- 21 Jan 21
Trump played the song following the delivery of his final speech in Maryland ahead of Joe Biden's inauguration in Washington D.C.
The former US president played the 1978 disco number at a number of his public appearances and rallies over the past four years, despite the group repeatedly requesting him to stop. The outfit previously declared that they were "fine" with the authoritarian leader utilising their music at his speech rallies, despite most other musicians objecting to their catalogue being used. In 2019 Trump said that the Village People “like the job I’m doing."
there they go pic.twitter.com/F8u14NBs3n
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 20, 2021
Speaking to TMZ, the Village People explained that they asked Trump “to cease and desist long ago” from using ‘Y.M.C.A.’ at his public appearances.
“However, since he’s a bully, our request was ignored,” the group added. “Thankfully he’s now out of office, so it would seem his abusive use of our music has finally ended.
“We hope to spearhead a change in copyright law that will give artists and publishers more control over who can and cannot use our music in the public space. Currently there is no limit to blanket licensing.”
After Joe Biden’s win over Trump in November’s US presidential election, crowds of Democratic Party supporters gathered outside The White House to play ‘Y.M.C.A.’ from speakers to mock the disgraced former president.
The song is originally taken from an album called Cruisin’, and has become an iconic track for the LGBTQ+ community since the late 1970s. Since the Trump Administration has repeatedly stripped the rights of this group, the irony of the former president's choice of send-off song has always been odd.
He barred transgender people from openly serving in the military, rolled back protections for trans students, flat-funded HIV/AIDS work globally, and pushed for exemptions that would allow health care providers to refuse care to transgender people and those with HIV/AIDS. Trump also barred US embassies from flying pride flags, typically done in June to mark global Pride Month.
“‘Y.M.C.A.’ certainly has a gay origin,” said David Hodo in a 2008 interview with Spin magazine.
“That’s what Jacques Morali was thinking when he wrote it, because our first album was possibly the gayest album ever. I mean, look at us. We were a mostly gay group. So was the song written to celebrate gay men at the YMCA? Yes. Absolutely. And gay people love it.”
The Village People were assembled as a band representing a mélange of gay fantasies from that time: the Native American, construction worker, leather man, cop, cowboy, and naval officer. 'Y.M.C.A' co-writer and producer Jacques Morali viewed as an ideal amalgamation of American masculinity (hello “Macho Man”).