The common belief is that this song was first sung in Nigeria where there was a curfew every night that was enforced by the British colonial authorities in the 1950's (they controlled the country until 1960). When people protested against the curfew, the authorities lifted the curfew on Saturday nights. This song was created to celebrate the lifting of the curfew.
The original version seems to have been in Igbo. Now it's sung around the world in many different languages.
Everybody Loves Saturday Night
Image: Jitterbugs V by William H. Johnson, circa 1941, Smithsonian American Art Museum.
Sources for Song Origin:
"Open Highways: A Diagnostic and Developmental Reading Program," Volume 8, by Scott Foresman, 1967.
"Songs That Made History Around the World" (2011) by Jerry Silverman.
"The World at Your Fingertips, Book 1: Music History and Culture from Around the World," by Deborah Brener & Nancy Lau.
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