“Que Te Vaya Bonito” by José Alfredo Jiménez, English translation of lyrics

“May Things Go Beautifully For You”
Style: Sorrowful mariachi love song. This is a post-breakup song, with the narrator wishing his former lover nothing but good things. It sounds like he ended the relationship due to outside circumstances.
Country: Mexico
Listen: YouTube, Amazon. The song was also used for a 1978 Mexican film, but there is little information available online.

Translation:

Ojalá que te vaya bonito.
Ojalá que se acaben tus penas,
Que te digan que yo ya no existo,
Y conozcas personas más buenas.
..

I hope that things go beautifully for you.
I hope that your sorrows end,
That they tell you that I no longer exist,
And that you meet better people…

…Que te den lo que no pude darte,
Aunque yo te haya dado de todo.
Nunca más volveré a molestarte.
Te adore, te perdí, ya ni modo.

…Who give you what I couldn’t give you,
Even though I gave you (of) everything.
I will never bother you again.
I adored you, I lost you, oh well now.

¿Cuántas cosas quedaron prendidas
Hasta dentro del fondo de mi alma?
¿Cuantas luces dejaste encendidas?
Yo no sé como voy a apagarlas.

How many things were kept lit
Deep inside at the bottom of my soul?
How many lights did you leave turned on?
I don’t know how I will turn them off.

(Amor, que te vaya bonito.)

(Love, may things go beautifully for you.)

Ojalá que mi amor no te duela,
Y te olvides de mi para siempre.
Que se llenen de sangre tus venas
Y conozcas una vida de suerte.

I hope that my love doesn’t hurt you,
And that you forget about me forever.
May your veins fill with blood
And (may) you know a life of good fortune.

Yo no sé si tu ausencia me mate,
Aunque tengo mi pecho de acero.
Pero nadie me llame cobarde
Sin saber hasta donde la quiero.

I don’t know if your absence will kill me,
Even though I have a chest of steel.
But let no one call me a coward
Without knowing how far I’ve loved her.

¿Cuántas cosas quedaron prendidas
Hasta dentro del fondo de mi alma?
¿Cuántas luces dejaste encendidas?
Yo no sé como voy a apagarlas.

How many things were kept lit
Deep inside at the bottom of my soul?
How many lights did you leave turned on?
I don’t know how I will turn them off.

Ojala… que te vaya… bonito…

I hope… that things go… beautifully… for you…

Translation Notes:

{Ojalá que} [te vaya] bonito.
{I hope that} [things go] beautifully [for you].
{May things} [go] nice [for you].

ojalá que = I hope that…; may (it be that)…; hopefully (that)…

This phrase opening is said before a wish or desire.

The word bonito (lit. pretty) here means “nice” or “beautiful.” He wants things to go well for her.

…Que te den lo que no pude darte, / Aunque yo te haya dado de todo.

…Who give you what I couldn’t give you, / Even though I had given you you (of) everything.

te haya dado todo = …had given you everything.

The addition of de in de todo here means he gave her of all different things she needed (e.g. love, affection, time, etc). It is a subtle difference, but it sounds less exaggerated than saying just “everything.”

Nunca más volveré a molestarte.

will never bother you again.
Never more will I bother you again. [*lit.]
Never more will I come back to bother you. [*lit. word-for-word]

Te adore, te perdí, ya ni modo.

I adored you, I lost you, oh well now.

Saying ni modo means admitting that you can’t do anything about a situation. It means “oh well.”

Que se llenen de sangre tus venas / Y (que) conozcas una vida de suerte.

May your veins fill with blood / And (may) you know a life of good fortune.

In Spanish, phrases beginning with “que” often signify the start of a desire/hope/wish or declaration.

He wants her to recover from her sorrow and live her life again. He wants a life of suerte (luck) for her.

Blood in the veins means life. He wants her to be lively, happy.

Pero (que) nadie me llame cobarde / Sin saber hasta donde la quiero.
But let no one call me a coward / Without knowing how far I’ve loved her.
But let no one call me a coward / Without knowing how far I love her. [*lit., note tense]

The second part is actually present tense, but I changed it so it would sound better in English.

Jose Alfredo Jimenez – without accents so the WordPress search engine can find this post

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