|Song by Caramell
from the album Supergott
2:55 (speedycake remix/sped up version)
|Supergott track listing|
|Problems listening to this file? See media help.|
"Caramelldansen" (Swedish for The Caramell Dance) is the first track of the album Supergott released in November 2001 by the Swedish music group Caramell. It is also a popular Internet meme that began in the second half of 2006 in the Internet community 4chan.
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 imitating rabbit ears, and the chorus of the sped up version of the song "Caramelldansen" sung by Malin and Katia from Swedish music group Caramell. The sped up version of the song is now known as "Caramelldansen Speedycake Remix".
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" (ウマウマダンス) in Japan.
As the meme gained popularity, artists and fans started to copy the animation and include other characters performing the dance. The first ones were based only on the GIF animation loop. After Caramelldansen was released, most of the later animations were based on it. The real boom of the meme began at the end of 2007 in Japan (formally known as the "Uma uma Boom") where an explosion of different Caramelldansen versions appeared first in Japanese video-sharing site Nico Nico Douga and later reposted on YouTube by either the original authors or by fans.
Caramelldansen is known in Japan as "Uma uma dance" (ウマウマダンス), because of the song chorus misheard lyrics (soramimi) of "u-u-ua-ua", ウッーウッーウマウマ (u- u- umauma, "uma" is suggested to mean "yummy", "nice" (うまい umai , slurred: うめぇ umē-) or "horse" (馬 uma ) in Japanese). The title sometimes adds (ﾟ∀ﾟ) to the end. Also part of the misheard lyrics "Dansa med oss, klappa era händer" ("Dance with us, clap your hands") make reference to "Barusamiko-su Yappa irahen de" ("(I) don't want any Balsamic vinegar after all" in the Kansai dialect) so the song has a different interpretation in Japanese than the original Swedish lyrics.
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 world-wide 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 in 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.
This release was followed by the change of the original Caramell group concept. In Japan, Malin and Katia were replaced by their anime character counterparts, and for the original Swedish release they are 3 anime like girls called "Caramellagirls". The idea of this 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 Löfgren. "We do not know who developed the dance, but it is simple and is apparently very well-liked in Japan", said Malin Sundström.
While the group Caramell disbanded in 2002, their music started to spread widely across the Internet thanks to the popularity of this Internet meme. Malin Sundström, one of the former singers of the group, commented on the popularity of the meme: "We felt that it was time to move on, that one of our songs now maybe 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 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.