“Cuatro Caminos” by José Alfredo Jiménez, English translation of lyrics

“Four Paths”
Style: Ranchera, mariachi, forsaken love song. A song about picking your life path when you feel lost. The cuatro caminos refers to the four cardinal directions.
Country: Mexico
Listen: YouTube, Amazon

Translation:

Es imposible que yo te olvide.
Es imposible que yo me vaya.
Por donde quiera que voy te miro.
Ando con otra y por ti suspiro.

It is impossible for me to forget you.
It is impossible for me to leave.
Because wherever I go, I see you.
I am with another and I sigh for you.

Es imposible que todo acabe.
Yo sin tus besos me arranco el alma.
Si ando en mi juicio no estoy contento.
Si ando borracho pa’ qué te cuento.

It is impossible for everything to end.
I, without your kisses, will rip out my soul.
If I am sober, I am not content.
If I am drunk, why even tell you about it?

Cuatro caminos hay en mi vida.
¿Cuál de los cuatro será el mejor?
Tú que me viste llorar de angustia,
Dime paloma por cuál me voy.

There are four paths in my life.
Which of the four may be the best?
You who saw me cry out of anguish,
Tell me, dove, which I should take.

Tú me juraste que amor del bueno
Sólo en tus brazos lo encontraría.
Ya no te acuerdas cuando dijiste
Que yo era tuyo y que tú eras mía.

You swore to me that real love,
I would only find in your arms.
You don’t even remember anymore when you said
That I was yours and you were mine.

Si es que te marchas, paloma blanca,
Alza tu vuelo poquito a poco,
Llévate mi alma bajo tus alas
Y dime adiós a pesar de todo.

If it’s true that you’re leaving, white dove,
Heighten your flight little by little,
Take my soul beneath your wings
And say goodbye to me despite everything.

Cuatro caminos hay en mi vida.
¿Cuál de los cuatro será el mejor?
Tú que me viste llorar de angustia,
Dime paloma por cuál me voy.

There are four paths in my life.
Which of the four may be the best?
You who saw me cry out of anguish,
Tell me, dove, which I should take.

Translation Notes:

Si ando borracho pa’ qué te cuento.

If I am drunk, why even tell you about it?
If I am drunk, for what (reason) tell you about it?

Si ando en mi juicio no estoy contento
If I am sober, I am not content.
If I am in my good judgement, I am not content. [*lit]

Dime paloma por cuál me voy.
Tell me, dove, which I should take.
Tell me, dove, by which I (should) go. [*lit.]

amor del bueno
real love
true love
love of the good kind [*lit.]

Y dime adiós a pesar de todo.
And say goodbye despite everything.
And say goodbye (to me) despite everything. [*lit.]

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