“El Ramalazo” by Flor Silvestre, cover by Selena Quintanilla, English translation of lyrics

“The Fall”, lit. “The Impact” or “The Blast of Wind”
Style: Mariachi
Countries: United States (Texas), Mexico
Listen: This song is full of life advice and metaphors. It speaks about the fall of a great tree. It was so large, and it fell so hard. The song is covered on Selena Quintanilla-Pérez’s anthology album, disc 2. Listen on YouTube here.

Translation:

Deja amistades pa’ cuando caigas,
Te den la mano.
Brinde una copa pa’ cuando llores,
Te den un trago.

Keep friendships so that when you fall,
They give you a hand.
Raise your glass (to others’ happiness) so that when you cry,
They give you a drink.

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“Que Nadie Sepa Mi Sufrir” by Angel Cabral and Enrique Dizeo, sung by many, English translation

“Let No One Know of My Suffering”
Style: Varies, but commonly in the style of a Peruvian waltz
Composer: Ángel Cabral (Argentina), 1936
Songwriter: Enrique Dizeo (Argentina)
Country: Sung by many, originally from Argentina

Listen: Renditions available at YouTube by: Los Lobos (USA, 1970s-current), Julio Jaramillo (Ecuador, 1950s pasillo), Maria Dolores Pradera (Spain, 1950s operatic), Sonora Dinamita (Colombian and Salvadorean, 1980s+ cumbia), Julio Iglesias (Spain, 1980s romantic), 웅산 Woong San (Korea, in Spanish, 2010s), Edith Piaf (France, in French with edited lyrics as La Foule, 1957), and many more.

Translation:

No te asombres si te digo lo que fuiste:
Una ingrata con mi pobre corazón.
Porque el fuego de tus lindos ojos negros [*alt: el brillo]
Alumbraron el camino de otro amor.

Don’t be surprised if I tell you what you were:
An ingrate with my poor heart.
Because the fire of your lovely black eyes [*alt: the shine]
Lit up the path to another love.

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“Alma de Acero” by José Alfredo Jiménez, English translation of lyrics

“Soul of Steel” Lyrics
Style: Ranchera
Country: Mexico
Listen: YouTube

Translation:

Podrás tener mucha suerte,
Podrás andar por el mundo
Destrozando corazones.

You can have lots of luck,
You can travel the world
Destroying hearts.

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“Amor Clandestino” by Maná, English translation of lyrics

“Clandestine Love” Lyrics
Album: Drama y Luz (Drama and Light), 2011
Style: Latin rock
Country: Mexico
Listen: YouTube, Amazon

Translation:

Eres inevitable, amor,
Casi como respirar,
Casi como respirar.

You are inevitable, love,
Almost like breathing,
Almost like breathing.

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“Te Solté La Rienda” by José Alfredo Jiménez, Maná, English translation

“I Let Go of Your Rein” Lyrics
Style: Corrido, ranchera, sometimes a mariachi. This popular Mexican song is an epic “you’ll miss me, but go” breakup song.
Country: Mexico
Listen: YouTube (José Alfredo Jiménez, Maná, Lupillo Rivera, Vicente Fernandez, and many more)

Translation:

Se me acabó la fuerza
De mi mano izquierda.
Voy a dejarte el mundo
Para ti solita.

I lost the strength
On my left hand.
I am going to leave you the world
For your very own.

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“Vivir Mi Vida” by Marc Anthony, English translation of intro and lyrics

“Living My Life” Lyrics
Album: Marc Anthony 3.0, 2013
Style: Joyful anthem encouraging you to seek happiness.
Country: USA (New York & Puerto Rico)
Listen: YouTube, Amazon

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“Tu Falta De Querer” by Mon Laferte, English translation of lyrics

“Your Failure to Love” Lyrics
Album: Mon Laferte Vol. 1, 2015
Style: Latin rock about a devastated woman wondering “why?” after a breakup.
Country: Chile
Listen: YouTube

Translation:

Hoy volví a dormir en nuestra cama
Y todo sigue igual.
El aire y nuestros gatos, nada cambiará.
Difícil olvidarte estando aquí, oh, oh, oh.

Today I went back to sleep in our bed
And everything remains the same.
The air and our cats, nothing will change.
It’s difficult to forget you being here, oh, oh, oh.

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“No Voy A Ser Tu Esclavo” by Maná, English translation of lyrics

“I Will Not Be Your Slave” Lyrics
Album: Revolución de Amor (Revolution of Love), 2002
Style: Rock
Country: Mexico
Listen @ YouTube, Amazon Music

Translation:

No me crucifiques
Con los clavos del amor, mi morena. *
No soy de tu propiedad, mi reina,
Y no voy a ser tu esclavo.

Do not crucify me
With the nails of love, my brunette. *
I am not your property, my queen,
And I will not be your slave.

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“Kitipun” by Juan Luis Guerra, English translation of lyrics

“Kitipun” Lyrics
Album: Literal (Literal), 2019
Style: Bachata, salsa, tropical love song.
Country: Dominical Republic
Listen: YouTube, Amazon. This song won “Best Tropical Song” and was nominated for Song of the Year in the 2019 Latin Grammy Awards.

Translation:

Mi cuenta de ahorros, mi pasta dental,
Mi guitarra Fender y mi celular.
Mi libro de sushi comprado en Perú,
Mi bata de baño y mi champú. (¡Oh!)

My checking account, my toothpaste,
My Fender guitar and my cell phone.
My book about sushi bought in Peru,
My bathrobe and my shampoo. (Oh!)

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“Ella Me Enamoró” by La Santa Cecilia, English translation of lyrics

“She Made Me Fall In Love” Lyrics
Album: Quiero Verte Feliz (I Want To See You Happy), 2021 
Style: Cumbia about falling in love
Country: USA/Mexico (Mexican-American)
Listen: YouTube, Amazon

Translation:

En la locura de este pensamiento
Salen corriendo todos mis deseos.
Quisiera liberar mi pensamiento,
Buscándote a ti.

In the lunacy of this thought
All my desires go flying [*lit. running].
I would like to liberate my mind,
Looking for you.

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“Amor Profundo” by Julio Jaramillo, English translation of lyrics

“Profound Love” Lyrics
Style: Vals (Waltz)
Country: Ecuador
Listen: YouTube, Amazon

Translation:

Yo no creí
Que al cabo de los años
Fuera a encontrar
Un amor como el tuyo.

I did not believe
That after all these years
I would find
A love like yours.

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“Amigos Simplemente” by Mon Laferte, English translation of lyrics

“Simply Friends” Lyrics
Album: SEIS (Six), 2021
Style: Mariachi about a lovestruck person wanting to know if their crush is interested in a relationship, or if they will stay simply friends.
Countries: Chile, Mexico
Listen: YouTube

Translation:

Oye, dame una señal,
La posibilidad de hacerlo a mi modo.
Dale, no seas cohibido,
Quiero algo contigo,
Más que ser amigos.

Hey, give me a sign,
The possibility of doing things my way.
Come on, don’t be shy,
I want something with you,
More than being friends.

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“Te Esperaré” by Julio Jaramillo, English translation of lyrics

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

Translation:

Te esperaré.
Sé que me quieres
Y yo seré tu adoración.
En mi recuerdo, grabado estará tu nombre.
Toda la vida, te esperaré y serás mi gran amor.

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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, Amazon

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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, Amazon

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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