“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.

Llegué a tus playas impuntual,
Pero no me rendiré.
Soy tu amor clandestino,
Soy el viento sin destino

Que se cuela en tus faldas, mi amor.

I arrived at your beaches late,
But I won’t give up.
I am your clandestine love,
I am the wind without destiny
That sieves through your skirts, my love.

Un soñador, un clandestino
Que se juega hasta la vida, mi amor clandestino.
Amada, amada amor.
No, no, no, no.

A dreamer, a stowaway
Who gambles even their life, my clandestine love.
Loved, my loved love.
No, no, no, no.

Mi amor clandestino en el silencio, el dolor,
Se nos cae todo el cielo de esperar.
Inevitable, casi como respirar,
Se nos cae todo el cielo
De tanto esperar, clandestino.

My clandestine love in the silence, the pain,
The whole sky falls around us for waiting.
Inevitable, almost like breathing,
The whole sky falls around us
For waiting so much, clandestine.

El universo conspiró, inevitable corazón,
Clandestino eterno amor,
Pero me duele no gritar tu nombre en toda libertad,
Bajo sospecha hay que callar.

The universe conspired, inevitable heart,
Clandestine eternal love,
But it pains me not to yell your name in total liberty,
Under suspicion we must hush.

Y te sueño piel con piel,
Ahogado en besos y tus risas, amor,
Y me hundo en el calor
Que hay en tus muslos, en tu mar.

And I dream of you skin with skin,
Drowning in kisses and your laughs, my love,
And I sink into the warmth
Of your thighs, of your sea.

Llorando en silencio, temblando tu ausencia,
Rogándole al cielo y fingiendo estar muy bien,
No, no, no, no.

Crying in silence, trembling (in) your absence,
Begging the heavens and pretending to be really well,
No, no, no, no.

Mi amor clandestino en el silencio, el dolor,
Se nos cae todo el cielo de esperar,
Inevitable casi como respirar,
Se nos cae todo el cielo
De tanto esperar, clandestino.

My clandestine love in the silence, the pain,
The whole sky falls around us for waiting,
Inevitable, almost like breathing.
The whole sky falls around us
For waiting so much, clandestine.

No te engañes más,
Ya no te mientas.
Si aire ya pasó, ya pasó.
Y verdad, ya no tengas miedo.
Solo tú mantienes mi respiración.

Don’t fool yourself anymore,
Don’t lie to yourself.
If air passed already, then it passed.
And really, don’t be afraid anymore.
Only you keep me breathing.

Hace tanto que yo esperaba al viento, amor,
Cae el llanto del cielo de esperar.
Hace tanto que yo esperé tu luz, mi amor,
Ay amor, ay amor, ay amor.

It has been so long that I waited for the (right) wind, my love,
The cries of the sky fall from waiting.
It has been so long that I have waited for your light, my love,
Oh love, oh love, oh love.

Se nos cae todo el cielo,
Se nos cae todo el cielo de tanto esperar.
Mi amor, ya no te engañes,
No te mientas, corazón,
Se nos cae todo el cielo, entiéndelo, amor.

The whole sky falls on us,
The whole sky falls on us for waiting so long.
My love, don’t fool yourself,
Don’t like to yourself, my (sweet)heart,
The whole sky is falling on us, understand that, my love.

Translation Notes:

Llegué a tus playas impuntual, / Pero no me rendiré.

I arrived at your beaches late, / But I won’t give up.

Although this appears to be mostly a song about forbidden or hidden love, Maná weaves in metaphorical lines about the people who were brought to the USA as undocumented immigrant children. This song came out in 2011 when there were many discussions and political debates about what to do about their immigration status, and many pleas for empathy and a path to US citizenship. They were raised in the USA, were culturally American, and were often high achieving students not able to achieve higher goals (e.g. entering higher education, medical school, law school) due to their legal status.

In 2011, Governor Brown of California signed the California Dream Act, which allowed undocumented college students to qualify for state-funded financial aid for college tuition. This removed one barrier to higher educational achievement for undocumented youth, who were now popularly called “Dreamers”.

For Brown, signing Cedillo’s bill was a gesture of goodwill toward Latino voters, who helped elect him in large numbers last fall. Legislation providing education funding to undocumented students has been a top priority for many Latino groups, which have found many of their efforts thwarted so far at the federal level. Last year proponents failed to marshal enough votes in the U.S. Senate to ensure passage of the federal DREAM Act, which would have created a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants brought to the U.S. before age 16 if they attended a college or served in the military.

Maeve Reston, Los Angeles Times, July 26, 2011, “Brown signs California Dream Act”

In 2012, President Obama issued an executive order to create the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which provided protection from deportation to undocumented youth and young adults as long as they met certain criteria.

To qualify, the individuals had to: have come to the United States under age 16; not be above the age of 30; have “continuously resided” in the U.S. for at least five years; be in school or had graduated, or had served in military; have not been convicted of a “felony offense or significant misdemeanor.” More than 700,000 young people came forward, passed a background check and qualified for relief from deportation under the program.

David G. Savage, Los Angeles Times, Nov 12, 2019, “DACA timeline: The rise and resilience of the ‘Dreamers’ program”

DACA was removed by Trump in 2017.

Today, DACA is in limbo but the Biden administration is trying to bring it back.

DACA’s legal troubles stem from a July [2021] ruling by a federal judge in Brownsville, Texas, who held that DHS had violated federal law by creating the program without formally notifying the public in advance and inviting people to comment. The judge also expressed skepticism about the department’s authority to create such a program on its own, rather than having Congress enact it into law.

The Biden administration is appealing the ruling, but it’s also seeking to “preserve and fortify” the program by going through the rulemaking process it had previously skipped.

Karen Garcia and Jon Healey, Los Angeles Times, Nov 9, 2021, “Biden administration wants to re-create DACA through new federal rule. What does that mean?”

Un soñador, un clandestino

A dreamer, a clandestine person [*literal]
A dreamer, a stowaway [*best song translation]
A dreamer, an undocumented immigrant [*hidden meaning]

This is the most obvious line about this song’s immigrant metaphor. “Dreamer” is the term used for undocumented immigrants brought the USA as children. “Inmigrante clandestino” means undocumented immigrant.


Ya no te mientas.
Si aire ya pasó, ya pasó.

Don’t lie to yourself.
If air passed already, then it passed.

This is referring to the air of breath. It means, “if the secret was told, then it’s out.”


Y {verdad}, <ya> no tengas miedo. / [Solo tú] mantienes mi respiración.

And {really}, don’t be afraid <anymore>. / [Only you] keep me breathing.
And {truth}, don’t have fear <anymore>. / [Only you] maintain my respiration. *Literal


Se nos cae todo el cielo,
Se nos cae todo el cielo de tanto esperar.

The whole sky falls on us,
The whole sky falls on us for waiting so long.

In a Latin American cultural context, these lines are about fear of impending disaster and the crying/tears that will bring. These lines are meant to evoke sympathy for Dreamers, whose lives are in limbo due to their uncertain immigration status. I do not think this is a Chicken Little reference.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.