“Primer Día” by Julieta Venegas ft. Dante Spinetta, English translation

“First Day” Lyrics
Album: Limon y Sal (Lemon and Salt), 2006
Style: Pop, love song, possibly breakup song, possibly the start of a new relationship though it sounds like one person wants it more than the other.
Country: Mexico
Listen: YouTube

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“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

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“Cuidado” by José José; La Santa Cecilia; English translation of lyrics

“Careful” Lyrics
AlbumsCuidado (1969); Someday New (2014)
Style: Soulful alternative rock, ballad-like, with bass and acoustic instruments, including accordion.
Countries: United States (Los Angeles, CA); Mexico

Listen:

The song by José José is directed to a lover who is doing things that will lead to a breakup. You can listen to the original version by José José (1969) or La Santa Cecilia’s cover (2014) at YouTube. I love the way lead singer Marisol “La Marisoul” Hernandez harmonizes the warnings in the lyrics until the words vibrate.

José José:

La Santa Cecilia:

Today is the last day of Hispanic Heritage Month, but Day of the Dead is coming up on November 1-2. I recommend listening to La Santa Cecilia’s lively “La Negra” (YouTube and translation). I’m also curious about the upcoming animated movie, The Book of Life premiering October 17.

Translation (following La Santa Cecilia’s version):

Cuidado,
Mucho cuidado,
Que estás tomando por un rumbo equivocado.

Careful,
Be very careful,
Because you are going down a wrong road.

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“Monedita” by La Santa Cecilia, English translation of lyrics

“Little Coin” Lyrics
AlbumTreinta Días (Thirty Days), 2013
Style: Alternative, energetic, cheerful song praising humble lifestyles. This is a song about not needing money to be happy, about valuing humility, and about how living within one’s means is healthier than over-spending to impress others. Good vocals by lead singer La Marisoul and accordion play by Jose “Pepe” Carlos.
Country: USA (Los Angeles, CA)
Listen: YouTube, Amazon

Translation:

Bonito tu trajecito, ¿cuánto das por la apariencia?
Bonito tu cochecito, ¿no te pesa en la conciencia?

Very nice, your little outfit; how much for that appearance?
Very nice, your little car; doesn’t it weigh on your conscience?

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“Y Todo, ¿Para Qué?” by Intocable, Natalia Lafourcade, and Pedro Reyna Cisneros, English translation

“And All For What?” Lyrics
Style: Pop or ranchera versions, romance song
Songwriter: Pedro Reyna Cisneros
Country: Mexico
Listen @ YouTube to Intocable (ranchera) or Natalia Lafourcade (alt pop)

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“Como un Fantasma” by Chenoa, English translation

“Like a Ghost” Lyrics, 2011
Style: Pop/rock, techno-inspired, about a love that haunts you
Countries: Argentina (born), Spain (raised)
Listen at YouTube. When you break up with someone, it can be hard to forget them. They linger in your mind… like a ghost. For more techno-influenced pop about moving on, see “Mi Mundo Sin Ti” by Soraya.

Translation:

Decido no extrañarte,
Vestirme y levantarme,
Quiero escaparme de tu sombra.

I decide not to miss you,
To dress myself and get up,
I want to escape your shadow.

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“Un Lugar Para Renacer” by Natalia Lafourcade, English translation of lyrics

“A Place To Be Reborn” Lyrics
AlbumHu, Hu, Hu, 2009
Style: Pop, light and floaty, gentle fairy-ish, some piano
Country: Mexico
Listen: YouTube, Amazon

Translation:

Qué protección sentí ayer,
Aunque afuera vi la lluvia.
Me dieron ganas de llorar

Con la canción que me enseñabas.

What security I felt yesterday,
Even though saw the rain outside.
I felt like crying [*lit. I got the urge to cry]
With the song that you were teaching me.

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“Absurda Cenicienta” by Chenoa, English translation of lyrics

“Absurd Cinderella” Lyrics
Album: Absurda Cenicienta, 2007
Style: Pop, about discovered betrayal.
Countries: Spain, Argentina
Listen: YouTube, Amazon

Translation:

En un bar de mi barrio que no quiero recordar,
Vi a mi novio besando a mi amiga.
El dolor de saborear veneno tan letal,
Perder tiempo en dos seres que quería.

In a bar of my neighborhood that I do not want to remember,
I saw my boyfriend kissing my friend.
The pain of tasting poison so lethal,
To waste time on two beings that I loved.

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“En Mi Lado Del Sofá” by La Oreja de Van Gogh, English translation of lyrics

“On My Side of the Sofa” Lyrics
Album: Guapa (Good Looking), 2006
Style: Pop/rock song about devoted love, except it goes slightly too far and sounds like a stalker song. I find it funny. She says she will wait for him in the shadows!
Country: Spain
Listen: YouTube, Amazon

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“Te Dejo Madrid” by Shakira, English translation of lyrics

“I Am Leaving You Madrid”
Album: Laundry Service, 2001
Style: Pop/rock, upbeat
Country: Colombia
Listen: YouTube, Amazon

Translation:

Sí, ya es hora de esconder
Del mundo, el dolor
Bajo la piel.
Más sé que estaré bien.
Los gatos como yo caen de pie
.

Yes, the time has come to hide
From the world, the pain
Under my skin.
But I know I’ll be fine.
Cats like me fall on their feet.

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“El Libro” by La Oreja de Van Gogh, English translation

“The Book” Lyrics
Album: Dile al Sol (Tell the Sun)
Style: Jazzy
Country: Spain
Listen at YouTube

Translation:

Qué distinto parece el mundo al girar,
Si sonríes sentada en cualquier bar,
Conversando sobre la eternidad.

How different the world looks as it spins,
If you smile sitting in any bar,
Speaking about eternity.

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“Bendita Tu Luz” by Maná, English translation of lyrics

“Blessed, Your Light”
AlbumAmar es Combatir (To Love is to Fight)
Style: Sweet, love song. Maná sings a lot of bittersweet, ambiguous, and energetic songs. They sing about desperation and sexual tension and poverty and all sorts of sad affairs. This is none of that. This is a song about pure happiness and romantic bliss. It’s very sweet.
Country: Mexico
Listen: YouTube

Translation:

Bendito el lugar, y el motivo de estar ahí,
Bendita la coincidencia,
Bendito el reloj que nos puso puntual ahí,
Bendita sea tu presencia.

Blessed location, and the motive for being there,
Blessed the coincidence,
Blessed clock that set us there punctually,
Blessed be your presence.

Bendito Dios por encontrarnos en el camino,
Y de quitarme esta soledad de mi destino.

Bendita la luz, bendita la luz de tu mirada (x2)
Desde el alma.

Blessed God for introducing us on the road,
And for taking away this solitude from my destiny.
Blessed be the light, blessed be the light of your gaze (x2)
Coming from the soul.

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“Hielo y Fuego” by Olga Tañon, English translation

“Ice and Fire” Lyrics
Style: Merengue, pop
Country: Puerto Rico
Listen at YouTube

Hay un sorbo de tus besos
En el vino que me embriaga.
Hay un soplo de tu aliento
Cuando escucho tus palabras
.

There’s a whiff of your kisses
In the wine that intoxicates me.
There’s a gust of your scent
When I listen to your words.

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