“Te Esperaré” by Julio Jaramillo, English translation

“I Will Wait For You” Lyrics
Style:
Pasillo, vals (waltz), unrequited love song
Country
: Ecuador
Listen: YouTube

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“La Mujer” by Mon Laferte and Gloria Trevi, English translation

“The Woman” Lyrics
Album: Seis (Six), 2021
Style: A gloriously dramatic bolero breakup song. The dramatic but energetic style makes the lyrics imagery clearly figurative, not literal, but possibly this needs a trigger warning for suicide/murder/drugs. Just in case!
Countries: Chile, Mexico
Listen: YouTube

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“El Caballo Blanco” by José Alfredo Jiménez, English translation

“The White Horse” Lyrics
Style: Corrido about a white horse, but it’s really about a road trip all over Mexico on a car (romanticized as a horse).
Country: Mexico
Listen: YouTube

About:

This song is about a road trip [es] that José Alfredo Jiménez took from Guadalajara (in central Mexico) to Baja California (just south of the United States southwest) on a white 1957 Chrysler. It is a good song to teach Mexican geography, since he mentions the places he passes on his journey.

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“Primer Día” by Julieta Venegas ft. Dante Spinetta, English translation

“First Day” Lyrics
Album: Limon y Sal (Lemon and Salt), 2006
Style: Pop, love song, possibly breakup song, possibly the start of a new relationship though it sounds like one person wants it more than the other.
Country: Mexico
Listen: YouTube

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“Tuyo y Mío” by Camilo and Los Dos Carnales, English translation

“Yours and Mine” Lyrics
Album: Mis Manos (Mi Hands), 2021
Style: A romantic Norteña (a North Mexican music style)
Countries: Colombia (Camilo), Mexico (Los Dos Carnales)
Listen: YouTube.

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“Quiero Verte Feliz” by La Santa Cecilia and Lila Downs, English translation

“I Want To See You Happy” Lyrics, 2021 single
Countries: USA (California), Mexico
Style: Cumbia about being ready to be happy again despite all the bad things happening in the world
Listen at YouTube. Buy from Amazon.

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“Algo Con Sentido” by Calle 13 feat. PG-13, English translation

“Something With Meaning” Lyrics
AlbumResidente o Visitante (Resident or Visitor), 2007
Style: Hilarious but explicit rap song, slow tempo, increasingly disturbing lyrics
Country: Puerto Rico
Listen at YouTube. This song is hilarious because of its disturbing build-up and then the abrupt end after the first end. Residente Calle 13’s voice acting in this song is great.

***Warning: Explicit language, graphic descriptions of violence.***

Translation:

La gente está jugando con mi mente
Y ando con la mirada borracha.
Mi cabeza está pensando en remolacha,
Por eso no tiene sentido esta guaracha.

People are playing with my head
And I walk around with a drunk look.
My head is thinking about beets;
That’s why this song makes no sense.

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“Cuánto Más” by Antony Santos, English translation

“How Much More” Lyric
Style: Bachata
Country: Dominican Republic
Listen: YouTube

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“Y Todo, ¿Para Qué?” by Intocable, Natalia Lafourcade, and Pedro Reyna Cisneros, English translation

“And All For What?” Lyrics
Style: Pop or ranchera versions, romance song
Songwriter: Pedro Reyna Cisneros
Country: Mexico
Listen @ YouTube to Intocable (ranchera) or Natalia Lafourcade (alt pop)

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“El Perro Negro” by José Alfredo Jiménez, English translation

“The Black Dog” Lyrics
Style: Corrido (a storytelling style) about a loyal dog
Country: Mexico
Listen: YouTube

About:

José Alfredo Jiménez was a famous and prolific Mexican singer-songwriter. Remember his name if you are interested in the music history of Latin America or Mexican culture. His songs created a new mythology in Mexico. He sang about characters and stories. This song is about the murder of Gilberto the Brave, who was killed in his sleep by a cowardly but powerful rival. Gilberto had a loyal dog who avenged his murder. 

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“Una de Dos” by Mariana Seoane ft. La Sonora Dinamita, English translation

“One or the Other” Lyrics
Style: Upbeat cumbia, romance, relationship ultimatum. She wants either commitment or a breakup.
Country: Mexico
Listen at YouTube

Translation:

Una de dos:
Te quedas al lado mio o te vas de una vez.
No soy de las que se entregan por un simple placer.
Sabes que no te miento y si no date la vuelta.
(x2)

One or the other:
You stay by my side or you leave once and for all.
I am not one of those girls who give themselves up for simple pleasure.
You know I don’t lie to you and if you don’t, turn around now.
(x2)

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“Como un Fantasma” by Chenoa, English translation

“Like a Ghost” Lyrics, 2011
Style: Pop/rock, techno-inspired, about a love that haunts you
Countries: Argentina (born), Spain (raised)
Listen at YouTube. When you break up with someone, it can be hard to forget them. They linger in your mind… like a ghost. For more techno-influenced pop about moving on, see “Mi Mundo Sin Ti” by Soraya.

Translation:

Decido no extrañarte,
Vestirme y levantarme,
Quiero escaparme de tu sombra.

I decide not to miss you,
To dress myself and get up,
I want to escape your shadow.

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“Un Lugar Para Renacer” by Natalia Lafourcade, English translation

“A Place To Be Reborn” Lyrics
AlbumHu, Hu, Hu, 2009
Style: Pop, light and floaty, gentle fairy-ish, some piano
Country: Mexico
Listen at YouTube

Translation:

Qué protección sentí ayer,
Aunque afuera vi la lluvia.
Me dieron ganas de llorar

Con la canción que me enseñabas.

What security I felt yesterday,
Even though saw the rain outside.
I felt like crying [*lit. I got the urge to cry]
With the song that you were teaching me.

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“Interrogación” by Julio Jaramillo, English translation

“Question” Lyrics
Style: Pasillo, heartsickness
Country: Ecuador
Listen at YouTube. Julio Jaramillo would rather be stabbed in the gut than lied to about love. He just wants the truth. I love the lyrics. They are clear and concise but so poetic.

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“Tarde De Domingo Rara” by Amaral, English translation

“Rare Sunday Afternoon” Lyrics
Album: La Barrera Del Sonido (The Sound Barrier), 2009
Style: Pop/rock, energetic, sounds cheerful, song about spending a weekend with a crush
Country: Spain
Listen at YouTube.

Translation:

Domingo por la tarde
Me vienes a buscar
Y vamos a perder el tiempo un rato.

Sunday (by the) afternoon
You come to look for me
And we go to waste some time.

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