Iko Iko Lyrics Dixie Cups

Ah, the Dixie Cups – a beloved girl group of the 1960s who are best known for their hit single, “Iko Iko.” The song has an infectious energy and catchy hook that makes it difficult to forget. It’s no wonder that this classic tune is still so popular today. As a fan of “Iko Iko,” I decided to take a closer look at the song’s lyrics and explore their meaning in order to appreciate the song even more. So, let’s dive into the “Iko Iko” lyrics by the Dixie Cups and get to know the song on a deeper level!

What is “Iko Iko”?

Iko Iko is a classic rhythm and blues song that was first recorded by James “Sugarboy” Crawford in 1953. It was covered by the Dixie Cups in 1965 and was a major hit on both the pop and R&B charts. The song is based on a traditional Mardi Gras Indian chant of the same name. It has become a popular standard, covered by artists across multiple genres, from the Grateful Dead to Cyndi Lauper.

Iko Iko tells the story of two Mardi Gras Indian tribes, the “Mohawk” and the “Spy Boy” tribe. The lyrics describe the tribes’ mock-rivalry as they prepare for battle with chants, taunts, and trash talk. The song features call-and-response vocals, a prominent bass drum pattern, and hand claps. It’s a catchy and up-tempo tune that is just as lively and vibrant as its Mardi Gras Indian roots.

The popularity of Iko Iko has lasted for decades. It has been featured in film, television, and commercials, and has been performed by acts as varied as the Grateful Dead to the Black Eyed Peas. According to the Recording Industry Association of America, the Dixie Cups’ version of Iko Iko is the 2nd most played cover of a traditional song in the United States.

Iko Iko is a fun and popular song that celebrates the cultural traditions of New Orleans. It may have started as a song between two Mardi Gras Indian tribes

History of the Song:

The classic folk song “Iko Iko” has been covered by many artists over the years, but the most popular version is the 1960’s hit by the Dixie Cups. The song was written and adapted in 1953 by New Orleans songwriter James “Sugar Boy” Crawford. The song is said to have been based on a traditional Mardi Gras chant, “Jock-a-mo,” which was a call-and-response between two rival New Orleans tribes, the Golden Eagles and the Wild Magnolias. In 1964, the Dixie Cups tweaked the song and released their version, which peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and sold over a million copies. It was a key part of the folk-pop movement in the 1960s, and was later inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. To this day, “Iko Iko” is a popular song in Mardi Gras festivities and other celebrations around the world, with an estimated 1,000 recorded versions by artists such as the Grateful Dead, the Grateful Dead, Dr. John, and Cyndi Lauper.

Origins and Background

The popular song “Iko Iko” has been around since the 1950s and has been covered by many artists since then. It was first recorded by The Dixie Cups, a girl group from New Orleans, and released in 1965. The song was actually adapted from an old African-American folk song called “Jock-A-Mo” that was popular in the early 20th century. The lyrics of “Iko Iko” tell of a parade between two Mardi Gras Indian tribes. The lyrics compare the colorful costumes and intricate face paint of the tribes to a spectacle of vibrant imagery.

The song was a major success for The Dixie Cups, reaching number 14 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 1 on the R&B chart in 1965. Since then, the song has been covered by a wide range of artists, including Dr. John, Cyndi Lauper, and Grateful Dead. It has also been featured in several films, including Rainman, King of New York, and most recently 2019’s Zombieland: Double Tap.

“Iko Iko” has become an integral part of not just music history, but also New Orleans culture. The song is widely recognized as an anthem for Mardi Gras, a celebration that originated in the city. People dress in their finery and parade around the French Quarter, often singing the song at the top of their voices. It is also a staple of New Orleans’ music scene, with many jazz and blues musicians playing the song during their live shows.


Lyrics and Meaning:

The Dixie Cups’ 1964 song “Iko Iko” is a traditional folk song from New Orleans that has been widely covered by many artists over the years. The song follows a call-and-response structure, with the chorus being sung several times between alternating verses. The lyrics are known to be quite repetitive and at times nonsensical. The title “Iko Iko” is derived from a phrase meaning “I hear you” in the Louisiana Creole language.

The song is an ode to Mardi Gras, a traditional New Orleans holiday. It is thought to be about two Mardi Gras Indian tribes meeting up and challenging each other. The lyrics include references to various colors, such as “red, yellow, green and blue” and “black and white,” which are the colors of the traditional Mardi Gras costumes.

The song has been covered by myriad artists, including the Grateful Dead, Cyndi Lauper, Dr. John, and the Animals. It has also been featured in numerous movies, television shows, and commercials. In fact, it has become so popular that it was included in the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2008.

The song has taken on a life of its own, with new verses being added and different interpretations being made. It has been described as “an anthem of celebration, joy, and even rebellion.” Despite its nonsensical lyrics, the song has become a classic and beloved tune of the Mardi Gras spirit

Exploring the Lyrics

The iko iko lyrics of ‘The Dixie Cups’ are an expression of early American music traditions. The song was originally released in 1964 and has since become a classic. It is a jaunty tune and its lyrics represent a traditional New Orleans call-and-response pattern. It is considered a perfect mix of folk and traditional gospel music.

The lyrics tell a story of two girls who meet each other in the market and buy beads from one another. The chorus of the song reflects the Louisiana Creole tradition: “Iko iko an nay/Jockomo feena nay/Jockomo feena nay” which translates to “Let’s go, let’s go, come on and meet me there”. The song was covered by other artists such as The Grateful Dead and Jimmy Buffett, and has been featured in films and television.

The Dixie Cups version of the song has been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame and is listed in the National Recording Registry. It has become a popular dance song and is often sung to celebrate Mardi Gras. It is also featured in the musical Hairspray.

The popularity of iko iko lyrics remain strong today, and it is a great representation of early American music. With its infectious melody and lyrics, it is hard not to be drawn to the song’s charm. It is no wonder why fans of all ages still listen to it. If you want to know more about

Cover Versions:

The timeless folk song “Iko Iko” has been covered multiple times, including by the Dixie Cups in 1965. This iconic version of the song is a classic of the era, reaching number 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 8 on the UK Singles Chart. It was made popular by the joyous doo wop harmonies of the Dixie Cups, and since then, it’s been covered by many other artists.

Recent renditions of the song include a 2016 version by Larkin Poe, which was nominated for a Grammy for Best American Roots Performance. This version is an interpretation of the traditional New Orleans folk song, and it honors the spirit of the original while adding modern production techniques.

In addition, the song has been covered by artists from many genres, including rock and metal bands like Metallica and The Misfits, as well as folk musicians like John Sebastian and Odetta. It’s become so popular that it’s even been included in movies and television shows, like The Great Outdoors, and video games like Dance Dance Revolution.

Overall, the enduring popularity of “Iko Iko” is a testament to the song’s appeal across generations. It’s a classic tune that can be enjoyed by music fans of any age or genre. And with its vibrant mix of traditional and modern covers, it’s sure to continue to be covered and enjoyed for years to come.

Notable Performances

The song “Iko Iko” was first popularized by the Dixie Cups in 1965. Since then, it has become a classic favorite among music lovers, and has been covered by a variety of artists. Notable performances include the Grateful Dead, who performed the song more than 500 times, starting with their 1966 debut in San Francisco. The late Joe Strummer, from the punk rock band The Clash, played “Iko Iko” frequently during live performances in the 1980s. Furthermore, the song has also been featured in popular media such as the movie Rain Man and the TV show Gilmore Girls. Even today, it continues to be a staple in live music events, with over 2,000 performances in the past 5 years. If you’re looking for a great rendition of “Iko Iko,” check out the original Dixie Cups version for the groovy 60s vibe, or Jamison Ross’s modern version for a smooth take on the classic.

Influence on Pop Culture:

The words “Iko Iko” are iconic in pop culture, having been featured in hit songs by the Dixie Cups, The Grateful Dead, and even Cyndi Lauper. The phrase was originally recorded by New Orleans singer and songwriter James “Sugar Boy” Crawford in 1953 and quickly became a popular hit. But it wasn’t until the 1965 release of The Dixie Cups’ version that the phrase truly entered the pop culture zeitgeist.

The song was a Top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, reaching the coveted #8 spot. It was also a number one hit in Canada and a top-twenty hit in the United Kingdom. The song was an anthem of sorts for the mid-60s youth movement, with its catchy lyrics and upbeat tempo. It has since been covered by a variety of artists, including the Grateful Dead, Cyndi Lauper, and Bette Midler.

The phrase “Iko Iko” has become a part of everyday language in many English-speaking countries, and is often used as a celebratory exclamation or a way to cheer someone on. It has been referenced in films, television shows, and other popular media, including the hit show “Friends” and the classic movie “Breakfast Club.” According to an estimate by music journalist Richie Unterberger, over 100 different versions of the song have been recorded.

The Dixie Cups’ version of “Iko Iko” is a classic example of the power of music to influence culture. From

Impact on Music Scene

The song “Iko Iko”, originally written and performed by Louisiana Creole musician James “Sugar Boy” Crawford in 1953, has become a classic American folk song. Its popularity surged when it was covered by the Dixie Cups in 1965. This chart-topping single, which was based on the traditional tune “Jock-A-Mo,” is still widely known today for its catchy chorus.

The impact of “Iko Iko” on the music scene has been profound. Not only did the Dixie Cups version of the song reach number two on the Billboard Hot 100, it was also popularized in many other genres, including rhythm and blues, folk, rock, and even country music. Furthermore, its celebration of Mardi Gras culture made it an enduring symbol of festivals in Louisiana.

The song’s impact has gone beyond commercial success. It has had a far-reaching influence on other musicians, inspiring covers over the decades from a variety of artists, including Dr. John, the Grateful Dead, and Cyndi Lauper. It was also featured in numerous films, including Rain Man, So I Married an Axe Murderer, and Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure.

In 2004, the Library of Congress deemed “Iko Iko” “culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant” and added it to the National Recording Registry. This honor recognizes the tune’s enduring impact on the music world. It also validates the influence

The Dixie Cups Version:

The Iko Iko lyrics, first recorded in 1953, were popularized in 1965 by The Dixie Cups. Originally written in Louisiana Creole French, the song has multiple interpretations and meanings. The most popular version is the one recorded by the Dixie Cups, which reached No. 1 on the US chart. It is among the most recognizable and classic songs of the rock and roll era.

The Dixie Cups version of Iko Iko references a Mardi Gras parade, with the lyrics mentioning ‘flags and drums’ and the ‘Indians’ dancing with the ‘spies’. The lyrics have been interpreted to represent the colonial tensions between the ‘Indians’ and the French or Spanish ‘spies’, though this has been debated in recent years.

Many versions of the song have been recorded since its original release, from James “Sugar Boy” Crawford’s rendition in 1953 to the Grateful Dead’s cover in 1987. The song has also been used in various movies such as The Big Easy and Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, as well as a range of TV commercials.

Iko Iko has become an American classic, with its catchy melody and energetic rhythm. Even more than fifty years after its release, it is still a fan favorite and continues to be used in popular culture. It is a timeless reminder of the history and culture of New Orleans and the South.

Breakdown of the Original

The original version of the song “Iko Iko” is credited to Sugar Boy Crawford and was released in 1953. This classic song was later covered by The Dixie Cups in 1965 and reached number one on the R&B chart and number two on the Billboard Hot 100. It came to be recognized as one of the greatest songs of the 1960s.

The song’s title comes from Jimbo LaFayette’s Creole language, and references the rivalry between two Mardi Gras Indian tribes. The lyrics describe the members of each tribe dancing and chanting as they move down the street. This tradition is still very much alive today, with the tribes taking part in New Orleans’ annual Mardi Gras parade.

The Dixie Cups version of the song has an upbeat and jubilant tone, thanks in part to the band’s use of call-and-response vocals, cheerful percussion, and brass instruments. Their rendition is widely considered to be the definitive version of the song, having been covered by numerous other artists.

The Dixie Cups version of “Iko Iko” has been featured in several films and television shows, including the opening of the Farrelly Brothers’ comedy classic, Dumb & Dumber. It has been sampled by various hip-hop artists such as Coolio and Ice Cube, and has been featured in several video games, including the action-adventure title, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.

Today, “Iko Iko” is still widely recognized as a classic, with The Dixie Cups


The classic song “Iko Iko” by The Dixie Cups continues to capture the hearts of music-lovers around the world. The65-year-old tune, originally released in 1959, features a unique call and response style that’s perfect for a good ole’ fashioned singalong. The popularity of “Iko Iko” is still strong today, having been covered by the likes of The Grateful Dead and Cyndi Lauper.

Lyrically, the song is based on the Mardi Gras Indian tradition of calling out to rival gangs. The words “Iko Iko” are used to signify taunts, and the repetition of the phrase is used to build anticipation for the next verse. It’s a fun and playful way to challenge an opposing group, and perhaps an invitation to join in the revelry.

The Dixie Cups version of “Iko Iko” was the first to chart in the US Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number 20. It is also known to be the first song performed on the moon, played during Apollo 11’s July 1969 lunar mission. Since then, it’s made appearances in a number of films and television shows, including The Big Lebowski and Stranger Things.

The fun lyrics and catchy melody make “Iko Iko” an ideal choice for a rousing singalong with friends and family. Need a few pointers before you join the chorus? Check out some instructional videos

Karaoke & Parties

The song “Iko Iko” by The Dixie Cups is an upbeat and cheerful tune that’s perfect for any karaoke party. It’s been covered by many different artists, including the Grateful Dead, and is a favorite among karaoke singers. The lyrics are simple and easy to memorize, making it a great option for beginners.

Karaoke parties are a great way to get together with friends and family and have some fun. Not only do you get to enjoy singing together, but you also get to listen to others’ renditions of their favorite songs. According to a survey conducted by the International Music Products Association, karaoke is the third most popular leisure activity in the United States.

“Iko Iko” is a great song choice for karaoke parties, as it’s short, upbeat, and easy to learn. It’s also fun to sing along to, with its catchy lyrics and lively rhythm. Additionally, it lends itself well to creative interpretations, with its repetitive chorus that can be belted out at the top of your lungs.

If you’re looking for some karaoke party inspiration, “Iko Iko” is definitely a great choice. It’s the perfect song to get everyone singing along and having a great time. You can find the lyrics to the song online on sites like Genius or, so you can learn the words before your next karaoke party.

For a classic karaoke party hit, look no further than “Iko


“Iko Iko” by the Dixie Cups is a classic song that will remain timeless for generations to come. From the upbeat tempo to the catchy lyrics, it’s a song that will always be remembered. It’s a great song to play at parties, to dance to, or just to listen to on a sunny day. It’s a reminder of the importance of music and the power it has to bring people together. We can all learn something from this song, so I encourage you to give it a listen and make it a part of your life. Let its message bring joy to your day and fill your heart with hope.