What does “Iko Iko” mean? no one KNOWS.

It seems incredible that this track that is for this reason recognizable to generations of americans – has actually no critical meaning. If friend Google “Iko Iko” or “Aiko Aiko” or “Jockomo” or “Jock-A-Mo” (All various titles because that the same song) you’ll find countless fascinating write-ups full that transliterations the a language variably explained as indigenous American, or West African, or French Creole. Or every one of the above.

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Everyone walk agree the this track is from brand-new Orleans and also is around Mardi Gras. That traditionally sung by parade krewes, “battling” each-other in celebration with song, dance, and incredible costumes. What’s a krewe, girlfriend ask? Parade krewes room the social institutions that placed on specific parades and/or balls because that a provided season. The oldest krewe in brand-new Orleans dates earlier to 1856, and also there are right now 55 krewes participating in the 2020 Mardi Gras celebrations!

Krewe the Zulu in 2017. Louis Armstrong as soon as reigned as the King of the Zulu Krewe in 1949!

Unlike the mysterious chorus of “Iko Iko,” the verses space in English and contain happy jabs sung ago and forth in between the battling krewes. Maybe the factor it’s usual for this battling teams to come together and sing the chorus in unison is that no one to know what that means!

When Iko Iko beginning in a Mardi Gras parade, anyone joins in. The whole street sings v the call-and-response verses, and also dances, and also drums on anything it is available. That an inclusive party and no one is allowed to was standing still through their mouth closed! This of course translates perfectly to Music course where we constantly want all grown-ups and also kids to it is in singing and dancing and also moving come the music.

The song has actually been recorded so numerous times and with so countless different variations, we thought you can enjoy watching few of the hits with the totality fam! Please sing along and grab your favorite sticks/spoons/plastic sippy cups to jam with!

The Dixie Cups, 1965

Even though they were no the very first to document the track (It was first recorded by sugar Boy and his Cane Cutters in 1953 under the title “Jock-A-Mo”) The Dixie cups popularized the track with their worldwide hit single.

Dr. John, 1995


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John recorded his solitary of the track in 1972, yet this video is native a power in 1995. (I love this particularly groovy/jazzy version, and also check out all the Mardi Gras purple and also green around the stage!)

Grateful Dead, 1989

Grateful Dead first performed the song in 1977, and also it ended up being a consistent feature of your tours in the 80s and 90s. This video clip is from 1989.(Did you know the grateful Dead played this song? I sure didn’t!)