"Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini" — Brian Hyland
Way back in 1960, teen idol Brian Hyland scored a smash hit with "Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini," the ultimate and possibly original bikini song. While bikinis were still considered scandalous at the time, this novelty song's origins were quite innocuous: According to The Billboard Book of Number One Hits, one of the tune's writer's, Paul Vance, was inspired to pen this ode to a shy swimsuit-wearer after watching his 2-year-old daughter, Paula, frolic on the beach. When the president of Kapp Records was hesitant to release the single, thinking it was too racy for the times, Vance explained that the perfectly innocent song was about a toddler, and the label's president agreed to release it...and on August 8, 1960, it hit number one. (Side note: The guy introducing the performance below is none other than Dick Clark, but this isn't "American Bandstand," it's the "Saturday Night Beech-Nut Show," which was also hosted by Dick.)
"I'm in Miami Trick" – LMFAO
Miami has some of the most famous beaches in the world, which LMFAO celebrated in this 2009 party-rocking anthem. Key lines: "You kinda cute in the polka-dot bikini, girl/This is what I want to do/Take off that polka-dot bikini, girl." They score extra points for referencing the most famous bikini song ever (more on that later), even if they didn't do it purpose. Take note: Bikini songs have come full circle, except these days, "polka-dot bikini" references aren't quite as innocent...
"California Gurls" – Katy Perry
You gotta give it up for Katy Perry. Not only does she reference a song by the greatest surf vocal band — we're talking about the Beach Boys' "California Girls" — with her similarly titled "California Gurls," but she brought Snoop Dogg along for the ride. And when she drops the bikini bomb, she does it with a reference to one of the sexiest TV fashion statements ever. Yup, "it'll melt your popsicle." (Key line: "Daisy Dukes, bikini on top.")
"California Girls" – The Beach Boys
As we mentioned above, the Beach Boys are the greatest surf vocal band ever. They recently regrouped and then broke up again, but their name lives on in some form or another. And "California Girls" is the ultimate bikini song. Dig this clip of them performing said 1965 classic. If it was shot today, Mike Love would be considered a hipster with that cool indie-rock beard and captain's getup. (Key line: "I dig a French bikini on Hawaiian Island girls by a palm tree in the sand.")
"California Girls" – David Lee Roth
Okay, we know. We just had a version of this song. But we thought we'd throw in Diamond Dave's cover, just to show that it was still cool, 20 years later.
"Thong Song" – Sisqo
All right, we might be stretching it a bit. It sure seems as if our man Sisqo is singing about thongs as an undergarment, not a bathing suit, but he sure does have a lot of bikini-clad babes strutting and lying around in his video. In fact, Dr. Dre might rap, "It's nuthin' but a G-string." (Key line: "Let me see that thonnnnnnnng.")
"Bikini Girls With Machine Guns" – The Cramps
Just as the Beach Boys are the greatest surf vocal band ever, the Cramps were the best punk psychobilly combo on earth. We write about them in past-tense because, sadly, singer Lux Interior died in 2009, sending the Cramps to the grave along with him. Before his untimely demise, Lux thought men should bring the sexy, too. Often in concert, his low-slung tight black plastic pants would slip down to reveal his own G-string. (Key lines: "Bikini girls with machine guns/All this stuff will kill ya, it's all loaded with fun."
"La Chica del Bikini Azul" — Luis Miguel
In our effort to be all-inclusive, we dug deep to find this clip. Although I'm known as the gringo in a household that includes some Spanish-speakers, I can translate the title to "The Girl in the Blue Bikini" thanks to my junior high Spanish class. As for the rest of the lyrics, you're on your own, pal. That said, this clip makes me want to go vacation on the Mexican Riviera with a bucket of Coronas.
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