“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.

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

“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.

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

“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.

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

“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.

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

“El Caballo Blanco” by José Alfredo Jiménez, English translation

“The White Horse” Lyrics
Style: Corrido about a white horse, but it’s really about a road trip all over Mexico on a car (romanticized as a horse).
Country: Mexico
Listen: YouTube, Amazon

About:

This song is about a road trip [es] that José Alfredo Jiménez took from Guadalajara (in central Mexico) to Baja California (just south of the United States southwest) on a white 1957 Chrysler. It is a good song to teach Mexican geography, since he mentions the places he passes on his journey.

Translation:

Este es el corrido del caballo blanco,
Que en un día domingo feliz arrancara. *
Iba con la mira de llegar al norte, *
Habiendo salido de Guadalajara.

This is the narrative of the white horse,
That on a Sunday, happily took off. *
He went with the goal of reaching the north, *
Having left from Guadalajara.

Continue reading ““El Caballo Blanco” by José Alfredo Jiménez, English translation”

“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.

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

“Que Te Vaya Bonito” by José Alfredo Jiménez, English translation of lyrics

“May Things Go Beautifully For You”
Style: Sorrowful mariachi love song. This is a post-breakup song, with the narrator wishing his former lover nothing but good things. It sounds like he ended the relationship due to outside circumstances.
Country: Mexico
Listen: YouTube, Amazon. The song was also used for a 1978 Mexican film, but there is little information available online.

Translation:

Ojalá que te vaya bonito.
Ojalá que se acaben tus penas,
Que te digan que yo ya no existo,
Y conozcas personas más buenas.
..

I hope that things go beautifully for you.
I hope that your sorrows end,
That they tell you that I no longer exist,
And that you meet better people…

Continue reading ““Que Te Vaya Bonito” by José Alfredo Jiménez, English translation of lyrics”

“Gracias” by José Alfredo Jiménez, English translation of lyrics

“Thank You”, 1972
Style: Mariachi farewell song.
Country: Mexico
Listen: YouTube, Amazon.

José Alfredo Jiménez died 41 years ago on November 23, 1973.

My father is a huge fan of José Alfredo Jiménez. Once, when I was visiting home and helping him install a new music program, he started filling his playlist and found this song. He told me more about the legendary José Alfredo Jiménez, beloved and prolific singer-songwriter of Mexico. Jiménez died in 1973 of cirrhosis of the liver due to his drinking. He didn’t die sad or regretful, though. He died full of gratitude for his fans. He composed this last song, “Gracias” (Thank You) to express his love for everyone, and to let people know that he thought his life was wonderful, and that he had made peace with his upcoming death.

He picked his own epigram, arranged his own funeral, and settled his affairs. Here is an interview with José Alfredo Jiménez at the hospital. Fourteen days before his death, he left the hospital and drove to have dinner with his son, then they played dominos all night.

To this day, he is still internationally famous for his character- and story-driven lyrics. When people think of mariachi, ranchera, and corrido songs, they think of José Alfredo Jiménez.

Translation:

¿Cómo puedo pagar
Que me quieran a mí
Por todas mis canciones?

How can I repay
That you all love me
For all my songs?

Continue reading ““Gracias” by José Alfredo Jiménez, English translation of lyrics”

“El Coyote” by José Alfredo Jiménez, English translation of lyrics

“The Coyote”, mid-20th century
Style: Corrido with mariachi music. This is the story of an unrequited love triangle that ended in the rival’s death.
Country: Mexico
Listen: YouTube, Amazon

Translation:

Le pinte un cuatro al coyote, y me fui para la sierra.
El Coyote era un bandido, nacido allá por mi tierra.
Lo conocí desde niño. Fuimos juntos a la escuela.

I drew a cross over the Coyote, and I left for the sierra.
The Coyote was a bandit, born near my hometown.
I knew him since we were kids. We went to school together.

Continue reading ““El Coyote” by José Alfredo Jiménez, English translation of lyrics”

“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.

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