The Ketchup Song (Aserejé)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

"The Ketchup Song (Aserejé)"
Las ketchup.jpg
Single by Las Ketchup
from the album Hijas del Tomate
Released10 June 2002 (2002-06-10)
Songwriter(s)Manuel Ruiz
Producer(s)Manuel Ruiz
Las Ketchup singles chronology
"The Ketchup Song (Aserejé)"
"Kusha Las Payas"
Music video
"The Ketchup Song (Asereje) (Spanglish Version)" on YouTube

"The Ketchup Song (Aserejé)" (Spanish pronunciation: [aseɾeˈxe]) is the debut single by Spanish pop group Las Ketchup, taken from their debut studio album Hijas del Tomate (2002). It was released on 10 June 2002, and became an international hit later that year.

In addition to the original Spanish version, the song exists in forms with Spanglish and Portuguese verses, although the nonsensical chorus is identical in all three versions. This song reached number one in the United Kingdom, as well as in 26 other countries worldwide. As of 2006, the song had sold over 7 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling singles of all time.[1]

The song tells the story of a pimp-like gypsy (afrogitano) with mystical qualities. The song's dance routine was a popular novelty dance in the early 2000s.


Las Ketchup was first introduced to Columbia Records through Shaketown Music, a small record label in Córdoba, Andalusia, who sent out the group's demo to a number of different record companies.[2] The demo featured the songs "Asereje" and "Kusha Las Payas". When A&R Javier Portugués and Columbia director Raúl López listened to the demo, they stared at each other in delight exclaiming, "Wow, this is fantastic!"[2] At first the intention was to arrange a distribution deal with ShakeTown Music but upon hearing the song they realised its international potential and so negotiated for Las Ketchup to sign with Sony.[2]


The song is written in the key of E♭ minor and follows the chord progression of E♭m–D♭–C♭–A♭m–B♭7 in the chorus. The pre-chorus uses an altered chord (B minor), or a modal interchange, as the cadence.[3] According to, the song features "mixed acoustic and electric instrumentation, humorous lyrics, and electric guitar riffs".[4]


"The Ketchup Song" is about a man named Diego who enters a nightclub. The DJ, a friend of Diego's, plays Diego's favorite song, "Rapper's Delight" by the Sugarhill Gang, and Diego dances and sings along to the song, imitating its chorus with Spanish gibberish.[5]

"Aserejé" is therefore a meaningless word,[5] with the chorus "Aserejé, ja, de je, de jebe tu de jebere ..." being a somewhat incorrect imitation of the Rapper's Delight's "I said a hip-hop, the hippie the hippie to the hip hip hop ..."[6]

Music video[edit]

The music video was shot at Palm Beach, Estepona in Spain, at Chiringuito bar.

The video starts with the female band members laying out a carpet on the ground and putting the bar stools on display to set up their musical show. They then serve people exotic beverages at the beach bar. A male bar attendant with dreadlocks enthusiastically pours drink in a glass and juggles a bottle around. Meanwhile, more and more beach-goers are shown drawn in to the bar, to watch the trio's performance. In some shots of the video, the trio would be performing near wooden window frames which are laid individually on the sandy beach.

During the song's chorus, the band members perform their signature dance moves of this song, alongside other visitors who also joyously participate. The band is then assisted to stand up on a table, where they execute their Aserejé dance in front of a larger, jubilant crowd who gleefully jive in to the dance. By the end of the video, the crowd becomes jam-packed and in multitudes, with the young and old dancing to the song near the beach bar.[7]

Dance routine[edit]

For the first dance move, the hands must be held open facing down and continuously waving them over another two times for six beats. The second involves tossing the thumb over the shoulder twice, right before spinning one's arm around each other while raising from the waistline to face level. The last move of the dance involves placing the back of one's hand on the forehead and the palm of the other hand on the back of the head while knocking one's knees together a couple of times.[8]

The song and its dance moves were featured in the 2012 game Just Dance 4.

Critical reception[edit]

Andy Thomas from Drowned in Sound gave the song a 9 out of 10, stating, "The Ketchup Song is better than the Macarena...", while acknowledging that the song is "not smart, it's not clever, and it's not going to get a single positive review outside of the teeny bop press." Thomas described the song's band members (Las Ketchup) as "three slightly odd-looking women from Spain who are the proud exponents of this year's Macarena. It's got dance moves (wiggle your hands, thumb a lift, raise your arms, knock your knees together) and a sunny video where the trio serve drinks in a beach bar."[9]

Commercial performance[edit]

The song reached the top of the charts in virtually every country it charted, except for the Billboard chart, where it peaked at number 54. In France, the song reached number-one for eleven weeks and eventually sold 1,310,000 copies, making it the best-selling single of 2002, and the second best-selling of the 21st century in the country, behind "Un Monde parfait" by Ilona Mitrecey.[10] Furthermore, the song was the 50th best-selling single of the 2000s in the UK.[11]


Although the band has explained that "aserejé" is a meaningless word derived from the theme of the 1979 hip hop song "Rapper's Delight" by The Sugarhill Gang,[5][12] rumors spread through e-mail that the gibberish lyrics included hidden demonic references that would lead the listener to Satanism and heresy.[13]

The phrases from the Spanish lyrics which were claimed to be references to Satanism include:

  • "Aserejé", which can be broken down into the Spanish phrase "a ser hereje", meaning "a heretical being".[13]
  • "Ja, de je, de jebe tu de jebere" – "Ja" would here be the beginning of the Tetragrammaton referring to Jehova (God). The phrase would therefore be "Jehova, deja tu ser" ("Jehova (God), let go of your being").[12]
  • "Y donde más no cabe un alma" ("where there isn't room for a soul"), supposedly referring to hell.[13]
  • "Y el DJ que lo conoce toca el himno de las 12" ("the DJ who knows him plays the midnight hymn"), referring to Satanic rituals which occur at midnight.[13]

One Mexican television station banned the song.[13]

Track listings[edit]

CD maxi
1."The Ketchup Song (Aserejé)" (Spanglish Version)3:32
2."The Ketchup Song (Aserejé)" (Spanish Version)3:32
3."The Ketchup Song (Aserejé)" (Chiringuito Club Single Edit)3:41
4."The Ketchup Song (Aserejé)" (Motown Club Single Edit)3:41
CD maxi
1."The Ketchup Song (Aserejé)" (Crystal Sound Xmas mix)3:50
2."The Ketchup Song (Aserejé)" (Karaoke Version)3:44
3."The Ketchup Song (Aserejé)" (Chiringuito Club mix)5:30
4."The Ketchup Song (Aserejé)" (video – Crystal Sound Xmas mix) 


Certifications and sales[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[66] 3× Platinum 210,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[67] 2× Platinum 60,000*
Belgium (BEA)[68] 5× Platinum 250,000*
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[69] 2× Platinum 16,000^
Finland (Musiikkituottajat)[70] Platinum 15,483[70]
France (SNEP)[72] Diamond 1,750,000[71]
Germany (BVMI)[73] 2× Platinum 1,000,000^
Greece (IFPI Greece)[74] 2× Platinum 40,000^
Italy (FIMI)[76] 3× Platinum 155,000[75]
Japan (RIAJ)[77] Platinum 50,000^
Netherlands (NVPI)[78] Platinum 60,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[79] 2× Platinum 20,000*
Norway (IFPI Norway)[80] 6× Platinum 360,000*
Sweden (GLF)[81] 4× Platinum 120,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[82] 3× Platinum 120,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[84] Platinum 692,000[83]
Worldwide 7,000,000[85]

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

Rouge version[edit]

Single by Rouge with Las Ketchup
from the album Rouge
  • Portuguese
  • Spanish
ReleasedAugust 31, 2002 (2002-08-31)
Producer(s)Rick Bonadio (Portuguese version only)
Rouge singles chronology
"Não Dá pra Resistir"
"Beijo Molhado"
Audio sample

"Ragatanga" is a song by the Brazilian girl group pop Rouge. It is an adapted version in Portuguese of the song "The Ketchup Song", of the group Las Ketchup. Columbia Records and Sony released "Ragatanga" on August 31, 2002, only in Brazil and Portugal in the same year as the original, as the second single from the debut single from the band's debut studio album, self-titled Rouge (2002). It was among the most successful songs of that year in Brazil and is the biggest success of the group, and there were records that the song reached to play more than fifteen times a day on Brazilian radio stations.

Background and composition[edit]

In selecting the tracks for the group's first album, Liminha went to a meeting with Sony representatives from around the world and commented that he needed a repertoire for a group that would release in Brazil, receiving from Spain the song "Asereje", sung Las Ketchup. But the song, however, hardly came on the album. "The list of songs was ready when I heard about Ragatanga," said Alexandre Schiavo, vice president of marketing for Sony Music Brasil.[86]

Hence, Rick Bonadio made a version and transformed it into Ragatanga, whose refrain, "Aserehe ra de re De hebe tu de hebere seibiunouba mahabi", does not mean anything, according to Schiavo. In Schiavo's explanation, it's the crap that people who do not know English usually sing. "The thing that Las Ketchup teenagers invented," he says. Bonadio says: "the secret of a good version is to have fidelity to the original, not to try to invent".[87] The Brazilian version has a mix of Spanish and Portuguese, since it counts on the participation of Las Ketchup.[86]

Commercial performance[edit]

"Ragatanga" became a viral success in Brazil, winning the charts quickly and quickly. The song reached the first position of the radios, remaining for 11 consecutive weeks in the first place.[88]


"Ragatanga" was a resounding hit in Brazil, making Rouge not only popular in Brazil, but in some parts of the world. The single was taken as the song that boosted sales of the band's first album. In two months in the stores, the album reached the mark of 730,000 sold copies and became favorite to the title of commercial champion of 2002.[89] Besides, the song did not leave the top of the charts. The song was also considered as the reason for the tickets for the group's debut on 14 November 2002, at ATL Hall in Rio de Janeiro, to be exhausted. By that time, the album had already reached the mark of 950 thousand copies.[90]

Billboard magazine, which features the biggest names in the music world, brought a photo story of the Rouge in the October 2002 issue. The report showed production details, a crossover of hits on the radio, and talks a little about the first tour they did for Brazil. In addition to talking about the hits "Ragatanga" and "Não Dá pra Resistir", he also spoke about the international career, in which Rouge performed in Argentina with great success, and the intention to launch the group's CD in Chile and Peru.

Music video[edit]

On 31 August, he premiered the music video for "Ragatanga".[91] The video for "Ragatanga" is simple, counting on the girls dancing the choreography of the song, on a giant stage, while the lyrics of the chorus are displayed in the clip. The participation of the band Las Ketchup in the video clip, is obtained from the original music video. The choreography was also imported from Spain, but according to the girls, "We added a new movement, which is the sign of asking for a ride."[89]

Track listing[edit]

CD single

  1. "Ragatanga (Aserejé)" (Album Version)
  2. "Ragatanga (Aserejé)" (Radio Edit)
  3. "Ragatanga (Aserejé)" (Memê's Da Carnival Beat Remix)
  4. "Ragatanga (Aserejé)" (Cuca Rnb Mix)

CD single (Remixes)

  1. "Ragatanga (Aserejé)" (Memê's Summer Heat Mix) – 4:09
  2. "Ragatanga (Aserejé)" (Da Carnival Beat Mix) – 4:09


Chart (2002) Peak
Brazil (Brasil Hot 100 Airplay)[92] 1

Covers and other versions[edit]

In 2012, singer Kelly Key made a cover of the song, for the collection Festa Kids (2012). The re-recording was harshly criticized by Internet users for making the song "bland". In 2013, in a concert held in a nightclub in São Paulo, singer Wanessa summoned Li Martins, to sing some songs, among them "Ragatanga".[93] Still in 2013, the song "Ramón" by girl band Girls (formed and produced by the same producer of Rouge, Rick Bonadio), included in the first studio album of the band, was compared to "Ragatanga" due to its Latin rhythm and the protagonist of the song, which is already being considered the new Diego. The song was also covered in Japanese by the girl group, Soltomatina.[94]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bakker, Sietse (27 February 2006). "Las Ketchup to represent Spain!". European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 15 August 2012.
  2. ^ a b c "Interview With Javier Portugués". HitQuarters. 11 November 2002. Retrieved 3 June 2011.
  3. ^ Ruiz, Gomez, Francisco Manuel; Ketchup, Las (14 November 2006). "The Ketchup Song".
  4. ^ "Aserje (Ketchup Song)" – via
  5. ^ a b c "Todo lo que sube debe bajar, lo importante es que ahora estamos arriba". Terra Networks (in Spanish). 2004. Archived from the original on 27 February 2014. Retrieved 1 August 2019.
  6. ^ "Este hilo explica la desgarradora historia del "Aserejé"". El Español (in Spanish). 27 September 2017. Retrieved 2 July 2020.
  7. ^ "Whatever happened to Spain's pop sensation Las Ketchup?". 21 June 2016.
  8. ^ Walters, Brian (1 May 2004). Call to Prayer: My Travels in Spain, Portugal and Morocco. Virtualbookworm Publishing. pp. 148–. ISBN 978-1-58939-592-3.
  9. ^ "Single Review: Las Ketchup - The Ketchup Song". DrownedInSound.
  10. ^ "Top 100 des singles les plus vendus du millénaire en France, le top 10 final!". Chartsinfrance, PureCharts. 13 September 2014. Retrieved 17 March 2015.
  11. ^ Radio 1 Official Chart of the Decade, as broadcast on BBC Radio 1 on Tuesday 29 December 2009, presented by Nihal
  12. ^ a b "Tachan de satánicas a Las Ketchup". El Siglo de Torreón (in Spanish). 15 October 2002. Archived from the original on 29 April 2013. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
  13. ^ a b c d e "Prohiben 'Aserejé' hasta en la TV". Terra Networks (in Spanish). 4 April 2007. Archived from the original on 29 April 2013. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
  14. ^ " – Las Ketchup – The Ketchup Song (Aserejé)". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  15. ^ " – Las Ketchup – The Ketchup Song (Aserejé)" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  16. ^ " – Las Ketchup – The Ketchup Song (Aserejé)" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  17. ^ " – Las Ketchup – The Ketchup Song (Aserejé)" (in French). Ultratop 50.
  18. ^ "Las Ketchup Chart History (Canadian Digital Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 11 June 2019.
  19. ^ "Rádio 2003" (in Czech). IFPI. Archived from the original on 1 February 2003. Retrieved 19 August 2020.
  20. ^ " – Las Ketchup – The Ketchup Song (Aserejé)". Tracklisten.
  21. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 20 no. 39. 21 September 2002. p. 11. Retrieved 9 July 2020.
  22. ^ "Las Ketchup: The Ketchup Song" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved 27 August 2013.
  23. ^ " – Las Ketchup – The Ketchup Song (Aserejé)" (in French). Les classement single.
  24. ^ " – Las Ketchup – The Ketchup Song (Aserejé)". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  25. ^ "Top 50 Singles" (in Greek). IFPI. 1 December 2002. Archived from the original on 1 December 2002. Retrieved 5 June 2012.
  26. ^ "Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ" (in Hungarian). Single (track) Top 40 lista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége.
  27. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Asereje - The Ketchup Song". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 21 January 2020.
  28. ^ " – Las Ketchup – The Ketchup Song (Aserejé)". Top Digital Download.
  29. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 35, 2002" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved 11 June 2019.
  30. ^ " – Las Ketchup – The Ketchup Song (Aserejé)" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 11 June 2019.
  31. ^ " – Las Ketchup – The Ketchup Song (Aserejé)". Top 40 Singles.
  32. ^ " – Las Ketchup – The Ketchup Song (Aserejé)". VG-lista.
  33. ^ "Nielsen Music Control". Archived from the original on 15 October 2007.
  34. ^ "Top National Sellers" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 20 no. 40. 28 September 2002. p. 11. Retrieved 16 March 2020.
  35. ^ "Arhiva romanian top 100 Editia 39, saptamina 30.09–6.10, 2002" (in Romanian). Romanian Top 100. Archived from the original on 18 January 2008. Retrieved 1 April 2013.
  36. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  37. ^ " – Las Ketchup – The Ketchup Song (Aserejé)" Canciones Top 50.
  38. ^ " – Las Ketchup – The Ketchup Song (Aserejé)". Singles Top 100.
  39. ^ " – Las Ketchup – The Ketchup Song (Aserejé)". Swiss Singles Chart.
  40. ^ "Las Ketchup: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company.
  41. ^ "Las Ketchup Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  42. ^ "Las Ketchup Chart History (Hot Latin Songs)". Billboard.
  43. ^ "Las Ketchup Chart History (Latin Tropical Airplay)". Billboard.
  44. ^ "2002 ARIA Singles Chart". ARIA. Retrieved 19 August 2020.
  45. ^ "Jahreshitparade Singles 2002" (in German). Retrieved 9 July 2020.
  46. ^ "Jaaroverzichten 2002" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
  47. ^ "Rapports annuels 2002" (in French). Ultratop. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
  48. ^ "Year in Review – Eurochart Hot 100 Singles 2002" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 21 no. 2–3. 11 January 2003. p. 14. Retrieved 9 July 2020.
  49. ^ "Tops de L'année | Top Singles 2002" (in French). SNEP. Retrieved 9 July 2020.
  50. ^ "Best of Singles 2002". IRMA. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
  51. ^ "Top 100–Jaaroverzicht van 2002". Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 12 February 2020.
  52. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Single 2002" (in Dutch). MegaCharts. Retrieved 12 February 2020.
  53. ^ "Årslista Singlar, 2002" (in Swedish). Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved 28 March 2020.
  54. ^ "2002 Swiss Singles Chart" (in German). Retrieved 2 May 2010.
  55. ^ "2002 UK Singles Chart" (PDF). UKChartsPlus. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
  56. ^ "2003 ARIA Singles Chart". ARIA. Retrieved 19 August 2020.
  57. ^ "Jahreshitparade Singles 2003" (in German). Retrieved 9 July 2020.
  58. ^ "Rapports annuels 2003" (in French). Ultratop. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
  59. ^ "Tops de L'année | Top Singles 2003" (in French). SNEP. Retrieved 9 July 2020.
  60. ^ "Top 100 Single–Jahrescharts 2003" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 28 March 2020.
  61. ^ "Årslista Singlar, 2003" (in Swedish). Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved 28 March 2020.
  62. ^ "2003 Swiss Singles Chart" (in German). Retrieved 19 August 2020.
  63. ^ "2003 UK Singles Chart" (PDF). ChartsPlus. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
  64. ^ "ARIA Chart Sales : End of Decade Singles Top 100" (PDF). ARIA. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
  65. ^ "Die ultimative Chart Show | Download". Retrieved 5 June 2012.
  66. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2002 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. Archived from the original on 10 August 2020.
  67. ^ "Austrian single certifications – Las Ketchup – The Ketchup Song" (in German). IFPI Austria.
  68. ^ "Ultratop − Goud en Platina – singles 2002". Ultratop. Hung Medien.
  69. ^ "Danish single certifications – Las Ketchup – The Ketchup Song (Asereje)". IFPI Denmark.
  70. ^ a b "Las Ketchup" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
  71. ^ "Les Singles Diamant :" (in French). Archived from the original on 6 November 2014. Retrieved 27 February 2013.
  72. ^ "French single certifications – Las Ketchup – The Ketchup Song (Asereje)" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique.
  73. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Las Ketchup; 'The Ketchup Song')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie.
  74. ^ "Las Ketchup - Double Platinum" (PDF). Music & Media. 25 January 2003. p. 4. Retrieved 29 April 2020.
  75. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  76. ^ "Italian single certifications – Las Ketchup – The Ketchup Song (Asereje)" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Select "2002" in the "Anno" drop-down menu. Select "The Ketchup Song (Asereje)" in the "Filtra" field. Select "Singoli online" under "Sezione".
  77. ^ GOLD ALBUM 他認定作品 2003年1月度 [Gold Albums, and other certified works. January 2003 Edition] (PDF). The Record (Bulletin) (in Japanese). Chūō, Tokyo: Recording Industry Association of Japan. 520: 13. 10 March 2003. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 September 2013. Retrieved 29 January 2014.
  78. ^ "Dutch single certifications – Las Ketchup – The Ketchup Song (Asereje)" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. Enter The Ketchup Song (Asereje) in the "Artiest of titel" box.
  79. ^ "New Zealand single certifications – Las Ketchup – The Ketchup Song". Recorded Music NZ.
  80. ^ "IFPI Norsk platebransje Trofeer 1993–2011" (in Norwegian). IFPI Norway.
  81. ^ "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 2003" (PDF) (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden.
  82. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Las Ketchup; 'The Ketchup Song')". IFPI Switzerland. Hung Medien.
  83. ^ Copsey, Rob (15 October 2020). "Official Charts Flashback 2002: Las Ketchup - The Ketchup Song (Asereje)". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 15 October 2020.
  84. ^ "British single certifications – Las Ketchup – The Ketchup Song". British Phonographic Industry. Select singles in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type The Ketchup Song in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  85. ^ "Las Ketchup baten el récord con «Aserejé»: siete millones de discos". Diario El León. 30 January 2003.
  86. ^ a b "A explosão do Rouge". ISTOÉ Gente. 22 October 2002. Retrieved 29 September 2013.
  87. ^ "Rouge: crônica de um sucesso anunciado". Estadão. 22 October 2002. Retrieved 29 September 2013.
  88. ^ ""Foi tenso", revela integrante do Rouge sobre retorno". 22 April 2013. Archived from the original on 2 October 2013. Retrieved 30 September 2013.
  89. ^ a b "Veja Online: Aserehe ra de re..." 13 November 2002. Archived from the original on 20 February 2009. Retrieved 30 September 2013.
  90. ^ "Ingressos para o show do Rouge estão esgotados". 12 April 2002. Retrieved 30 September 2013.
  91. ^ "Popstars mostra pocket show da banda Rouge". Terra Networks. 31 August 2002. Retrieved 29 September 2013.
  92. ^ "Hot 100 Brasil 1999–2013" (PDF). Ivete Sangalo News. Retrieved 16 August 2014.
  93. ^ "Wanessa e Lissah Martins cantam e dançam "Ragatanga"; veja o vídeo". 24 September 2013. Archived from the original on 5 October 2013. Retrieved 30 September 2013.
  94. ^ "Feitas para bombar!". 22 October 2002. Retrieved 29 September 2013.

External links[edit]