

    • Richard-H profile image


      8 years ago from Surrey, United Kingdom

      Got to admit that I bought the record, learnt the movements and made a complete fool of myself in public LOL! Blessed :)

    • kougar lm profile image

      kougar lm 

      8 years ago

      I absolutely love this lens. Big Village People fan here! It brings back some fun memories. The only problem...I can't stop singing Y.M.C.A. ;)

    • TeacherSerenia profile image


      8 years ago

      I love the movie - Can't stop the music. I have been looking for info on David London for many years with no luck. No wonder I can't find him. It isn't even his real name,. Thanks for the info on dennis frederikson and Toto. The song New york, new york in the opening credit is a fantastic song, IMO. Thank you.

    • choosehappy profile image


      8 years ago from US

      *Blessed* by a Squid Angel who loves the Village People!!! Any Village People fan would love this page. (Hiya, would you check and make sure your points showed up?---I'm trying to see if there's a bug or not like we're talking about on the forum.Thanks so much!)

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I must really like you a lot! I'm taking the risk of this song going through my mind for a week!

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image


      8 years ago

      I had no idea this old group had such auspicious beginnings

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 

      8 years ago from United States

      A great reminder of some really fun times! We used to really enjoy playing along with this song!

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 

      8 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      I love the YMCA song. Nice bit of history here.

    • CastleRoyLisa profile image


      8 years ago from Rhode Island

      Wow this lens brings back memories, we used to roller skate to this song as kids I swear they would play it 3 or 4 times and we always did the dance fun lens!! lens rolling to my (me and mom 50s and 60 music.)

    • jolou profile image


      9 years ago

      I always really liked the Village People, and YMCA is such a fun song.

    • ZenandChic profile image


      9 years ago

      I was a kid when this song came out and used to do the YMCA arm movements... Too funny!

      Blessed this lens and My claim to fame!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Thanks for joining G Rated Lense Factory!

    • TonyPayne profile imageAUTHOR

      Tony Payne 

      10 years ago from Southampton, UK

      Truth be known it's one of my least favorite songs too, but as a good party song I thought it might be a good choice for a lens.

    • Kiwisoutback profile image


      10 years ago from Massachusetts

      This is one of my all time LEAST favorite songs, but at least the lens looks great!

    • piedromolinero profile image


      10 years ago

      This lens brings back some memories of my teen time.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Can you believe this was a hit song? And people are still singing it today. Great lens!

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image


      10 years ago

      This lens brings back memories

      Thank you,


    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Love this song and we managed to work a few bars in to the panto I have just done. The script referred to the local peasants as "those village people" - too good a pun to pass up. I like the music but knew hardly anything about the group - I know a lot more now! 5 gay (as in happy!!!!), bright stars!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Great lens. This is one of the few dances I can do.

    • Lou165 profile image


      10 years ago from Australia

      You know they still play this song at school disco's, at my DD7's last school disco all the kids were up there doing the actions, the next thing you know the MC told them to get their parents up...............hmmm!

      Lots of great info on the Village People - fantastic

    • aka-rms profile image

      Robin S 

      10 years ago from USA

      So many fond memories attached to this song!

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 

      10 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Wow. I really enjoyed reading about The Village People. I didn't know all of that and have enjoyed their music for years. Great lens.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      I love this song! Looks like you are sprucing up your lens -- love to see info on the different guys who have played the parts in this COOL group -- one of my favs!

    • ZenandChic profile image


      10 years ago

      I was a child in the seventies when this song came out, so I used to do the Y M C A with my hands. Funny.


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