8 Mexican Classics Songs You Have to Know to Impress Natives (Videos Included)

Hello, dear friends! I’m Paulísima from Spring Spanish. Today we have a really fun topic. We’re talking about impressing Mexicans by singing some Mexican classics songs… and one that’s more of a new classic.

How to Blow the Mind of Mexicans! With these 8 Classic Songs

So, pay attention and get ready to surprise your Mexican friends!

1. Las mañanitas – A charming serenade

This charming song is a serenade that is sung to celebrate birthdays. It’s a musical gem that has been passed down from generation to generation. It’s longer, but as long as you learn this verse, you’re covered, as it’s the one that’s usually sung the most.

Estas son las mañanitas que cantaba el rey David
Hoy por ser día de tu santo te las cantamos a ti
Despierta, mi bien, despierta
Mira que ya amaneció
Ya los pajaritos cantan, la luna ya se metió.

(These are the little morning songs that King David used to sing
Today being the day of your saint, we sing them to you
Awaken, my love, awaken
See that the dawn has already arrived
The little birds are singing, the moon has already set.)

Let’s check this classic by Vicente Fernández:

LAS MAÑANITAS - Vicente Fernández (LETRA)

2. Porra: Chiquitibum

A “porra” is like a “chant” or “sports cheer.”

Chiquitibum bomba” is Mexico’s most famous chant, everyone knows it. Often, it’s “echoed” after Las Mañanitas, by the way. You heard that “echa.”

In Mexico, a chant isn’t sung or said, it’s “echoed.”

A good chunk to learn would be: “Echar porras.” Which means something like “cheer up.”

Let’s cheer for Spring Spanish!

Chiquitibum bomba
A la bio a la bao
A la bimbomba
Spring Spanish, Spring Spanish, ra, ra ra.

3. The National Anthem

We Mexicans are very patriotic. We sing our national anthem with great pride. The National Anthem is played exclusively at official ceremonial events. Whether in its entirety or in part, with an official, civic, cultural, educational or sporting character, and with the purpose of honoring the National Flag.

Fun fact: In Mexico, it’s illegal to alter the melody and arrangement of the anthem.

So I recommend that you at least learn the opening lines of the Mexican national anthem, which go like this:


(Mexicans, to the cry of war
Prepare the steel and the steed
And may the earth quake at its core
To the resounding roar of the cannon
And may the earth quake at its core
To the resounding roar of the cannon.)

Mexican National Anthem - "Himno Nacional Mexicano" (ES/EN)

Now we’re going to move on to those songs that you can sing at a Mexican party, because often we start singing, usually late at night. Very late.

With or without a microphone, with or without karaoke, we Mexicans love to sing.

4. El Rey by José Alfredo Jiménez

El Rey” by José Alfredo Jiménez is a classic ranchera song that celebrates authenticity and freedom. The song reflects the story of someone who, despite lacking wealth and status, remains true to themselves.

Con dinero y sin dinero
Hago siempre lo que quiero
Y mi palabra es la ley

(With or without money
I always do as I please
And my word is the law)

No tengo trono ni reina
Ni nadie que me comprenda
Pero sigo siendo el rey.

(I have no throne or queen
Nor anyone who understands me
But I continue to be the king.)

El Rey (Original Version)

5. Cielito Lindo

Cielito Lindo is a joyful and charming Mexican musical gem.

Cielito Lindo Lyric Video

Known for its melodic simplicity, the song celebrates beauty and love, becoming a cheerful and representative anthem of Mexican culture. Its catchy chorus and optimistic message have made it a timeless classic that transcends borders. It has been said that this is the song that most identifies Mexicans.

De la Sierra Morena
Cielito lindo
Vienen bajando
Un par de ojitos negros
Cielito lindo

De contrabando

(From the Sierra Morena
Beautiful little sky
They come descending
A pair of dark little eyes
Beautiful little sky, clandestinely)

Ay, ay, ay, ay
Canta y no llores
Porque cantando se alegran
Cielito lindo, los corazones.

(Ay, ay, ay, ay,
Sing and don’t cry
Because singing brings joy
Beautiful little sky, to the hearts.)

Remember that learning with songs is one of the best and most fun ways to learn Spanish. Check this video on how to learn Spanish with music, I tell you how to get the most out of it.

6. El Triste by José José

If you have a good voice, this is THE song you have to learn. It’s beautiful and difficult.

El Triste” is an iconic song by the Mexican singer José José, known as ‘El Príncipe De La Canción‘ (The Prince of Song). Released in 1970, it became an instant hit. The song, written by Roberto Cantoral, is known for José José’s powerful interpretation and his ability to convey sadness and pain through his unmatched voice.

Since I can’t sing… yet… I’ll just recite the opening verses. Please appreciate the beauty of the lyrics. After that, I’ll let you appreciate the wonder of José José’s original interpretation yourselves:

José José - El Triste en vivo

Qué triste luce todo sin ti
Los mares de las playas se van
Se tiñen los colores de gris
Hoy todo es soledad

(How bleak everything looks without you
The seas of the beaches recede
Colors are tinged with gray
Today, everything is solitude.)

No sé si vuelvaa verte después
No sé qué de mi vida será
Sin el lucero azul de tu ser
Que no me alumbra ya

(I don’t know if I’ll see you again
I don’t know what will become of my life
Without the blue morning star of your being
That no longer illuminates me.)

Hoy quiero saborear mi dolor
No pido compasión ni piedad
La historia de este amor se escribió
Para la eternidad.

(Today, I want to savour my pain
I don’t ask for compassion or mercy
The story of this love was written
For eternity.)

El Triste” was first performed at the OTI Song Festival, where José José won second place, but his moving interpretation catapulted him to fame and became a timeless classic of Spanish music.

Many vocal experts have reacted wonderfully to this interpretation.

7. Amor Eterno by Juan Gabriel

Amor Eterno” by Juan Gabriel is an emblematic ballad that has left a profound mark on Spanish music. Released in 1984, the song is a passionate expression of love and loss. Juan Gabriel, known as “El Divo de Juárez,” composed and performed this moving piece, conveying intense emotions through his distinctive voice.

Cómo quisiera, ay
Que tú vivieras
Que tus ojitos jamás se hubieran
Cerrado nunca y estar mirándolos
Amor eterno
E inolvidable
Tarde o temprano yo voy a estar contigo
Para seguir, amándonos.

(How I wish, oh,
That you were alive
That your little eyes had never
Closed, and to be looking at them
Eternal and unforgettable love
Sooner or later, I will be with you
To continue loving each other.)

Juan Gabriel - Amor Eterno (En Vivo [Desde el Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes])

8. Ella Baila Sola by Eslabón Armado y Peso Pluma

I know my fellow Mexicans probably won’t agree with me. But I decided to include this song in a list with so many beautiful classics.

mexican classics songs ella baila sola was featured on the us billboard hot 100

But this song is incredibly popular. Especially with younger generations. It’s heard everywhere and is representative of a relatively new genre called corridos tumbados. The song achieved unprecedented things: becoming the first regional Mexican song IN HISTORY to reach the top 10 of the US Billboard Hot 100.

Ella Baila Sola - (Video Oficial) - Eslabon Armado y Peso Pluma - DEL Records 2023

Additionally, it was also the first to lead the Billboard Global 200 chart. Peso Pluma is also the first Mexican music figure to perform at the VMAs.

Compa, ¿qué le parece esa morra?
La que anda bailando sola me gusta pa’ mí
Bella, ella sabe que está buena
Que todos andan mirándola cómo baila
Me acerco y le tiro todo un verbo
Tomamos tragos sin peros, solo tentación.

(Bro, what do you think of that girl?
The one dancing alone, I like her for myself
Beautiful, she knows she’s fine
Everyone’s watching her as she dances
I approach and drop some smooth talk
We have drinks without reservations, just temptation.)

Le dije
“Voy a conquistar tu familia, que en unos días vas a ser mía.”
Me dijo
Que estoy muy loco pero le gusta
Que ningún vato como yo actúa.

(I told her
“I’m going to win over your family; in a few days, you’ll be mine.”
She told me
That I’m crazy, but she likes it
That no guy acts like me.)

What a marvel!

How lovely it has been to share these songs that are so representative of my beautiful country with you.

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