"Pata Pata" is an Afro-pop dance song popularized internationally by South African singer Miriam Makeba. "Pata Pata" is credited to Makeba and Jerry Ragovoy. Her most popular recording of "Pata Pata" was recorded and released in the United States in 1967. The song is considered by many to be Makeba's signature hit and it has since been recorded by many artists.
Artwork for German vinyl single
|Single by Miriam Makeba|
|from the album Pata Pata|
|Format||7" single/12" single|
|Songwriter(s)||Miriam Makeba and Jerry Ragovoy|
A-side label of US vinyl single
The song's title "Pata Pata" means "touch touch" in the Xhosa language, in which the song was originally written and sung. "Pata Pata" was also the name of a style of dance that was popular in the shebeens of Johannesburg's Townships in the mid-1950s. The dancer crouched before his partner and patted her body to the rhythm of the music as he rose up and she spun around, making hip circles. In another version of the dance,
The male dancers stand in a row with their arms extended out to the front, palms to the floor, while the women pat each in turn in a manner resembling security search body-frisking, after which the men do the same to the women.
Makeba's "Pata Pata" was not the only song inspired by the "Pata Pata" dance. Her "Pata Pata" melody was based on an instrumental "Phatha Phatha" by Shumi Ntutu and Isaac Nkosi, which was in turn based on "Noma Kumnyama" by Alson Mkhize. The popular 1956 "Ei Yow Phata Phata" by Dorothy Masuka was distinctly different from Makeba's, but in later years, Masuka made her own recording of the version made popular by Makeba. Masuka claimed that she herself had written it.
Makeba's "Pata Pata" was originally sung, recorded, and released in South Africa by Makeba's girl group The Skylarks in 1959. In 1967, after establishing a successful singing career in the US, Makeba re-recorded the song with Jerry Ragovoy producing, and with an added spoken part in English. It was released in the United States on Makeba's studio album of the same name.
The original version of "Pata Pata" is included on Pata Pata (released 1972), The Best of the Early Years (Miriam Makeba), a collection of 24 tracks released in 2002 by Wrasse, and the 40-track compilation Her Essential Recordings: The Empress of African Song (2006 Manteca).
In 1988, a duet version with Chayanne was made. It was included in the album Chayanne. In 1990 Makeba re-recorded the song for her own album Welela. Makeba also released a renovated version of the song, entitled "Pata Pata 2000", in her 2000 album Homeland.
In 2009, Honda used the song in a television commercial for their 2010 Accord Crosstour.
- 1966: Lynn Taitt (Merritone 7" single released by Federal Records) Rocksteady Instrumental
- 1967: Wilson Simonal (Alegria Alegria Vol.1)
- 1968: Los Rockin Devils (Pata-Pata Psicodelico Días)
- 1968: Señor Soul (Señor Soul Plays Funky Favorites)
- 1968: El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico ("Pata Pata Jala Jala Boogaloo" album)
- 1969: Tito Puente and His Orchestra ("The King Tito Puente / El Rey Tito Puente" album)
- 1980: Osibisa (Mystic Energy album)
- 1980: Sylvie Vartan (French singer of Bulgarian origin: "Tape Tape" single from the album Bienvenue Solitude)
- 1981: Prima Vera (Den 5te album)
- 1985: Otto Waalkes in his Film Debut (Otto – der Film)
- 1986: Monitor (Estonian new wave band: Estonian version was titled "Idee")
- 1988: Chayanne feat. Miriam Makeba (included in Chayanne)
- 1989: Triple & Touch played this song live on tour with Björn Afzelius 1989 at Hovdala slott
- 1997: Daúde
- 1998: Coumba Gawlo
- 1998: El General (Spanglish version)
- 1999: Manu Dibango
- 2000: Thalía (recorded it for her album Arrasando)
- 2001: Yamboo (released with altered Spanish and English verses on their 2006 album Okama de Mapouka)
- 2001: The Skatalites
- 2002: Blue Monster & Bikki
- 2002: Jonathan Butler (recorded a rendition of this song from his album Surrender)
- 2004: D'jaa
- 2004: Helmut Lotti
- 2006: Tony Esposito
- 2007: African Jazz Pioneers
- 2008: Smood
- 2009: Shikisha
- 2010: DJ Happy Vibes, Lira
- 2011: Arielle Dombasle feat. Mokobé (released on her album Diva Latina)
- 2011: African Ladies (cover version for video game Just Dance 3 on Wii, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3)
- 2011: Milk & Sugar feat. Miriam Makeba (made a remix with Makeba),
- 2012: Lorraine Klaasen (A Tribute to Miriam Makeba)
- 2015: Playing for Change
- 2016: Pink Martini
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