The Chicken Dance"s secret weapon:

It gets even the klutziest wallflower out on the dance floor, bereason it renders everyone look equally silly. That might be why, in a survey of D.J.s, the "Chicken Dance" charts greater than classics such as "We Are Family" and "Respect."

The tune continued to be in obscurity for years after being created in the late 1950s by a Swiss accordion player called Werner Thomas once he was in his 20s, who at the moment tended a flock of ducks and geese so the tune was initially named "Der Ententanz" (The Duck Dance.) Mr. Thomas started perdeveloping his song at his Davos restaurant approximately 1963 and also gained an prompt reactivity. People spontaneously "started to move with the melody." A leg right here, an arm up tright here and unexpectedly Thomas believed of his animals.

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The dance advanced to encompass a beak, wing and also tail motions. Mr. Thomas inevitably called the song "Tchirp-Tchirp," to mimic the sound of a bird. But it didn"t spread past the rekind town till 1971, once a Belgian music publisher stopped in the restaurant and also took a liking to the song. The publisher added words for the first time-in Dutch, his native language-and also the song conveniently came to be a success in Europe.

Dancing Chicken

Sometime in the late 1970s, the song acquired the name "Vogeltanz" (bird dance) or "Vogerltanz" (Little Bird Dance or Birdie Dance), although these names never before caught on seriously in Germany type of. On some sheet music and recordings it is referred to as "Dance Little Bird." It appears that no one in Germany kind of offers the term "Kükentanz" (Küken suggests chicken).

It migrated to America a couple of years later on, once New York publisher Stanley Mills gained the UNITED STATE publishing civil liberties. Mr. Mills, whose September Music Corp. included himself and an assistant, hawked the song relentlessly, "As soon as I heard someone was doing a dance album or a polka album, as quickly as I also smelled it, I called them up," Mills shelp.

Mills changed the song"s name to "Dance Little Bird" in an effort to make it more commercial. He likewise commissioned English lyrics: "Hey, you"re in the swing/You"re cluckin" prefer a bird (pluck, pluck, pluck, pluck)/You"re flappin" your wings/Don"t you feel absurd."

The words never really captured on, however Mills did line up numerous recordings. Band also leader Jimmy Sturr claims he put the tune on a 1982 album referred to as "Hooked on Polkas!" after Mills badgered him to "record this, it"s going to be a big hit." Sturr still performs it in his live reflects, yet the song fairesulted in dent the pop charts.

Things began to adjust in the late 1980s. The dance began getting here at Oktoberfests and various other occasions. Mr. Mills got his first personal experience of the burgeoning phenomenon once he heard the song played by a band also at his son"s bar mitzvah. Then a record label called to ask around utilizing the "Chicken Dance." Mills had never heard the name supplied for his song before. But a casual survey of bandleaders he kbrand-new revealed that many kind of of them were percreating the tune at weddings and also various other events, always making use of the "Chicken Dance" name.

As it became a staple of the dance-party circuit, the "Chicken Dance" also feathered Mills" nest. BY the late 1990s, he was licensing the tune for use on dance compilation CDs, karaoke collections and TV commercials for Burger King and others. His "Chicken Dance" earnings from television commercials alone surged from a pittance at the begin of the 1990s to approximately $7,000 in 1995, and then to even more than $50,000.

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Typical of the brand-new "Chicken Dance" backers is Ted Kryczko, vice president for product development at Walt Disney Records. He decided to put the tune into a kids" repertoire after he observed kids bouncing happily to it at a Mighty Ducks hockey game. In the Disney variation, Minnie Mousage demonstrates the dance"s finer points, though Mr. Kryczko himself says, "I try not to flap in public."

But several other human being do, though even the song"s performers struggle to define why. People think they"re ridiculous for doing it, but they execute it anymeans, The song"s ubiquity owes partially to its simplicity; It consists of simply a couple of notes that are repeated at an ever-boosting speed.