Maria Mendiola, half of Spanish vocal duo Baccara, dies aged 69

Group’s 1977 disco hit Yes Sir, I Can Boogie has become the unofficial anthem of Scotland football fans

Maria Mendiola, one of the members of Baccara, whose 1977 disco hit Yes Sir, I Can Boogie is the unofficial anthem of Scotland football fans, has died.

Mendiola, who was one half of the Spanish duo, was best known for her rendition of the hit song. She died in Madrid surrounded by her family on Saturday morning at the age of 69. Cristina Sevilla, her partner in a later iteration of the group, expressed her gratitude on social media in a message written in Spanish.

“My dear Maria, a wonderful artist but for me above all my friend, left us today,” she wrote on Instagram in Spanish. “I can only thank her [for] so much love I have received from her.”

Yes Sir, I Can Boogie was first linked to Scottish football in 2015 when a video of Aberdeen and Scotland defender Andy Considine singing the song in drag with others on his stag do was leaked on YouTube.

The song returned to the charts in mid-November 2020 when Scotland defeated Serbia in a Euro 2020 play-off, and the footage of Considine and his teammates dancing and singing along to the track went viral. Mendiola said she was touched that the song was still a part of people’s lives “after so many years”.

The song, which has been covered by Goldfrapp, the Fratellis and Sophie Ellis-Bextor, was sung loudly and proudly by Scotland fans throughout the Euros this summer.

Scotland fans
Scotland supporters at Hampden Park. Fans sang Yes Sir, I Can Boogie throughout the Euros. Photograph: Mark Runnacles/UEFA/Getty Images

Mendiola formed Baccara in 1977 with Mayte Mateos, when the pair worked as flamenco dancers in Fuerteventura, the second largest of Spain’s Canary Islands.

Yes Sir, I Can Boogie, penned by Rolf Soja and Frank Dostal, topped the charts in Germany, the Netherlands, the UK, Sweden, Belgium, and Switzerland, going on to sell 16m copies.

A self-titled album released later that year was also a success, providing the duo another Top 10 hit in 1978, Sorry, I’m a Lady. The group released another two albums together, until the band spilt into two separate and competing versions in the mid-80s.


Euan O'Byrne Mulligan

The GuardianTramp

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