Iko Iko
Cyndi Lauper Lyrics


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My grand-ma and your grand-ma were sit-tin' by the fire.
My grand-ma told your grand-ma: "I'm gon-na set your flag on fire."

Talk-in' 'bout, Hey now ! Hey now ! I-ko, I-ko, un-day
Jock-a-mo fee-no ai na-né, jock-a-mo fee na-né

Look at my king all dressed in red I-ko, I-ko, un-day.
I bet-cha five dol-lars he'll kill you dead, jock-a-mo fee na-né

Talk-in' 'bout, Hey now ! Hey now ! I-ko, I-ko, un-day
Jock-a-mo fee-no ai na-né, jock-a-mo fee na-né

My flag boy and your flag boy were
Sit-tin' by the fire. - My flag boy told
Your flag boy: "I'm gon-na set your flag on fire."

Talk-in' 'bout, Hey now ! Hey now ! I-KO, I-KO, un-day
Jock-a-mo fee-no ai na-né, jock-a-mo fee na-né

See that guy all dressed in green? I-KO, I-KO, un-day.
He's not a man, he's a lov-in' ma-chine
Jock-a mo fee na-né





Talk-in' 'bout, hey now! Hey now! I-ko, I-ko, un-day
Jock-a-mo fee-no ai na-né, jock-a-mo fee na-né

Overall Meaning

The lyrics of Cyndi Lauper’s “Iko Iko” depict a friendly rivalry between grandmothers and flag boys, all while celebrating the joyous spirit of Mardi Gras. The first verse describes two grandmothers sitting by a fire, with the singer’s grandmother boasting that she will "set your flag on fire," which might refer to a ceremonial flag used in Mardi Gras parades. The chorus of “Hey now! Hey now! I-ko, I-ko, un-day” is a traditional chant with its origins in African-American Creole. “Jock-a-mo fee-no ai na-né, jock-a-mo fee na-né” is a Creole phrase that is believed to be a tribute to the Mardi Gras Indian Chiefs. The second verse sees the singer pointing out a man dressed in red and challenges anyone to bet five dollars that he will “kill you dead,” which is likely another reference to the Mardi Gras tradition of mock threatening behavior. The third verse mentions the flag boys sitting next to the fire and one flag boy threatens to set the other’s flag on fire.


The fourth verse describes a man dressed in green who is described as “not a man, but a loving machine”, which most likely refers to a man who is very attractive to women. The chorus repeats itself again, and the phrase “jock-a-mo fee na-né” is repeated several times. The phrase is believed to be a combination of various Mardi Gras Indian chants and is meant to be a playful, upbeat chorus meant for dancing and having fun. Overall, the lyrics of “Iko Iko” represent the festive, lighthearted spirit of New Orleans during Mardi Gras.


Line by Line Meaning

My grand-ma and your grand-ma were sit-tin' by the fire.
The story starts with two grandmothers sitting by a fire.


My grand-ma told your grand-ma: "I'm gon-na set your flag on fire."
One grandmother threatened to set the other's flag on fire.


Talk-in' 'bout, Hey now ! Hey now ! I-ko, I-ko, un-day
The chorus is a conversation between the singers calling out to each other.


Jock-a-mo fee-no ai na-né, jock-a-mo fee na-né
A nonsense phrase that is meant to sound like Mardi Gras Indian chants.


Look at my king all dressed in red I-ko, I-ko, un-day.
The singer points out a king dressed in red.


I bet-cha five dol-lars he'll kill you dead, jock-a-mo fee na-né
The king is considered to be deadly.


My flag boy and your flag boy were Sit-tin' by the fire.
Two people who carry flags were also present at the fire.


My flag boy told Your flag boy: "I'm gon-na set your flag on fire."
One flag bearer threatened to set fire to the other's flag.


See that guy all dressed in green? I-KO, I-KO, un-day.
Another person is pointed out, this time dressed in green.


He's not a man, he's a lov-in' ma-chine Jock-a mo fee na-né
This person is referred to as a love machine.




Lyrics © BMG Rights Management, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., Warner Chappell Music, Inc.
Written by: Barbara Anne Hawkins, Joan Marie Johnson, Rosa Lee Hawkins

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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Comments from YouTube:

@platovaya

I love her voice, always have, since I was a kid. She is just so special!!!

@AnnaLVajda

She's so unusual.

@chrisB_OG

YES

@iniseb

This is the best version of all....my favourite....whose listening in 2024

@jasonreynolds4991

What a fun, catchy song. Makes me want to be on safari or a tropical island with the beating drums. Just one of a about a dozen songs by Cyndi that I love.

@queenoteh7842

I love Cyndi's version, 😍😍😍😍

@user-tc8vg4zv9j

Queen Oteh I do absolutely agree with u

@stephanhartmann1128

I love Cindy

@andrewbabooshkin3557

@@stephanhartmann1128 love u all, but Cindy more ))))

@chomo54andbabyaisha97

grand ma should be spy boy, lol

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