31 July 2009

Learning Spanish by Singing - 002

On July 16th, I posted an item called "Learning Spanish by Singing" and I listed a number of songs that everyone should learn so that they won't feel left out at singalongs. The first song lyrics that I wrote out with an English translation were for a song called "Si Nos Dejan" by José Alfredo Jiménez which is one of my favorites. There is another José Alfredo song that is not only one of my favorites but also a favorite of people all over Mexico and especially those who live in the state of Guanajuato. It is called "Caminos de Guanajuato".

"Caminos de Guanajuato" by José Alfredo Jiménez

No vale nada la vida
Life is worth nothing
La vida no vale nada
Life is worth nothing
Comienza siempre llorando
It always begins with crying
Y así llorando se acaba
And with crying is how it ends
Por eso es que en este mundo
Because of that in this world
La vida no vale nada
Life is worth nothing

Bonito León Guanajuato
Pretty León, Guanajuato
Su feria con su jugada
Her fair with her game
Ahí se apuesta la vida
There life is bet on
Y se respeta al que gana
And the winner is respected
Allá en mi León Guanajuato
There in my León Guanajuato
La vida no vale nada
Life is worth nothing

Camino de Guanajuato
Road of Guanajuato
Que pasas por tanto pueblos
That passes by so many towns
No pasas por Salamanca
Don't pass by Salamanca
Que ahí me hiere el recuerdo
For there the memory hurts me
Vete rodeando veredas
Take the pathways around
No pases por que me muero
Don't go there because I will die

El Cristo de tu montaña
The Christ of your mountain
Del cerro del Cubilete
Of Mount Tumbler
Consuelo de los que sufren
Solace of those who suffer
Adoración de la gente
Worship of the people
El Cristo de tu montaña
The Christ of your mountain
Del cerro del Cubilete
Of Mount Tumbler

Camino de Santa Rosa
Road of Santa Rosa
La Sierra de Guanajuato
The Mountain Peak of Guanajuato
Ahí nomás tras lomita
There just over the ridge
Se ve Dolores Hidalgo
Dolores Hidalgo is seen
Ahí me quedo paisano
There I remain a country person
Ahí es mi pueblo adorado
There is my beloved town


No pasas por Salamanca - José Alfredo's brother died in Salamanca

El Cristo de tu montaña - There is a famous statue of Jesus Christ with arms outstretched on Mt. Cubilete that can be seen for miles around. It is also the geographical center of Mexico. The word "cubilete" means "tumbler" as in the little cup that one uses to shake the dice.

La Sierra de Guanajuato - The word "sierra" means "saw" as in "sawtooth" and it is also used to refer to mountains that have peaks.

The translation that I made here is not a literal translation. Just like Jose Alfredo used a little "poetic license" with the Spanish words I did the same for the English words in the interest of making them sound natural.

Oh, yes, and for all you 19th parallel folks who live in Morelia and Pátzcuaro there is also a song called "Caminos de Michoacán" so don't have a cow.


1st Mate said...

Nice recording, I could make out every word and sing along! Gracias, amigo! Now I'll have to share "Barca de Guaymas." Also a tearjerker.

YayaOrchid said...

Amigo, how did you happen to find such a great video? That settles it for me, JAJ is my favorite mariachi singer! Thank you for sharing Senor Bob!

YayaOrchid said...

P.S. Bob, may I share that video on my blog? I hate to be a copycatter, but this video just gives me goosebumps, LOL!

Bob Mrotek said...

Sure Yaya. Go ahead. You don't even have to ask :)

Suzanne said...

Bob, I have not heard anyone say 'so don't have a cow' in so long, it made me laugh out loud - I think I'll use it on my kids next time we get together.

thanks again for all these songs, I am enjoying them immensely.


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I was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. I have been living in Mexico since January 6th, 1999. I am continually studying to improve my knowledge of the Spanish language and Mexican history and culture. I am also a student of Mandarin Chinese.