About the Song
A ’60s novelty song, “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polkadot Bikini” is considered a bubblegum pop song first performed by then 16-year-old high school sophomore, Brian Hyland. First released in June 1960, the song was penned by American songwriters Paul Vance and Lee Pockriss. It is a two-minute and nineteen-second song produced for Leader/Kapp Records.
Interestingly, with the rise of novelty songs to popularity in the 1960s, Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polkadot Bikini” managed to climb to no.1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Also, it penetrated the music chart in New Zealand where it peaked at no. 1. On the other hand, the song clinched no.8 on the U.K. Singles Chart.
Behind the Song
“Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polkadot Bikini” talks about a shy, timid girl who is wearing a yellow polka dot bikini at the beach. Later, Paul Vance, one of the songwriters, revealed that he wrote the song because he was inspired by his two-year-old daughter at the beach in her new bikini.
Actually, the story was mentioned in three verses of the song:
1. The young lady is too afraid to leave the locker where she has changed into her bikini
2. She has made it to the beach but sits on the sand wrapped in a blanket; and
3. She has finally gone into the ocean, but is too afraid to come out, and stays immersed in the water – despite the fact that she’s “turning blue” – to hide herself from view.
In an interview, Brian Hyland talks about the song and the songwriters:
“Paul Vance and Lee Pockriss had shown this song to a lot of singers but no one wanted to do it. Kapp (the owner of Brian’s record label) thought it was right for me and got really excited about it. It was a number one in America which meant that I could stop riding on the subway and buy some Martin guitars.”
During that time, before the song hit the radios, wearing bikini bathing suits were still considered as indecent and improper to be worn in a public area. However, Hyland’s song opened a lot of eyes and minds. All of a sudden, bikini sales boomed in the market. Thanks to “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polkadot Bikini” that paved the way for the acceptance of wearing a bikini in the society.
WATCH: Brian Hyland performs his 1960 bubblegum pop novelty song “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini.”
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Brian Hyland, Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini