JAKARTA, Indonesia – U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell donned a hard hat and tucked a hammer in his belt Friday to perform a version of the Village People's hit "YMCA" at the conclusion of Asia's largest security meeting — which tradition says ends with a night of skit and song.
Powell danced alongside five other U.S. officials dressed in fancy dress and blasted out a version of the 1970s disco classic to the delight of foreign ministers from across the Asia-Pacific and Europe.
"President Bush, he said to me, Colin I need you to run the department of state. We are between a rock and a hard place," Powell and his colleagues sang to the tune of the disco classic.
The after-dinner show is an annual highlight of the ASEAN Regional Forum (search), a time for ministers to loosen up after discussing security issues. Footage of the closed-door event was obtained by Associated Press Television News
The Russian delegation, headed by that country's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (search), sang a version of the Beatles "Yellow Submarine" as a women waving a Russian flag ran around the dinner tables.
Indian Foreign Minister counterpart Natwar Singh read a poem before his delegation burst into a song.
"I'm not worried — but the audience should be," Singh told The Associated Press before attending the gala dinner.
In 1997 Madeleine Albright (search), bowled over the ministers when she performed a musical skit dressed as Evita Peron.
The traditional jamboree at the conclusion of the conference is closed to the press, but reporters regularly go out of their way to get the scoop.