If you are reading this, you probably have at least a couple of favourite Spanish songs. A lot of people start learning Spanish just so they can understand the lyrics – they all sound so beautiful! When you start looking up translations, you realize most of them tell about love, heartbreak, and passion, which is fine but it’s not really helpful if you want to be able to understand people speaking Spanish in everyday life.
Regardless of music genre and lyrics, great songs can keep you motivated when learning a language. Even if you don’t understand everything, you can still learn new words and memorize patterns, all of this without actually studying.
If you are a beginner in Spanish, you would probably want to start with some Spanish songs with lyrics in English. Here are my top picks:
Calle 13 is a famous band from Puerto Rico, and this is one of their best songs. The lyrics are full of emotions, but it’s not about romantic love. Also, it is fairly easy to get most of the Spanish in this song even for beginners.
Monsieur Periné is a Colombian band with a fresh and unique sound. If you like this song, check the rest of their music, it is definitely worth it.
This is by far the most popular song by Manu Chao, and it is awesome. The lyrics are simple, easy to understand, and after listening to it for a while you will always remember how to say ‘I like you’ in Spanish.
This is a moving song by the Mexican band Cafe Tacuba. Unlike most love songs in Spanish, this one is very simple, and that is why it is easy to understand.
Of course, poetry is too often lost in translation, and inevitably you will miss out by not being able to understand the original version. That’s why it is good to try and follow the lyrics in Spanish; moreover, this would help you with your listening comprehension which is fundamental at all stages of language learning.
So, here are some Spanish songs with their original lyrics:
This is another song by Monsieur Periné and the video looks like an improvised performance on a rooftop – just a couple of friends playing music and having fun. The lyrics are simple and easy to follow, so don’t miss out on this one.
This is a very beautiful collaboration of Ricky Martin and La Mari (the lead singer of the Spanish band Chambao). It is not too hard to understand the lyrics but you can always look up some words if needed.
Ska-P is a ska band from Spain. Even if you’re not a ska fan, give this one a try. You will learn the word for ‘fear’ in Spanish for sure (miedo) – it is repeated 31 times throughout the song.
El Cuarteto de Nos is a rock band from Uruguay. I stumbled upon this song by chance, and I immediately loved it. It might be a bit difficult to follow the lyrics but after a couple of listenings it gets easier.
The last song from my list is a very famous one: Juanes – La Camisa Negra
It has lyrics in both English and Spanish, so you can compare both versions at the same time, pausing when needed. Now you know why he dedicated an entire song to his black shirt.
You should keep exploring other songs in Spanish – a lot of people learned Spanish just by listening to songs and watching soap operas. On Youtube there are thousands of videos you can watch; here you can find a couple of Youtube channels that can help you improve your language skills in Spanish, among other languages.
If you have other favourite Spanish songs with lyrics in English or Spanish, post the links in the comment section below.