So, it turns out that the Macarena is actually a terrible song

In an effort to check a few things off of my to-do list, I’m finally writing a post to highlight how awful the very popular song (at robotics events, anyway) “The Macarena” really is.

As some folks here already know, I’m fluent in both English and Spanish, which makes listening to the lyrics even more painful. I’m going to avoid posting the direct translation of the lyrics here since they’d promptly get flagged as “inappropriate” by the mods. However, I’ll leave the links below for folks to follow and read.

Side-by-side English / Spanish lyrics

iHeartRadio article on “The Macarena” lyrics titled: " It Turns Out The ‘Macarena’ Has Some Very Dirty Lyrics"

I know that our supply of silly dance songs is dwindling, but can we please get rid of this terrible song?

P.S. Last time I checked, Elle King - Ex’s & Oh’s wasn’t banned at events either. I highly recommend taking a look at those lyrics, too. The first line in the song makes quite the statement, considering the young audience at FRC events.


I still recall walking into an event and hearing Bruno Mars’ Heaven. I was singing along in my head (never out load… that would ruin my image as a curmudgeon), when I started to wonder “Wait, is he saying what I think he’s saying?” I haven’t heard that song since.

Personally I’m on the fence on some songs since the writer is referring to themselves and the topics are fairly banal in our current society (FIRST rules aside). But I agree, the Macarena is pretty much an objectification song. [Putting on curmudgeon hat] And I think its annoying.


this is just a song, the words didnt matter before and they will not matter in the future, its just a way for people to bond together, we give songs the meaning they have.


That’s one way of describing what happens in the song


I agree that the lyrics are dirty, but I kinda don’t care? I don’t know why people keep trying to convince themselves that high schoolers don’t already listen to this kind of music and talk using “adult” language. Take a walk through any HS campus and listen to what teenagers say, the macarena will be innocent by comparison.

Now if you wanna ban it for just being a bad song, I wholeheartedly agree.


Like Baby Shark…

Oh no, it’s in my head now.



The “mehs” have it. Meeting adjourned.


And it’s not just this. Almost all music with lyrics, other than music written for children, is (to some degree) inappropriate.

Obviously looking at the lyrics to this song, it’s not great, but there are also way worse songs that are played routinely at these types of events. At some point, someone needs to draw a line of what stays in and what comes out. I think profanity squarely falls to one side of the line, but if we start looking at the messages of songs, there are very few that I would consider completely “clean.”

Many moons ago, in my summer camp days, the rule of thumb was “don’t play songs that most parents wouldn’t let their kids listen to.” This was a good rule, as different age groups understand things differently, have different exposure, etc. It’s also a good rule because you always have a few extreme parents on both ends – people who care far too much/are overbearing and strict and people who care far too little/are way too lax. The key is finding the middle ground that covers the 80% in the middle.

This is quite the statement, imo. The song seems really meh, to me. Is this the exact message I want to be sending to students? No. Would I prefer if there weren’t references to sex and drugs sprinkled in? Yes. Is it just a song with an unfortunately catchy melody that most people aren’t reading into? Also yes.

To my previous point, if we ban songs like this from events, there will be very, very few songs left to play. Now I’m all for events in silence, or set to classical music at a low volume, but I don’t think that’s the vibe HQ is going for.

Tl;dr, I’m on team “meh” with @Andrew_L and @Zook.


we won the war against Cotton Eye Joe; if it means we have to deal with the Macarena, then eh. it’s certainly cringe though esp if you know what it means and that the song peaked in popularity 25 years ago. I wouldn’t be sad to see it gone but it’s not the battle I’m gonna personally pick


For a little clarification, I’m not on team meh, necessarily. But was just saying that this is the attitude that will ultimately win the day.

For some context, I think I’ll share my favorite FRC/Music memory. It was the 2011 (or 2012) Los Angeles Regional. My first couple of years in FRC. After making everyone wait outside for what seemed like hours on day one of competition, they finally opened ALL the doors. Everyone flooded into the Long Beach Arena entrance, walking around the bleachers, past the field to get to the pits, and were welcomed by the booming of the opening of Thunderstruck by AC/DC. I still get goosebumps remembering that moment, and the feeling that “this is amazing.”

Of course, the song is ultimately about having a great time with eager-to-please women (it is AC/DC after all). I do think there are songs with musical quality that transcends whatever the lyrics are about. Maybe Thunderstruck is one of those songs. Macarena? Nah.


Relatively tame given some of the stuff the kids listen to, far enough so that it’s below my threshold for what I’d spend energy worrying about. Maybe I’m the frog being boiled.


My kids are too focused on not messing up the order of the hand movements in the line dance to listen carefully to the adultery in the lyrics.




They still play Bohemian Rhapsody, right? Talk about lyrics …


So it’s time to merge this thread with the caffeinated drinks thread?


We did a custom Playlist for KCMT two weeks ago, and it was fun playing Vivaldi followed by Biggie Smalls followed by Coltrane. Also people has the same complaint about Strauss Waltzes (too sexy) in their day as we have about Macarena now, so whatever I guess.


Honestly it sounds like some of these mentors are the parents from the movie Footloose SHM


Juan’s original point is not wrong, and can be extended: the FRC playlist suffers from the same types and combinations of ignorance, prudishness, and cultural biases as the rest of our society. Personally I wish that “sexiness” was not the barometer by which we determine how appropriate a song is for high schoolers.


Really there’s only one song that is appropriate for high school students at a robotics competition: