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Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan--The oldest and greatest of the Mariachis

Updated on December 2, 2011

My Love of Mariachi--Mexico's Happy Blues

As long as I can remember, I've loved guitar music--Spanish cante jondo, Portuguese fado, and especially mariachi from south of the border. I was reminded just now of Mariachi by an NPR program about Mariachi Vargas, Mexico's oldest and premier Mariachi group and inspired to offer some of my favorites and some of the best Mariachi mucic in this hub, leading off with my favorite La Malaguena Salerosa and followed by other favorites "Cielito Lindo" and three versions of "Adelita" including one by Nat King Cole and Louis Armstrong. [Adelita was a heroine of the Mexican revolution.].

Mariachi songs are interpreted mostly by tenor-pitched singers, a characteristic feature in this type of music. Mariachi songs are even interpreted by opera singers like "Cielito Lindo" interpreted by the Three Tenors on distinct occasions. Most notably, the tenors Placido Domingo and José Carreras worked on a tour with Alejandro Fernandez where they sung along several classic Mariachi and Mexican folk music. (From Wikipedia) As is the case with flamenco and fado, many of the songs' themes are sad, about lost or unrequited loves and various other tragedies. For example, La Malaguena Salerosa is about a man telling a woman (from Málaga, Spain) how beautiful she is, and how he would love to be her man, but that he understands her rejecting him for being too poor. [Salerosa means tasty, salty, livel, graceful in English, I just learned from the Internet and from a native Spanish speaker friend.]

The themes of many mariachi songs are reminiscent of the love poems of Chilean poet, Pablo Neruda.

Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan--Malaguena Salerosa

Malaguena Salerosa Lyrics

Que bonitos ojos tienes
Debajo de esas dos cejas
Debajo de esas dos cejas
Que bonitos ojos tienes.

Ellos me quieren mirar
Pero si tu no los dejas
Pero si tu no los dejas
Ni siquiera parpadear.

Malaguena salerosa
Besar tus labios quisiera
Besar tus labios quisiera.
Malaguena salerosa
Y decirte nina hermosa.

Que eres lin........da y hechicera,
Que eres linda y hechicera
Como el candor de una rosa.

Si por pobre me desprecias
Yo te concedo razon
Yo te concedo razon
Si por pobre me desprecias.

Yo no te ofrezco riquezas
Te ofrezco mi corazon
Te ofrezco mi corazon
A cambio de mi pobreza.

Malaguena salerosa
Besar tus labios quisiera
Besar tus labios quisiera.
Malaguena salerosa
Y decirte nina hermosa.

Que eres lin........da y hechicera,
Que eres linda y hechicera
Como el candor de una rosa.
Y decirte nina hermosa.

*********************************************

Malaguena Salerosa Translation

Malaguena Salerosa [english Translation] lyrics

What pretty eyes you have,
Under those two eyebrows.
Under those two eyebrows,
What pretty eyes you have.

They want to look at me.
But if you don’t leave them
But if you don’t leave them
Not even to flash…

Rose leaves of Málaga
To kiss your wanted lips
To kiss your wanted lips
Rose leaves of Málaga
And telling you, beautiful girl…

That you are pretty and magical,
That you are pretty and magical,
As the innocence of a rose.

If in poverty you despise me,
I give you truth.
I give you truth,
If in poverty you despise me.

I do not offer you wealth (riches)
I offer you my heart.
I offer you my heart
In exchange for my poverty.

Rose leaves of Málaga
To kiss your wanted lips
To kiss your wanted lips
Rose leaves of Málaga
And telling you, beautiful girl…

That you are pretty and magical
That you are pretty and magical
As the innocence of a rose
And telling you, beautiful girl.


[This, in my opinion, isn't a very good translation. It's awkard as is the one in my comment below. A good poet should do a translation of these lyrics from the most popular mariachi song.]

Cielito Lindo, Mariachi Vargas

Adelita--Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan

Adelita by Nat King Cole and Louie Armstrong

*MARIACHI VARGAS DE TECALITLAN** HUAPANGOS DE RUBEN FUENTES

Corrido de La"Adelita"

Placido Domingo sings La Malaguena Salerosa

Comments

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    • Ralph Deeds profile imageAUTHOR

      Ralph Deeds 

      7 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      Malaguena Salerosa, (Internet translation edited by Ralph Deeds)

      What beautiful eyes you have,

      under those two eyebrows,

      under those two eyebrows,

      What beautiful eyes you have.

      They want to look at me,

      but you don't let them,

      but you don't let them,

      even blink.

      Malaguena Salerosa,

      i want to kiss your lips,

      i want to kiss your lips,

      Malaguena Salerosa.

      And call you beautiful girl,

      you are beautiful and bewitching,

      you are beautiful and bewitching,

      like a pure white rose.

      If for being poor you despise me,

      I agree with you,

      I agree with you,

      If for being poor you despise me.

      I don't offer riches,

      I offer you my heart,

      I offer you my heart,

      In place of my poverty....

    • Ralph Deeds profile imageAUTHOR

      Ralph Deeds 

      7 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      De nada, companero!

    • cobras profile image

      cobras 

      7 years ago

      I agree with both your suggestions. The problem with many translations is that they can be too literal, without consideration of the connotations and overall harmony of the text as a whole. You seem to have an excellent command of Spanish.

      By the way Mr. Deeds, your hub has been an inspiration to me. Some time ago[years], I wrote a piece that I would never have thought might make a hub worth publishing--until I read your hub. It is about another of my favorite musical ensembles: trios romanticos. Thank you.

    • Ralph Deeds profile imageAUTHOR

      Ralph Deeds 

      7 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      Thanks again for your comment. I'm still not satisfied with the translation. "Te concedo razon" would make better sense as "I agree with you" or "You're right" or something else that fits poetically. Also, "poverty" would be better than "poorness" in my opinion.

    • cobras profile image

      cobras 

      7 years ago

      Yes, much better.

    • Ralph Deeds profile imageAUTHOR

      Ralph Deeds 

      7 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      Thanks for your comment. The translation is not mine. I agree that it's a bit clumsy. I made the change you suggested. I don't know where the translator got "rose leaves of Malaga" for Maliguena Salerosa. I'll try to find a better translation. Muchas gracias!

      Here's another translation from the Internet-

      What beautiful eyes you have,

      under those two brows,

      under those two brows,

      What beautiful eyes you have.

      They want to look at me,

      but you don't let them,

      but you don't let them,

      even blink.

      Malaguena Salerosa,

      i want to kiss your lips,

      i want to kiss your lips,

      Malaguena Salerosa.

      And call you beautiful girl,

      you are beautiful and hexing,

      you are beautiful and hexing,

      like the candor of a rose.

      If for being poor you despise me,

      i give you reason,

      i give you reason,

      if for being poor you despise me.

      I do not offer riches,

      i offer you my heart,

      i offer you my heart,

      in place of my poorness....

    • cobras profile image

      cobras 

      7 years ago

      Wonderful music indeed. It is the soundtrack to my memories.

      Spanish is my native tongue, and while I would have translated Malaguena differently, the version you present here gives a good idea to the non Spanish-speaker of what the song is about. But I must make one suggestion; change the 5th line to THEY WANT TO LOOK AT ME.

      Thanks for the stroll on memory lane.

    • Ralph Deeds profile imageAUTHOR

      Ralph Deeds 

      7 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      Yes, I do. It is wonderful music. Thanks for your comment.

    • profile image

      cristina sanchez 

      7 years ago

      Thanks Mr. Ralph x the beutiful momen, I'm cry but the music is wonderful you don't thing?

    • Ralph Deeds profile imageAUTHOR

      Ralph Deeds 

      7 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      Me! In my Halloween costume.

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 

      7 years ago from London, UK

      Beautiful and Thanks for the Translation.... but who is the man in your Avatar? lol

    • Ralph Deeds profile imageAUTHOR

      Ralph Deeds 

      7 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      Ha!Ha!Ha! I like your interpretation wrt right-wing nuts. You may therefore feel free to cancel your therapy appointment.

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