Sweden is the third largest exporter of pop music after the USA and the UK. In this series, I will include hits that you may not even know are Swedish and ones that are so Swedish, they almost smell of meatballs and aquavit. Today we look at legendary euro dance country song Cotton Eye Joe. Did you know it was Swedish?
Cotton Eye Joe was released by Swedish euro dance band Rednex, and based on the traditional American song Cotton Eyed Joe. The year was 1996, and the song reached number 1 in 15 countries, scoring gold in the USA, platinum in Sweden and the UK, and double platinum in Norway and Germany.
Although the Rednex released other singles, Cotton Eye Joe was by far their biggest success. Band members Mary Joe, Bobby Sue, Ken Tacky, Billy Ray and Mup were really called the very Swedish Annika Ljungberg, Kent Olander, Arne Arstrand, Jonas Nilsson and Patrik Ardenberg. They dressed as cowboys, chewed on straw, danced on hay bales and took the world by storm.