Iko Iko

Meaning

What does Iko Iko mean?

Iko Iko refers to the chorus of a widely popular song from New Orleans, that produced a veritable plethora of covers.

The song’s most popular phrases, “Iko Iko” and the original title “Jock-A-Mo” are both Amerindian war chants, compiled by the original composer of the song, James “Sugar Boy” Crawford.

 

Origin

What's the origin of Iko Iko?

“Iko Iko” was first featured in a song thanks to James Crawford, who released the song “Jock-A-Mo” with his band in 1953.

Despite a lack of initial success, failing to make it to the charts, the song would later go on to be a defining cornerstone for the careers of many a musician.

Spread & Usage

How did Iko Iko spread?

“Iko Iko” was first popularized in 1965, thanks to the Dixie Cups girl group, who made a cover of “Jock-A-Mo” under the title “Iko Iko”.

In the following decades, numerous cover songs were released, inspired by James Crawford’s “Jock-A-Mo”, including versions of Dr. John and Captain Jack, as well as The Belle Stars.

The most recent success of “Iko Iko” can be linked to Justin Wellington, a Papua New Guinea artist, who first released the cover in 2017, under the title “Iko Iko (My Bestie).

Initially, the song didn’t show signs of any virality, however that took a massive turn, when a TikTok challenge, featuring the song started spreading during the Spring of 2021.

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