“La Derrota” by Vicente Fernández, English translation of lyrics

“The Great Fall” Lyrics
Album: Para Siempre (Forever), 2007
Style: Ranchera about the downfall of a relationship after infidelity, and the regret afterward.
Country: Mexico
Listen: YouTube

Translation:

¡Ay, ay, ay, ja, ja, ja!

Por darle rienda suelta a mis antojos,
Por no tener conciencia del abismo,
Por eso ayer hice llorar sus ojos,
Y hoy mis ojos también hacen lo mismo.

For giving my whims free reign,
For not being aware of the abyss,
For that yesterday I made her eyes cry,
And today my eyes also do the same.

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“Amanecí en Tus Brazos” by José Alfredo Jiménez, English translation of lyrics

“I Woke Up in Your Arms” Lyrics
Style: Ranchera, love song
Country: Mexico
Listen: YouTube

Translation:

Amanecí otra vez
Entre tus brazos
Y desperté llorando
De alegría.

I woke up again
In your arms
And I woke up crying
From joy.

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“El Gavilan Pollero” by Pedro Infante, English translation of lyrics

“El Gavilán Pollero” (The Chicken Hawk) sung by Pedro Infante
Style: Ranchera about a man who lost his favorite hen and is in the bargaining stage of grief. This is a popular Mexican oldie and the title of a film from the golden age of Mexican cinema [YouTube link to the full film].
Country: Mexico
Listen: YouTube

Translation:

[Knocking sounds]

¡Cantinero! ¡Cantinero!

Barman! Barman!

Infeliz gavilán,
Se llevo la polla más linda que tenia en mi gallinero.

Wretched chicken hawk,
He took the most lovely hen I had in my chickenhouse.

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“Si Nos Dejan” by José Alfredo Jiménez, English translation of lyrics

“If They Let Us”
Style: Ranchera, romantic song about leaving to a happy new beginning with your lover
Country: Mexico
Listen: YouTube

Translation:

Si nos dejan,
Nos vamos a querer toda la vida.
Si nos dejan,
Nos vamos a vivir a un mundo nuevo.

If they let us,
We will love each other our whole lives.
If they let us,
We will go live in a new world.

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“Alma de Acero” by José Alfredo Jiménez, English translation of lyrics

“Soul of Steel” Lyrics
Style: Ranchera
Country: Mexico
Listen: YouTube

Translation:

Podrás tener mucha suerte,
Podrás andar por el mundo
Destrozando corazones.

You can have lots of luck,
You can travel the world
Destroying hearts.

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“Te Solté La Rienda” by José Alfredo Jiménez, Maná, English translation

“I Let Go of Your Rein” Lyrics
Style: Corrido, ranchera, sometimes a mariachi. This popular Mexican song is an epic “you’ll miss me, but go” breakup song.
Country: Mexico
Listen: YouTube (José Alfredo Jiménez, Maná, Lupillo Rivera, Vicente Fernandez, and many more)

Translation:

Se me acabó la fuerza
De mi mano izquierda.
Voy a dejarte el mundo
Para ti solita.

I lost the strength
On my left hand.
I am going to leave you the world
For your very own.

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“Cuatro Caminos” by José Alfredo Jiménez, English translation of lyrics

“Four Paths”
Style: Ranchera, mariachi, forsaken love song. A song about picking your life path when you feel lost. The cuatro caminos refers to the four cardinal directions.
Country: Mexico
Listen: YouTube, Amazon

Translation:

Es imposible que yo te olvide.
Es imposible que yo me vaya.
Por donde quiera que voy te miro.
Ando con otra y por ti suspiro.

It is impossible for me to forget you.
It is impossible for me to leave.
Because wherever I go, I see you.
I am with another and I sigh for you.

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“Desvelado” by Bobby Pulido, English translation of lyrics

“Sleepless”
AlbumPuro Tejano Gold (Pure Texan Gold), 2008
Style: Texan ranchera with a very slight cumbia influence. Bobby Pulido is a Mexican-American singer. This song is about unrequited and unknown love. The poor guy falls in love with a voice he heard on the radio. Listen to his sleepless tale below.
Country: USA (Texas)
Listen: YouTube

Translation:

Será fe que yo encontré… una voz de ternura
Que me llena de placer, cuando la oigo hablar.
Con ella me enamoré, aunque nunca la conoci.
Sueño en su querer y en sus brazos quiero dormir.

It must be fate that I found… a tender voice
Who fills me with pleasure, when I hear it speak.
I fell in love with her, even though I never met her.
I dream about her love and I want to sleep in her arms.

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“La Media Vuelta” by José Alfredo Jiménez, English translation of lyrics

“About-Turn”
Style: Ranchera, heartbreak, wavering between denial and acceptance.
Country: Mexico
Listen: YouTube, Amazon

Translation:

Te vas porque yo quiero que te vayas.
A la hora que yo quiera te detengo.
Yo sé que mi cariño te hace falta
Porque quieras o no yo soy tu dueño.

You leave because I want you to leave.
At whatever time I want, I (can) stop you.
I know that you need my affection,
Because whether you want it or not, I am your boss.

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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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