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Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

There is song called Dragostea Din Tei on the Disco-Zone CD by O-Zone. O-Zone was a little known Euro-dance act from Romania... until someone in Japan syched some flash to it. Then someone else. Here is the original music video. Then someone made a video. Suddenly, this CD is a hit and many of my friends are ordering it from Amazon. I bet they don't know what hit them.

This reminds me of the badger badger/potter potter meme and the Yatta meme. There is some peculiar element of certain songs that gets people's creative juices going. I think they have to be 1) silly, 2) in a foreign language, 3) have that "can't get it out of my head" element. It's the tip of the long tail wagging. Maybe artists should make synching rights available to encourage more of this creative behavior in a mainstream way... or maybe not. ;-P

UPDATE: Seth was just infected by email...

UPDATE 2: More on O-Zone from Stefan. "The funny-looking name Numanuma is actually a repetition of two Romanian words, 'nu ma' (or, to be correct, 'nu mă') that are part of the lyrics of O-Zone's smash hit 'Dragostea din tei' ('Love in the lime-tree'). More precisely, they're part of 'nu mă iei', which translates into 'you don't take me [away with you]'... Think of all the paraphernalia you can, from ubiquitous (and annoying) ringtones onwards... The raw matter (that is, the original O-Zone music) is renown for its supremely dimwitted lyrics..." I want the ringtone... ;-P


Did anyone catch the the cameo appearance of Dhalsim in the Japanese Flash movie? Kinda cool.

Damn it, that song is so stuck in my head right now...

Oh my god... This could get worse than the Macarena...

I submit "Radio Taiso Daichi" as next up. Some one should sex it up with some hard techno/house and make a Flash animation with a cameo appearance by Takeshi "Beat" Kitano.

Damn that's catchy.

Ich! Ni! San!


This song was a hit here about 4-5 months ago... cheesy song, but I'm part Romanian going way back, so it did spur me to go look up some info and learn about my great-grandparents' language... I didn't realise that Romanian is such a pleasant sounding language... a lot like Italian and French, but a little more elegant feeling.

By the way, O-Zone are actually from Moldavia (yeah yeah splitting hairs, I know) but they moved to Romania to hit it big, apparently. There is some really interesting stuff out there in Romanian music... I highly recommend searching for Romanian gangsta rap. :)

There's a few more Japanese 2ch parodies here:

If you know any Japanese, these parodies are totally hilarious.

I wouldn't exactly call O-Zone little known. Maybe in Japan, but in Europe they are relatively well known. The song Dragostea Din Tei was number one in France and Italy (and probably other countries) during July 2004.

Their album was did quite well last year.

O-Zone was last summer smash hit in France and maybe in some other European Countries (Belgium...). First time I heard it, I really thought as a joke or a broken CD player.

The O-Zone madness was quite impressive from april to last september. I remember earing O-Zone 5 times in a row as a jingle during the speech part of a friend's wedding.

This is really creasy.

Yeah, as I mentioned, it hit North America by storm about 4-5 months ago, so just after it was waning in Europe... reminds me of the Macarena phenomenon.

In January 1996, before I left Canada for Japan, my buddy went to Mexico, and our DJ friend made him promise to bring back a CD with the number one song in Mexico. It just happened to be this song that nobody had heard of called "Macarena", and my buddies tried to explain the weird dance that everybody did when the song started up in a club down there...

My DJ friend played the song for about three months and nobody really got it... then it hit big on the radio and video channels around March-April, and the DJs were all getting requests for it. Of course, by that time, we'd already listened to the song for three months and were totally sick of it. By the time I left for Japan in summer of '96, just hearing the first few bars of the tune would make me go insane.

Imagine my relief when I started hitting clubs in Japan and didn't hear the song... then around New Years 1997, what becomes a huge hit in Japan? Yup... no escaping this stuff... :)

My middle school memories echo Khalid's "Didi" song.

There is a #1 hit in Germany right now by a 4 year old
girl: It's called "Snappy!" Here's the song:

It sounds like a good candidate for a flash synch.

Indeed. Dragostea was last year's Summer's song in Spain and I think a huge hit all across Europe.

i dunno if this came first or last or in the middle, but the earworm turns.

[flash, it would seem]

Here's my theory. People who are too "cool" to admit to enjoying straight up, uncut fun can use weirdness (and sometimes foreigness) to gain access to that fun while still being cool. The weirdness lets them maintain something of a quantum mechanical state of duality mixing simultaneously making fun of the weirdness with legitimately, perhaps secretly, enjoying the fun aspects. It's something of an element of puritanism in that people are discouraged from pure enjoyment without seriousness or gravity. Consider, for example, criticism of "shallow" music like bubblegum pop and whatnot. Everyone likes fun, the weirdness and/or foreigness allows them all to enjoy it openly.

The iTunes music store has like 20 bazillion versions of the song. It took me several Google attempts to figure out the name of the song in the flash.

1) silly
3) have that "can't get it out of my head" element.

Like "bananaphone"? :-D

Is O-Zone equals to O-ZoNe ??

I got some file about "o-zone",
some with artist "O-Zone" are in the language i dont know (may be Romanian),
the others with artist "O-ZoNe" are in English, and they are all RAP.

Are they the same ??

And what's the relationship between O-Zone, Romanian, Italian ?

I infected Seth!! :-) I take full blame. I simply love this and got the biggest laugh from it. Now, we must know who the real person is, put him on American Idol, and get a new CD out. LOL.

I love the Internet for this -- this is contagion!

I got some information said that
the original singer to 'Dragostea Din Tei' is O-Zone,
then Haiducii re-sang and published without O-Zone's permission, so they(Haiducii) were sued.

Haiducii is an Italian girl team,
O-Zone is a boy team from Moldavia.

But where is Moldavia? And what about Roman?

Okay. If anyone starts this thing on Schnappi and makes it swap back to Germany in some months I will go out and kill people! :o)

Ooo. I just listened to Schnappi. Is it REALLY #1 in Germany? Wow. That's going in my next podcast.

shameless plug:
Kill Schnappi

Here in Brazil we have a portuguese language version of this music, translated to something like "There'll be a party in my apartment". If you are brave enough you can find on google: latino festa ape.

And some guys shot a video too.

this is by means the worst song of the last 2 years, which haunted europe for weeks.

it's been number one in france, germany, belgium, austria, italy, romania (oh wonder)

PLUS there were two versions of it, one by O-ZONE and the other one by HAIDUCII, the second interpreted by a woman.

i didn't get who was the first in place, but apparently they annoyed through the top ten for a long time last year.

what i have to admit is, that i too listened to this song (not voluntarily, though - my girlfriend loved it), and sang it when i was taking a shower or so.

that's just the way it is with big smash hits. they're bad, make no sense, but crawl into your ear and enjoys the masses.

i'm just waiting for "call on me" to be worldwide recognized (if it isn't already). then this will be the end of the world. although the music video isn't too bad (hot chicks during workout, hehe)

I heard the Schnappi song on the radio here in Hawaii this's that for serendipitous? I even sang the opening to my wife...she was amused to say the least.

hey... O-zone were and are still pretty famous in Portugal also... yeah Portugal... little country in Europe, next to Spain... Disco-zone was number one for months!! And it's still on the top 20, even though the Summer time has gone. Last week i heard 2 songs by them in the club i was celebrating my b-day. Despre Tine (about you) and the famous Dragostea din Tei... Guess what? Best time i had there when they played the songs... The songs are so funny... it makes me laugh sooo much. It's really anti-depression better than prozac... and so what?? Needs to be Mozart or something? The songs are funny, that's what matters...
Oh and yes... U guys are right... Romanian is a BEAUTIFUL language to be heard... O-zone made me discovered and fell in love with romanian... I'm learing it ;) Yes i discovered a romanian friend too. eheh (And yes i know the boys are from Moldava, Chisinau...)They're kinda cute too, especial the lider Dan... What can i do? he is...!! EhEh
And some lyrics are more deeper than u can thought... Dan can write some poems... and the language itself is very poetic. A good thing is that most of the music is made by the o-zone band, especially Dan, itself. And they are famous in Romania for years.

O-zone were like a phenomenon this summer... hit in all Europe... actually, since Portugal to Russia... and it was interesting to see and to think about this. I even made an essay for my Media Speech class were i talked about them.

It's amazing how 3 moldavian boys made it throught the world... Just USA and some few countries didn't suffer this fever... Well it was just a matter of time... If O-zone make up and go on making music...

In Brazil Latino did a version of this music. The lyrics sux btw. The funny thing is that he claims that his song is original.

Here in the border we love the song too! I live in the border of U.S with Mexico and in both countries we love the song!

There is also a spanish version of this song! I friend of mine brought it from Argentina where it's #1 right now... it's called "Pluma Gay" by "Los Morancos" (A spanish - from Spain - group). It's really bad but it's so catchy. I'm playing it to my office mates here in New Zealand and they all love it!

I am romanian. This song was new to me about three or four months ago. Tons of people at my church know it. It is a big song. My friends know it because i badgered them with it. It's an interesting song. Now that I've seen the music's different for me when I hear the song.

For more O-zone details visit:

(From UK!) My sister sent me the link to the webcam karaoke flash vid earlier today and I was hooked! A Google search on "numa numa" yielded a myriad of links to that same flash hosted all over the place, as well as several different versions! Within a couple of clicks I had found out that it was a song by O-Zone from Romania (ok - strictly Moldovia but I didn't find that out till later) and had found a page with the lyrics, albeit a phonetic version. By now this song was well and truly in my head! At this point, I have 3 things to say:
1. Those Japanese takes were truly funny ("ARROW" / "ti-am dat BEEF?!!?" / "KEEP OUT DHALSIM dragostea din tei!")
2. The original video is noticeably devoid of female involvement...
3. The Information Age is pervading every industry in every way - in this case the music industry, first with proliferation of music and now with marketing! O-Zone didn't even have to DO anything to take their hit worldwide!!

Romanian is a sexy language, and so are the people, so I am guessing that is what sold the video. But then again, you could say I am sexy and I speak a sexy language, but I am not selling anything. I like the original version, and long live people who can match disco into the modern world...

Hehe, I have the video of the guy lip synching to that song. That was the first time I heard O-zone (being canadian and all). I spent like the last 15 minutes looking for the music video and all I have to say is damn those guys are hot. LOL the language sounds beutiful to bad I have no idea what they are saying. Does anyone have like an english version of the song. If it was in French i might have been able to understand a little bit, or even spanish.

But ya, I don't think anyone here in Canada other than me has really heard of that song.

It's funny how I heard about this song. I post on a couple of websites, both European based (Swedish and British). They both had topics about O-Zone. I didn't really pay attention to it but one day I was looking on tv for music videos(Comcast OnDemand). I was just watching videos of people I never heard of. Then I saw O'Zone's video "Mai Ai He"(Dragostea din tei). I've never heard it on the radio(and doubt it) but it was cool to be able to see their video and hear the song. It's one of those songs that gets stuck in your head.

Here is a link to the english lyrics of "Dragostea din tei." This song was played everywhere in Europe when I was over there this summer.

Ok,this song will stuck in your head FOREVER!! I was in Ukraine last summer and all I heard was this song!!!
This guy is hilarious:) I would never paid $30 for CD though! Bought it in Ukriane for $4 :)

I'm Moldavian:D I just heard htis song today, since I live in Canda and like I haven't been "connected" to any european music lol since like 5 years. It was intresting to hear this song i was laughing so hard. I never even knew ppl knew moldavia(actual spelling= moldova) And I never knew pppl though it was a cool language. Glad though;) Love europeans xoxoxoxo

The first time I heard this song(Dragonstea din tei)I was in Poland visiting family. I liked it the first time I heard it. I really like O-zone. Their songs are fun to dance to when we go to parties.i heard about O-zone in July. In fact on the news a couple days ago, some guy was dancing and lipsincing to this song and he made a video of himself and the news found it and showed it. It was pretty funny when my family heard it again. Everyone knows all the words to it.I speak Polish, so singing a song in a different language isn't that hard for me. well g2g
xoxo monica

The title is translated into "Love in the Linden Tree" not lime tree.

I've heard they played it on the NBC's Today show, the 10:00 segment Feb.22. Go figure.
Those of you who don't understand the lyrics, be happy you don't. It's hard to imagine something more stupid. I hate this song actually, but I still find myself singing it sometimes.

Here is the excerpt from Today show:

I THINK O-ZONE is a cool Romanian Group, i also think it is about time The WHOLE WORLD KNOWS THAT ROMANIANS CAN SING EVEN THOUGH THE COUNTRY WAS A COMMUNIST COUNTRY FOR OVER 50 YEARS. I know this for sure because my parents were born there and we arent Romanian, but very proud where we came from

Hey, people, I'm from Bulgaria (in the South of Romania) I can tell you that O-Zone is the greatest band ever! And Dragostea Din Tei isn't the only great song. Try to find Numai tu (Only you) or Oriunde ai fi (Wherever you are) or Despre tine, Serbatoarea Noptilor de vara, Crede ma, etc. All their songs are just perfect! About the language, I'm very happy that they sing in Romanian, because that's their language and they must be proud with it. And they are you can hear it in Nu ma las de limba noastra! Try to translate it for your own, I allready did. It's a beautiful language and Romanians are very nice people, I have romanian friends and they're great!

hy... I'm romanian and i leave there. Ozone is a moldavian band. (the spelling of the country's name is The Moldavian Republic /Republica Moldova/) I have to agry that my language is nice and is related to french, spanish and italian, couse is a latin language. But really, Ozone is definetely, not the best band in Romania. And I have to say that it wasn't so apreciated in Romania. Anyway, believe me, you don't want to understand the lines. They're simply childish. bye.

i love o-zone

Dragostea din tei was originaly recorded by O-Zone. It was on 22 charts (Top40-charts). More than 3 milion CD was sold till now. This music sucks. New release will be in Japan.

Dragostea din tei was originaly recorded by O-Zone. This song was on 22 charts on the first place (Top40-chats).
O-Zone sold till now, more than 3 milions CDs with Dragostea.
Now they'll release album containing this song in Japan.

This song on NBC it wasn,t O-Zone. It was american cover!
O-Zone sold more than 3 milion CDs with this song, they were on 22 charts (Top40-charts).
Now new release in Japan

I read this and was shocked

i love o-zone as well - first heard them in Spain , summer 2004. At first I thought it was a new Erasure tune - the vocals really do sound a lot like Andy Bell of Erasure, untill i asked the DJ playing it and he said "no - it really is this band from Romania"...

looks like that Numa Numa video has given the song an whole new lease of life. this meme thing is quite incredible.

o-zone is great but not as good as greenday

hi just a quick question what lanague does O-zone sing in i heard it was italain ........and can sumbody translate Dragostea Din Tei in to english for me ?

Numa numa is everywhere! Check out this Flash movie making a tribute to the world-wide spread of Garys Numa numa dance video:

Numa numa is everywhere! - Flash movie

Also check out the links on the press coverage:

Press coverage on Gary Brolsma and the Numa numa dance

This song is becoming a hit in Canada! :D

Dragostea Din Tei is not popular in Indonesia. But then one of my colleague found the song in the internet by accident. Now the song is spinning around in everyone's head in this room!!!

A friend told me that it was a hit in Holland last Summer, but I think it's going to boom in my country pretty soon. Last weekend we went clubbing and found out this sing remixed for the first time :)

O-zone speaks Romanian! Unfortunetly the band is taking a break of a year or two because one of the member's wife is having a baby. hopefully they'll be back!

I'm from Canada and a french TV network based in Quebec called TVA, released a spring promo of all it's programmes in French featuring this song. It can be viewed here:

This song is da bomb, i gotta say being Romanian n all i'm amazed that a romanian song made it big outside of romania. This song is so good n its been a hit everywhere:)

Does anyone have the version of it with a pink haired guy dancing??

Hey... this song was the hit of the las summer here in ARGENTINA... it was played in every disco.. O-zone sayed once that they were asked for play in Argentina (before the break-up) cos they are really succesful here

i love this song

Lynn, it's Romanian. Look at the other comments on this page!

can someone tell me the address for the original fat kids singing and dancing to this song, thank you.


They sing in romanian, extremely close to italian, french, portuguese and spanish since its a latin language. Very pleasent to hear. Listen to Oriunde ai fi to see what I mean.

Salutare ciao

Hi all, I am a Taiwanese fan, now, maybe one of fans. seldem people in Taiwan know O-Zone,because they never come to Taiwan or China or other else Eastern Asia countries. The first time I heard the funny song "Numa Numa Dance" was on a popular Taiwanese website where we put funny vedio on it. I saw a cute (ya) boy was acting the song (that's the vedio "someone made"),we all laughted when we saw the vedio but at the same time we also found that this song was so good and then kept asking and finding who are the artists. The MV of Numa dance is really cool and wonderful. Thus, since the next day was my final exams day,I still carzy wathing the Mv again and again and quickly share it to my friends. That's my beginning of loveing O-Zone, my friends tell me this song and those funny acts of them really made her happy. Although I can't understand the language in Romania and I only know a little Japanese, I will keep loving
O-Zone, there is no boundary among music!! I am also fond of the song "De Ce Plan Chitarele," "Despre Tine,"and their MV, I hope one day I can have a trip to Romania, haha! O-Zone is really goooooooood!!! Since the chance that they come to Taiwan is very small, O-Zone madness, or magic, will be exist forever!!! Yeah~~~~ I Love O-Zone~

I definitely downloaded Dragostea Din Tei. And there is only one video I've seen for it which, to be blunt, is the fat guy dancing and lip-syncing to it. You find the video at One more thing, I hate when people refer to it as numa numa...the title is Dragostea Din Tei, say it.

Hello everybody... I love O-ZONE..they kick but. My favorite song is Dragostea din tei, eventhough theyre not very popular here in NIcaragua (Central America), im one of the few people here that is yding for O-ZONE, i have downloaded almost every song, including videos. I love O-ZONE!!, call me anything you want but i cried when i heard the english verison featuring lucas prata..i love that version..well anyway..see ya everybody

I am looking fo rthe flash of a small chibi guy in a pinkish outfit dancing to Dragostea din tei. I saw it at a friend's house, but they keep forgetting to send me the link. Could anyone be so kind as to point it out?

It's called Go-Jyone!! and the little pink guy is Gojyo from the anime Saiyuki. =)

I wish I could find a working flash of the original video, though...

I have recently became an O-Zone fan. First I made a Romanian friend (he told me about them), I fell in I have a few Romanian friends. Also, check out Arsenium!!!

I am from ireland and Dragostea Din Tei is very popular here Where can i get the words of Dragostea Din Tei in english

I am from China,here O-zone is getting popular.I love their songs very much.I introduce the song'Dragostea Din Tei' to my friends,now we are together singing this.We feel so good.

I heard this song over the summer in spain. It was so damn catchy. You just can't stop singing it. The song was played EVERYWHERE. so when i came back to america the song hadn't come out over here yet, and two weeks later i hear it, and i still love it. Romainian is an awesome language and i want to learn some.

got o yahoo music they have the original video there and you should check out despre tine they aso have it there

I just heard this song couple of weeks ago from a friend.
But the video I watched (which my friend sent to me) was all in japanese, and none of us know who sang this song actually, I thought they were either italian or french.
But what I know this song hits high scores in karaoke of JP

I looked for their songs on the internet and found out that
this song is popular in europe. After I`ve downloaded it I listen to this song almost everyday and kinda like it.

Until I`ve watched the tv show `music station` last night.
I finally know they are romanian , they are really cool!

Me and my friends are going to karaoke tonight.
and we gonna sing this song too ;-)

HI! The song is in Romanian, but the band is actually Moldovan. It is from Chisinau (Rep. of Moldova), where I am from as well. The fat kid version is on the page where you can find all the possible versions up to a certain data. Enjoy!
I opt for O-zone to give a world tour!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I just want to say that I love O-ZONE and I hope they reunite again..

Funny that I saw the Dragostea din Tei Video back in the summer of '04...though I couldn't get the tune right then, it stuck in my mind...great that it became a big hit :) Nowadays we get videos of Despre Tine on cable tv here in Manila on Cube ITV.

It's a good song. I only discovered it about a year ago but it has been out way longer no? I don't know.I'm Romanian and i didn't even know this song till i was at my friends house. And i haven't even seen any of the videos.

The worst part is that i used to be able to speak and understand Romanian and i didn't speak it for a long time cuz we spoke Hungarian at home, and then it just left, gone. So if anyone wants to help me relearn it, then let's go. I'm motivated. It's way too easy to search on the internet for translated lyrics.

It's pretty crazy how three guys and a song got so popular. I used to live in Romania and i just didn't think it was so advanced with the whole music business, not like in North America anyway.Canada and the US are way behind on European music, unless you're a European immigrant or know someone who knows the songs or has hook ups. But then American bands go to Europe and everyone knows them and they spend so much time there but don't come here, like the Red Hot Chili Peppers. They finally came to Calgary maybe even the first time in their entire career but they've been touring Europe for years and years. Crazy eh!

Hi! I'm from Canada, but of Asian decent. They're songs I'm confused. Is it pop, rock, or funk? They have nice ))) effects. Lyrics are so ----ing weird. A piccasso??? Woo. Imagine the song going:

la bia fi soig eiahg eig heia cog ahdia digh! Anything...martian language is better than the lyrics THEY have! happy chinese new year!!!

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I am perpetuating a fad, but I am sure that this song by O-Zone is already in dance clubs all over Europe. Joi posted it last night, and I spent the rest of the night laughing at the flash videos... Read More

Joi just blogged on some Japanese flash synchs of the Romanian group O-Zone's song "Dragostea Din Tei". The original music video is here and here is one example of a flash synch and here is another. If that isn't enough... Read More

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January 19, 2005 9:56 PM

Mentre noi siamo qui impelagati nelle nostre piccole liti di cortile in Giappone si sta vivendo una tragedia. Joi Ito ci informa che un virus pericolosissimo si sta diffondendo nella terra del Sol Levante. Questo è un esempio di cosa succede a essere ... Read More

Joi Ito nous apprends qu'à cause de deux petites animations Flash, la folie O-Zone gagne maintenant le Japon, et se répand comme une traînée de poudre, un peu comme les Yatta à l'époque, et j'avoue avoir bien ri la première fois que je les avais... Read More

Joi über O-Zone Madness: There is song called Dragostea Din Tei on the Disco-Zone CD by O-Zone. O-Zone was a little known Euro-dance act from Romania... until someone in Japan syched some flash to it. Then someone else. Here is the original music vide... Read More

The O-Zone craze seems to have finally crossed the pond, selling nicely on It even reached the blogging world. I picked it up from Seth's blog, but then Joi Ito has a nice piece on it, too. What caused Read More

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Thanks to Gerry McKiernan for posting about the Numa Numa Dance video that been popular enough to attract the attention of the New York Times. Here is a citation for the article. Internet Fame Is Cruel Mistress for a Dancer... Read More

Thanks to Gerry McKiernan for posting about the Numa Numa Dance video that been popular enough to attract the attention of the New York Times. Here is a citation for the article. Internet Fame Is Cruel Mistress for a Dancer... Read More