This article possibly contains original research. (November 2010) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
|Song by Caramell|
|from the album Supergott|
|Released||July 5, 2002|
January 2001 at Playhouse Studios |
(Stockholm, Sweden, U.S.)
|Genre||Dance pop, Eurodance|
|Jorge "Vasco" Vasconcelo and Juha "Millboy" Myllylä|
"Caramelldansen" (Swedish for "The Caramell Dance") is the first track and the final single off of Swedish music group Caramell's second and final album Supergott released on July 5, 2002. It became a popular Internet meme in the late 2000s.
The meme started as a fifteen frame Flash animation loop showing Mai and Mii, characters of the Japanese visual novel Popotan, doing a hip swing dance with their hands over their heads to imitate rabbit ears, and the chorus of a sped up version of the song "Caramelldansen" sung by Malin Sundström and Katia Löfgren from Swedish music group Caramell.
Popotan first appeared as a Japanese PC game on December 12, 2002. After the anime was aired from July 17 to October 2, 2003, short GIF animations clips were created from the opening of the game and posted on the internet. It was not long before parts from the introduction of the PC game were captured too. Caramelldansen is also known as the "Uma uma dance" (?) in Japan.
As the Caramelldansen video gained popularity, it became a meme. Artists and fans started to copy the animation and include other characters performing the dance. Its boom began at the end of 2007 in Japan (known as the "Uma uma Boom") where an explosion of different Caramelldansen iterations appeared in the Japanese video-sharing site Nico Nico Douga. The meme soon after spread to YouTube and became a global phenomenon. By 2008, one critic derided YouTube as a chasm filled with "endless versions of 'Caramelldansen'."
The meme is not limited to the small Flash animation loops. 3D animation shorts have been released performing the dance, and live action videos made by fans. Caramelldansen is known in Japan as "Uma uma dance" (?), because the chorus's lyrics "u-u-ua-ua" were misheard as ? ("u- u- umauma"; "uma" has been interpreted as "yummy", "nice" ( () or "horse" (? uma) in Japanese). The Japanese title is sometimes written with the symbol () added to the end. Also, Japanese listeners have interpreted the lyrics, "Dansa med oss, klappa era händer" ("Dance with us, clap your hands"), as "Barusamiko-su Yappa irahen de" ("(I) don't want any umai, slurred: um?Balsamic vinegar after all" in the Kansai dialect). Thus, the song has a different interpretation in Japan than in Sweden.
In April 2008, Japanese music distributor Quake Inc. gained the rights from the original Caramell producers, Remixed Records, to distribute the sped-up version of the original song in Asia, releasing first an album which included Caramelldansen and other popular meme songs at the time, this follows up an album sung by Toromi, the voice actor who played Mii in Popotan who sang her own version of the song, and follows a single and an album dedicated to the Swedish band. On May 25, 2008, Caramelldansen achieved number one in the international music chart in Japan for two weeks, and on June 2 managed to obtain number sixteen in the Japanese combined chart, beating Bon Jovi with their song "Have a Nice Day" the last one who entered that chart three years ago. One part of the song predicts its worldwide popularity. On May 1, 2008, Remixed Records released the sped-up version of the original Supergott album on Apple's iTunes Store. The album was called "Supergott Speedy Mixes". This was followed by the single "Caramelldansen Speedy Mixes" and on September 16 a single with the English version of the song called "Caramelldancing". A German version of the song, "Caramelltanzen", was released on April 15, 2009. On March 2, 2009, Caramelldansen was awarded single of the year (international section) in the 23rd Japan Gold Disc Award.
After the "U-u-uma uma[Maxi]" single was released in Japan on May 21, 2008, the original concept of the Caramell group was changed. First in Japan, Malin Sundström and Katia Löfgren were replaced by their anime character counterparts, removing the rest of the band members, and later for the original Swedish release, all members were replaced by 3 anime-like girls called "Caramella Girls". The idea of the new Swedish concept came from YouTube, showing more than 16,000 different versions of the original flash animation, including small loops, complete song shorts and live action videos. "We are definitely not disappointed and we were never able to sing the song at this pace," said Katia. "We do not know who developed the dance, but it is simple and is apparently very well liked in Japan," added Malin.
While the group Caramell disbanded in 2002, the group's music started to spread widely across the Internet thanks to the popularity of this Internet meme. Malin Sundström commented on the popularity of the meme: "We felt that it was time to move on; that one of our songs now may be a breakthrough is just a bonus." Caramell's Juha "Millboy" Myllylä, responding to questions from Japanese show Netstar NHK, said that he first learned of the dance on YouTube. When asked if he does the dance himself, he responded, "Yeah, well, the dance is very funny to do, so I used to do it every time, I mean in the shower, and I used to show my family and my friends to make them dance. I like it. It's very funny."
In July 2009, the Taiwanese gaming company Gamania launched an advertising campaign with the "Caramelldansen" song for the Japanese version of its online game Lucent Heart. "Caramelldansen" has also been used in Japanese arcade games. On November 18, 2009, an interactive game version of the dance was released for the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch. On November 23, 2009, the team behind popular comedy site LoadingReadyRun performed the dance made famous by the meme as part of a task in the Desert Bus charity appeal. The team chose to perform the dance to raise money for the charity Child's Play, founded by Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik in 2003. The dance was also streamed by live web cam to those following the Desert Bus appeal through LoadingReadyRun and online gaming magazine The Escapist. In August 2010, the American Disney Channel program Phineas and Ferb used an imitation of the dance in their "Summer Belongs to You" special, during their characters' stop in Tokyo, Japan.
On March 18, 2011, Caramella Girls launched their first single as a virtual group, the song "Boogie Bam Dance" was recorded by Caramell's original vocalists Malin and Katia and its available in 3 different languages (English, Spanish, and German).
On October 2012, the band released the "Caramelldancing Remixes EP", which features remixes of the English version of the Caramelldansen song by Crazy 1, No Trixx, and DJ Triplestar.