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10 Old Spanish Songs Everyone Knows

Spanish is the language with the second most native speakers in the world. As a result, there is a huge market for Spanish songs, which means a booming Spanish music industry. Some of its songs remain better known than others, so interested individuals might want to check them out.

Here are ten old Spanish songs that are very well-known:

10. “Las Mañanitas” – Alfonso Esparza Oteo

“Las Mañanitas” is a popular birthday song in Mexico and beyond. Alfonso Esparza Oteo was the man who composed it back in the early 20th century. However, “Las Mañanitas” has been recorded by numerous singers. For instance, this version was performed by Vicente Fernandez.

9. “Bèsame Mucho” – Consuelo Velazquez

Chances are good interested individuals can guess what this song’s title means even if they don’t speak Spanish. Amusingly, Consuelo Velazquez wrote the song even though she was young enough that she hadn’t even kissed anyone at that point. Despite this, “Bésame Mucho” has resonated with Spanish speakers, so much so that it is considered the most recorded or one of the most recorded Spanish songs ever.

8. “Pedro Navaja” – Willie Colon and Ruben Blades

“Pedro Navaja” is the product of a team-up between Willie Colon and Ruben Blades. The song took inspiration from “Mack the Knife,” which makes sense when one realizes that “Navaja” means “knife.” Regardless, “Pedro Navaja” is a memorable song, not least because of its evocative descriptions of its titular character. For example, there is mention of the dark glasses that conceal where Pedro is looking. Similarly, there is mention of how Pedro keeps his hands in his coat pockets so no one can see which one is holding his knife. The titular character seemingly died at the end of this song. Curiously, Blades recorded a sequel called “Sorpresas” that revealed otherwise because he was annoyed that a movie was made without his input.

7. “Rayando El Sol” – Maná

Maná has the distinction of being the best-selling Latin American band. They released “Rayando El Sol” in 1990, thus establishing their names in the process. As such, it is no exaggeration to say that “Rayando El Sol” paved the way for Maná’s subsequent career.

6. “Oye Cómo Va” – Tito Puente

Tito Puente wrote “Oye Cómo Va” for his orchestra in the early 1960s. His versions were popular. However, “Oye Cómo Va” saw another surge in name recognition when Santanna recorded it in 1970. For proof, look no further than how that version reached the number 13 position on the Billboard Hot 100, thus making it clear that it enjoyed considerable popularity even with English speakers. Some people even see “Oye Cómo Va” as a symbol of the rich mix of traditions behind the Latin music scene of the United States.

5. “Bamboleo” – Gipsy Kings

The Gipsy Kings formed in Southern France. However, there can be no doubt that they qualify for this list. After all, the Gipsy Kings were born of Spanish Romani parents who fled from Spain to France during the Spanish Civil War, which is why they sing in Catalan for the most part but also in Spanish from time to time. “Bamboleo” is one of the band’s Spanish language songs. Moreover, it was popular enough to become an international hit, which is why it has been much covered since.

4. “Guantanamera” – Joseíto Fernández

“Guantanamera” is a Cuban folk song. Joseíto Fernández was the one who composed it, while José Martí was the one who wrote the poem that provided the lyrics. Despite its origins, “Guantanamera” has become popular with artists from a wide range of other Spanish-speaking countries. As a result, it has been covered by some of the most famous Latin American artists of recent decades. Examples range from Celia Cruz to Wyclef Jean.

3. “Quizás, Quizás, Quizás” – Osvaldo Farrés

Osvaldo Farrés penned “Quizás, Quizás, Quizás” in the late 1940s. It wasn’t too long before the song became a hit in the hands of Bobby Capó. Since then, “Quizás, Quizás, Quizás” has been covered by a succession of well-known individuals. This version was released in 2013. Andrea Bocelli was the one who performed it with Jennifer Lopez.

2. “Cielito Lindo” – Quirino Mendoza y Cortés

“Cielito Lindo” is yet another song that has stood the test of time. Specifically, Quirino Mendoza y Cortés wrote it in the late 19th century, meaning it is the oldest of the songs on this list by several decades. This is one of the most famous songs performed by mariachi bands. Due to that, “Cielito Lindo” is extremely recognizable, particularly since it has long been translated into English and other non-Spanish languages.

1. “La Bamba” – Ritchie Valens

Ritchie Valens was an American musician considered one of the pioneers of Chicano and Spanish rock. His career lasted just eight short months because his life was cut short by the same plane crash that took Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper. Even so, Valens had already released several hits by that point. In particular, there was “La Bamba,” which was his take on a folk song that originated in the Mexican state of Veracruz. Valens was far from being the first to play it in the United States.

Still, he did much to make it known in that country. His version reached the number 22 position on the Billboard Hot 100. Furthermore, his version is in the National Recording Registry and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s list of 500 songs that shaped the genre. In 1987, a cover for a bio-pic about Valens topped the Billboard Hot 100, thus becoming just the fourth non-English song to do so.

You can also read:

  • The 10 Best Janis Joplin Songs of All-Time
  • The 10 Best Chapel Hart Songs of All-Time
  • The 10 Best Boz Scaggs Songs of All-Time
  • 10 Awesome Songs about Being 18

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10 Old Spanish Songs Everyone Knows


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