“El Hijo del Pueblo” by José Alfredo Jiménez, English translation of lyrics

“The Town Son”
Composer: José Alfredo Jiménez
Style: Ranchera about poverty with dignity.
Country: Mexico
Listen: YouTube

Translation:

Es mi orgullo haber nacido
En el barrio más humilde,
Alejado del bullicio
(Y) de la falsa sociedad.

It is my pride to have been born
In the most humble neighborhood,
Away from the hustle and bustle
(And) from the false society.

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“Paloma Querida” by José Alfredo Jiménez, Pedro Infante, Jorge Negrete; English translation of lyrics

“Beloved Dove” Lyrics
Style: Ranchera, love song. A popular old romantic song in Mexico.
Country: Mexico
Listen: YouTube, Amazon

Translation:

Por el día que llegaste a mi vida,
Paloma querida, me puse a brindar,
Y al sentirme un poquito tomado,
Pensando en tus labios, me dio por cantar.

For the day that you entered into my life,
Beloved dove, I began to toast,
And on feeling a little drunk,
Thinking of your lips, I was inspired to sing.

Me sentí superior a cualquiera,
Y un puño de estrellas, te quise bajar,
Pero al ver que ninguna alcanzaba, [*alt. Y al mirar]
Me dio tanta rabia que quise llorar.

I felt superior to anyone,
And a fistful of stars, I wanted to bring down for you,
But on seeing I could not reach a single one, [*alt. And on seeing]
It made me so furious that I wanted to cry.

Yo no sé lo que valga mi vida,
Pero yo te la quiero entregar, [*alt. vengo a]
Yo no sé si tu amor la reciba,
Pero yo te la vengo a dejar. [*alt. entregar]

I do not know what my life may be worth,
But I want to turn it over to you, [*alt. come to]
I do not know if your love will receive it,
But I come to leave it to you. [*alt. turn it over]

Me encontraste en un negro camino
Como un peregrino sin rumbo y sin fey
Y la luz de tus ojos divinos
Cambiaron mi suerte por dicha y placer.

You found me on a black path
Like a pilgrim aimless and faithless [*lit. Like a pilgrim without route and without faith]
And the light of your divine eyes
Changed my luck by good fortune and pleasure.

Desde entonces yo siento quererte
Con todas las fuerzas que el alma me da
Desde entonces, paloma querida,
Mi pecho he cambiado por un palomar.

Since then I feel I love you
With all the forces that my soul gives me
Since then, beloved dove,
I have exchanged my chest for a dovecote.

Yo no sé lo que valga mi vida,
Pero yo te la quiero entregar, [*alt. vengo a]
Yo no sé si tu amor la reciba,
Pero yo te la vengo a dejar. [*alt. entregar]

I do not know what my life may be worth,
But I want to turn it over to you, [*alt. come to]
I do not know if your love will receive it,
But I come to leave it to you. [*alt. turn it over]

Translation Notes:

Pensando en tus labios, me dio por cantar.

Thinking about your lips, I was inspired to sing.

darse por = to be inspired to, to be inclined to

Me dio tanta rabia que quise llorar

It made me so furious that I wanted to cry
It gave me such fury that I wanted to cry [*literal]

Con todas las fuerzas que el alma me da

With all the forces that my soul gives me
With all the forces that the soul gives me [*literally]

Spanish often uses “the” (el/la) where English would use “my” (mi).

Other Renditions:

Pedro Infante (Mexican singer and actor)


Jorge Negrete (Mexican singer and actor)


Plácido Domingo (Spanish opera singer)

“Tu Recuerdo y Yo” by José Alfredo Jiménez, English translation of lyrics

“Your Memory and Me”
Composer: José Alfredo Jiménez
Style: Ranchera, sad song about reminiscing at a bar about a lost love.
Country: Mexico
Listen: YouTube

Translation:

Estoy en el rincón de una cantina,
Oyendo una canción que yo pedí.
Me están sirviendo ahorita mi tequila,
Ya va mi pensamiento rumbo a ti.

I am in the corner of a bar,
Listening to a song I myself requested.
They are serving my tequila to me right now,
Already my thoughts are on their way to you.

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