La la la la la bomb-a!

On the way to work this morning, I was listening to La Bamba on the radio and, as usual, singing along even though I not only don’t really know what he’s singing about in English, I don’t understand for sure what Spanish words he is singing.  And then I thought, hey, why don’t I try to translate this song despite not knowing what the heck I’m doing in either language?  After years of Spanish and English, I could make so many teachers cry silently at once.

Come on, Vamanos.  Everybody let’s go!

What are we doing? We don't know!  What are we doing?  We don't know!

What are we doing? We don’t know! What are we doing? We don’t know!

Spanish version (Espanol, muchachos!  Yo rock-o!)

La la la la la la bamba!

La la la la la la bamba!

Necesito un poco de gracia

Una poca de gracia

A mi fatia

Arriba, arriba!

Arriba arriba por ti dicen

Por ti dicen

I think she missed a few steps

I think she missed a few steps

(next verse, I’m worse than the first!)

Yo no soy no dinero

Yo no soy no dinero

Soy capitan

Soy capitan, soy capitan

La la bamba

La la bamba

La la bamba

La bamba

AliceisthebestatSpanishevah!

AliceisthebestatSpanishevah!

(repeat lines a few more times, no one will notice, they’re still singing “bamba bamba”)

Bamba bamba

Bamba bamba

Bamba bamba

Bamba bamba

And now to make you cringe even more, here comes my English translation! 

English version – Yay yay yay dumb Anglos!

The the the the the bomb!

The the the the the bomb!

I need a little thanks

A little thanks

My favorite

Yay yay!

Yay yay for your talking

For your talking!

(He wanting thanks for making the bomb, or for defusing it?  Yay yay!)

Arriba, arriba!

Arriba, arriba!

I don’t have any money

I don’t have any money

I am the captain

I am the captain

The the  bomb!

The the bomb!

The the bomb!

The bomb!

Stop, por favor, Alice.

Stop, por favor, Alice.

Bomb bomb!

Bomb bomb!

Bomb bomb!

Bomb bomb!

(I’m guessing at this point the bomb blows up thus ending the song?  Maybe if he wasn’t a broke captain, he could have stopped the bomb, which clearly was not defused.)

So what do you think?  Are you thinking I might have goofed up some of the lines?  Or rather accidentally gotten one or two right?  Who knows?  La la la la la bamba, amigos!

Lo siento, mi profesoras.

She's very sorry.  As she should be.

She’s very sorry. As she should be.

Alice (Alicia)

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13 responses

  1. well… currently I can sing along with yo no soy no dinero … in all languages :o) some lyrics are amazing… like little richards tutti frutti :o)

  2. The only Spanish I know is the truly off-color stuff Josh picks up from the Mexican guys at work.

  3. So basically the song makes no more sense than the majority of pop songs these days anyway?

    I wonder if they were stoned when they wrote it!

    BTW, did you pick up my email with the link to the Real Movie Trailer for 50 Shades?

  4. When I took Spanish in high school, one of my homework assignments was to translate this song (public school-go fig). Your translation is 100% accurate. I don’t have any money either.

  5. Captain please bring me some wine.

    1. We haven’t had el spirito here since el 1969.

  6. Well, you’ve [i]sort of[/i] got it. 😄

    The Spanish word for bomb is “bomba”, and if I remember correctly, “bamba” is the name of a dance.

    “gracia” means “grace”, and in this case he’s referring to tips. In other words, the song is about a guy begging for tips, as he’s flat broke.

  7. I though the line “yo no soy no dinero” meant “we don’t have any soybean-free dinners”.

  8. Wiki says:

    “The traditional aspect of “La Bamba” lies in the tune, which remains almost the same through most versions. The name of the dance, which has no direct English translation, is presumably connected with the Spanish verb bambolear, meaning “to shake” or perhaps “to stomp””

    In passing I also noted that Google translate wants to translate Bamba from Portuguese meaning “bigwig”.

  9. I think there’s something about “baila la bamba” in there, which is “dance the bamba” which makes a little more sense, and took me even longer to decipher than that Taylor Swift song lyric I kept hearing as “just ask all my Starbucks lovers/they’ll tell you I’m insane.”

  10. First time commenter, but I love your blog! (discovered it during the 50SoG madness, and kept coming back for more…)
    Second verse doesn’t talk about money at all, it says “yo no soy marinero” which means “I’m not a sailor”. So the captain part makes more sense now, doesn’t it? 😀

    1. Ohh, hey if I’d known it was saying “marinero” I’d have assumed he was saying he had no marinara sauce.

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