“Hasta La Piel” by Carla Morrison, English translation and meaning

Down To My Skin” Lyrics
Album: Dejénme Llorar (Let Me Cry), 2012
Style: Alternative rock, romantic and melancholy, emo
Country: Mexico, USA (Arizona)
Listen: YouTube

Translation:

No te quiero perder,
Que la distancia se devore nuestra miel,
Y perdamos la fe.

I don’t want to lose you,
For the distance to devour our honey,
And for us to lose faith.

No te quiero tener,
Y cuando menos piense,

Perderte otra vez,
Me duele hasta la piel.

I don’t want to have you,
And when I least expect it,
Lose you again,
It hurts me to down my skin.

Dentro de mí,
Semillas tengo de ti,
Y sin ti
Pueden querer morir.

Inside me,
I have seeds of you,
And without you,
They may want to die.

Quiero sentarme a llorar,
Sacar de adentro mil cosas
Que te quiero decir.

I want to sit down and cry,
Remove from inside me a thousand things
That I want to tell you.

Me siento tan débil sin ti.
Quiero guardarme a la moral,
Darte unos besos que quizás
Tenga que robar
De tu boca mía,
Mía, mía…

I feel so weak without you.
I want to keep to my morals, [*see alternatives in notes]
Give you a few kisses that perhaps
I may need to steal
From your mouth, mine,
Mine, mine…

No te quiero perder,
Que el amor se acabe
Y vuelvas a querer
Otro sabor a miel.

I don’t want to lose you,
For the love to end
And for you to want
Another flavor of honey.

No te quiero tener,
Porque tanto te amo,
Comienzo a conocer
La intensidad de mi ser.

I don’t want to have you,
Because I love you so much,
(That) I begin to understand
The intensity of my being.

Dentro de mí,
Semillas tengo de ti,
Y sin ti
Pueden querer morir.

Inside me,
I have seeds of you,
And without you,
They may want to die.

Quiero sentarme a llorar,
Sacar de adentro mil cosas
Que te quiero decir.

I want to sit down and cry,
Remove from inside me a thousand things
That I want to tell you.

Me siento tan débil sin ti.
Quiero guardarme a la moral,
Darte unos besos que quizás
Tenga que robar
De tu boca mía~hah…

I feel so weak without you.
I want to keep to my morals, [*see alternatives in notes]
Give you a few kisses that perhaps
I may need to steal
From your mouth, mine,
Mine, mine…

Translation Notes:

The song has onion layers of meaning. The first, most obvious layer, is that this woman is clearly in love but also feels the fear and pain of uncertainty. The song starts by talking about distance. It sounds like the relationship may need to become long-distance and she worries that will drive them apart. She does not want to lose what they have.

Her words have a desperate and urgent quality to them. We could interpret this to be only about a long-distance relationship, but various word choices make me think that this woman is in love and pregnant, or suspects that she is pregnant, but does not know how to tell her lover and what that will do to the relationship.

Alternatively, this could be interpreted as a woman who is singing to two people, her lover and her unborn child. She may be afraid of miscarriage. She says she fears having him/them (it’s ambiguous), and then, cuando menos piense, perderte otra vez (when I least expect it, lose you again).

Alternatively, this woman is pregnant and unsure if she wants to keep the pregnancy, again because she does not know how it will affect her relationship.

Any of these meanings could be correct, and possibly other meanings. The lyrics are intentionally vague at times, but the recurring themes are having and losing, wanting to say something, uncertainty, intense love and desperate fear of loss.


Below, I will repeat the translation of various stanzas and add discussion. I will mark different parts of the translation for Spanish learners to follow along more easily.


No {te} quiero {perder},
Que la distancia se devore nuestra miel,
Y [perdamos] la fe.

I don’t want to {lose you},
For the distance to devour our honey,
And [for us to lose] faith.

Here, she is afraid of distance weakening the relationship. It is unclear if she only means physical distance such as becoming a long-distance relationship, but that is the most obvious meaning. Losing faith refers to losing confidence in the worth of keeping the relationship. A lot of relationships fizzle out after they become long-distance.


No {te} quiero {tener},
Y cuando [menos piense],

Perderte (otra vez),
Me duele hasta la piel.

I don’t want to {have you},
And when [I least expect it],
Lose you (again),
It hurts me to my skin.

I go back and forth on who this stanza refers to. I am 95% convinced she is speaking to her lover, who she is afraid of losing, but 5% convinced that she might be speaking to a fetus. The intended “obvious” meaning is that she is speaking to her lover.


Me duele hasta la piel.

It hurts me to my skin.
It hurts me down to my skin.
It hurts me to my core.
It hurts me so much I feel it in my skin.

She means that the pain is not only emotional, but so intense that she even feels it in her skin. It feels like physical pain that surrounds her.


Dentro de mí,
Semillas tengo de ti,
Y sin ti
Pueden querer morir.

Inside me,
I have seeds of you,
And without you,
They may want to die.

This is the main reason I think that she is pregnant. The wording is too specific. No one speaks like this to their lover normally. “Semillas” means seeds, like plant seeds, like the units that begin life. The tone of voice in the song isn’t sexy, so I don’t think she coyly means sperm in a sexy way. This girl knows or thinks she is pregnant.


Quiero sentarme [a llorar],
Sacar {de adentro} mil cosas
Que te quiero decir.

I want to sit down [and cry],
Remove {from inside me} a thousand things
That I want to tell you.

I want to sit down [to cry],
Extract {from inside} a thousand things
That I want to say to you.

She wants to confess something to her lover. I think it’s her pregnancy. The wording she uses (sacar de adentro, remove from inside) also makes me wonder if she is considering abortion. It sounds like a double-meaning in Spanish. She wants to find the words (sacar/remove/extract/take out) from inside herself to speak to her lover, but she is afraid to do it. She doesn’t only want to take out the words, though, but “a thousand things.” What are those other things? It is left for us to interpret.


Me siento tan débil sin ti.
Quiero {guardarme} a la moral,
Darte unos besos que quizás
Tenga que robar
De tu boca [mía]

I feel so weak without you.
I want {to keep} to {my} morals
Give you a few kisses that perhaps
I may need to steal
From your mouth, [mine]

I feel so weak without you.
I want {to hold myself} to morals/ethics
Give you a few kisses that perhaps
I may need to steal
From your mouth, [which is mine]

The line “guardarme a la moral” was the most difficult to translate because it could be interpreted many ways. Is she trying to hide her pregnancy because she fears she will be judged for being pregnant out of wedlock? If she is considering abortion, does she worry it will be seen as unethical (or not what she would normally choose) but she still wants to do it because she thinks it is the only way to keep her lover? Alternatively, is she a virgin or celibate, and trying to abstain from sex, but having difficulty convincing herself not to give in? Pick your interpretation.

It isn’t even clear if she means her own morals or community standards of good behavior. She could have specified “guardarme a mis morales” (hold myself to my morals), but she instead chose the vague “la moral” (the morals, the ethnical code, the standard).


I find this song fascinating because of the many ways it can be interpreted. The lyrics are of a woman who holds a secret but all her actions are guided by the opening line, “no te quiero perder” (I don’t want to lose you).

There is even a music video, but that does not clarify the meaning. The music video starts with a woman stopping a car and letting a man in a red shirt out, then she continues driving the car alone. Where is she going? Is she going home after a visit, sad that they are now long-distance? In some scenes, she isn’t alone and her lover in the red shirt is with her, in others she is by herself. In some scenes, she is at a festival or getting ice cream with her lover (not always in red), and I notice sometimes she wears a red bandana around her wrist and sometimes we see it tied elsewhere like to her car’s rearview mirror. At the end of the music video, she stops the car again and her red shirt lover runs out in an apparent repetition of the beginning of the video, then a car chasing them stops also and a different man (white shirt) runs out and chases him with a gun. The two men run into the grass and we hear a gunshot off screen, but neither of them is dead because they both appear again, the second man (white shirt) still chasing the first (red shirt). The first gets back into her car and they drive off. I think the second man is a symbol, not a literal person. Or are they both symbols?

If you have other thoughts on what this song means, comment below to discuss. I welcome more interpretations.

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