“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: YouTube, Amazon


No es que me valga madre la vida,
El dolor de la gente, el frío, y el hambre. 
La angustia está presente.
El odio se siente, el ambiente se pone caliente.

It’s not that I don’t give a damn about life,
People’s pain, the cold, and hunger.
The anguish is there.
The hate is palpable, the environment heats up.

Cada segundo una mala noticia.
El mundo se ahoga en un mar de injusticia.
Yo necesito parar y sentir
El olor de la hierba y las flores.

Every second more bad news. [*Lit. Every second a bad news]
The world drowns in a sea of injustice.
I need to stop and sense
The smell of the plants and the flowers.


Quiero bailar,
Quiero echarme a reír,
Y no pedir disculpas.
Ya estuvo bueno de tanto sufrir. [*]
Yo quiero verte feliz.

I want to dance,
I want to (throw my head back and) laugh,
And not ask forgiveness.
It’s been enough suffering. [*]
I want to see you happy.

Cómo la risa de un niño 
Jugando sin miedo, sin prisa, sin preocupaciones. 
Es alimento pal’ [para] alma un abrazo,
Mirarte a los ojos,
Sentirnos en calma.

Like the laughter of a child
Playing without fear, without rush, without worries.
It’s nourishment for the soul – a hug,
Seeing into your eyes,
Feeling at calm (together).

No pierdas el tiempo
Que el tiempo es bendito.
Jamás lo regalan y queda poquito.
Que pa’ [para] querer y dejarse querer,
No hace falta que pidas permiso

Don’t waste time
Because time is sacred.
It’s never given away and (yet) there’s very little left.
Because to love and let yourself be loved,
There’s no need to ask permission.

[Chorus: “Quiero bailar, quiero echarme a reír…”] x2

Feliz… feliz… feliz… feliz

Happy… happy… happy… happy

Translation Notes:

Ya estuvo bueno de tanto sufrir.
It’s been enough suffering.
It’s been a good amount of suffering. [*alternative]

Ya estuvo bueno (literally “it’s been good now”) is a Mexican slang way of saying, “ok ok that’s enough”. The past tense is intentional and a way of saying, “ok let’s stop now”.

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