“No Pidas Perdón” by Mala Rodríguez, English translation of lyrics

“Don’t Ask Forgiveness”
AlbumDirty Bailarina (Dirty Ballerina), 2010
Style: Hip hop, with a spoken word vibe
Country: Spain
Listen: YouTube


I was listening to an NPR short about Mala Rodriguez and they mentioned that she calls herself “Mala” (Bad) Rodriguez because her aunt would always scold her and call her a bad kid. That’s so sad, a little cute maybe, and also a great story. Mala Rodriguez has been gaining acclaim these past few years for her distinctive rap/hip hop style and her poetic lyrics. She collaborated with Julieta Venegas on the MTV Unplugged version of Julieta’s “Eres Para Mi.”

Two lines in this song’s transcription are a little iffy, so check back for edits in a few months. The song has been on my list since the NPR short in 2011, so it makes more sense to just post it as is and wait for comments. It’s a great song. Listen to it at YouTube here.


Sa’ [sabe]
Lo peor ya ha pasa’o [pasado].
Dime, ¿de qué sirve seguir doblega’o [doblegado].

You know
The worst has already passed.
Tell me, what use is it to keep bowing down (in defeat)?

Vamos a buscar algo de retención,
Salvemos almas de la extinción.
Entre el polvo y la arena en estado latente
Como un sueño recurrente,
Mala semilla, bella durmiente.

Let us go search for a kind of permanence,
Let us save souls from extinction.
Between dust and sand in a latent state
Like a recurring dream,
Bad seed, sleeping beauty.

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“Atrévete-te-te” by Calle 13, English translation of lyrics

“Dare-are-are” Lyrics Translation
Album: Calle 13, 2005
Style: Urban, hip hop and reggaeton fusion. The music video won “Best Short Form Music Video” at the 2006 Latin Grammy Awards.
Country: Puerto Rico
Listen: YouTube (Explicit)


Atrévete-te-te salte del closet,
Destápate, quítate el esmalte.
Deja de taparte que nadie va a retratarte.
Levántate ponte hiper.

Dare-dare-dare, get out of your closet*,
Uncover yourself, take off your nail polish.
Stop covering yourself ‘cuz no one’s gonna take your picture.
Get up, make yourself hyper.

Préndete, sácale chispa al estalter,
Préndete en fuego como un lighter,
Sacúdete el sudor como si fueras un wiper,
Que tú eres callejera*, street fighter.

Light yourself, draw sparks from the starter,
Light yourself on fire like a lighter,
Shake off your sweat like if you were a wiper,
‘Cause you’re a street girl, a street fighter.

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“Pa’l Norte” by Calle 13 ft. Orishas, English translation of lyrics and spoken parts

“To The North” Translation
Album: Residente/Visitante (Resident/Visitor), 2007
Style: Urban/hip hop
Countries: Puerto Rico, Cuba
Listen: YouTube


Unas piernas que respiran…
Veneno de serpiente…
Por el camino del viento…
Voy soplando agua ardiente*

A pair of legs that breathe in…
Venom from snakes…
By the way of the wind…
I go exhaling blazing water…

El día habia comenzado entusiasmado y alegre.

The day had begun enthusiastically and joyfully.

-Dice… Pasaporte!
-Ha donde va por ahí, luminario*, en esta noche tan fea?
-Usted no se anima?
-Mire como ‘sta el camino. ‘Ta negaiiiito!
-No hombre, cómo, el camino es lo de menos.
-Lo importante es que haiga* bronca.

-(He) says… Passport!
-Where you goin’, luminary, in this night so ugly?
-Don’t you dare?
-See how the road is. It’s terrible!
-No man, how (can you say that), the road is the least of it.
-What matters is for there to be a fight in you.

Continue reading ““Pa’l Norte” by Calle 13 ft. Orishas, English translation of lyrics and spoken parts”