“Y.M.C.A.” By The Village People Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox


The Original Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox

Biggest Influence on My Music – The jukebox. I lived beside jukeboxes all through the fifties. … I never knew who was singing. I never followed things that way. I still don’t. I wasn’t a student of music; I was a student of the restaurant I was in — and the waitresses. The music was a part of it. I knew what number the song was.

– Leonard Cohen (Yakety Yak by Scott Cohen, 1994)

Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox: Over the years, Leonard Cohen has mentioned a number of specific songs he favors. Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox is a Cohencentric feature that began collecting these tunes for the edification and entertainment of viewers on April 4, 2009. All posts in the Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox series can be found at The Original Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox Page.

Leonard Cohen On Disco, The Village People, and “Y.M.C.A.”


Yep, Leonard Cohen is – or at least was in 1979 – pro-disco, pro-Village People, and pro-YMCA.1 The following excerpt is from “An Idol’s Opinions” by Peter P. Hopfinger. Kurier: September 9, 1979 [translated into English]:

Disco is all right. People always want music to dance to. I quite like some of it, for example, the Village People hit ‘YMCA.’

This factoid, of course, immediately led DrHGuy to the thought that the Village People entourage comprising a police officer, an American Indian chief, a cowboy, a biker, a construction worker, and a military man (for the song, “In the Navy,” the police officer appeared as an admiral) might well have been enhanced by the addition of a Canadian singer-songwriter-poet-novelist-Zen monk-icon. From that notion, things began to slide, slide in all directions, finally resulting in the reworked “Best Of Village People” album cover seen above.

Video: Original YMCA Music Video 1978

Credit Due Department: Newspaper article contributed and translated into English by Rike.

Note: Originally posted Oct 27, 2013 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric


  1. Really, who else is going to tell you this stuff? []