Bésame Mucho, Español-English

Bésame Mucho is perhaps the most popular Spanish language song ever. It was written by Consuelo Velázquez (1916-2005), a Mexican pianist and composer, in 1940.

The lyrics of Bésame Mucho are shown below, followed by a translation to English, which  attempts to suggest the rhyme, rhythm and meaning of the Spanish language original. A few liberties of a poetic nature were taken so as to give an English translation with a better fit to the music and with a better verbal flow than that of a literal translation.

Bésame Mucho
Letra y Música de Consuelo Velázquez (1940)

(introducción instrumental de 9 medidas)

bésame mucho —
como si fuera esta noche
la ultima vez.
bésame mucho —
que tengo miedo a per-derte,
perderte después. —

(repite, y entonces la música cambia un poquito) …-derte, perderte después. —

Quiero tenerte muy cerca
mirar me en tus ojos
verte junto a mi.
Piensa que tal vez mañana
yo ya estaré lejos
muy lejos de ti.

bésame mucho —
como si fuera esta noche
la ultima vez.
bésame mucho —
que tengo miedo a perderte,
perderte des-pués. —

(“-pués” tiene 3 tiempos, se sigue con un tiempo y entonces 7 medidas de música)

bésame mucho —
que tengo miedo a perderte,
perderte después. —
Que tengo miedo a perderte, —
perderte des-pués. — — —

(el ultimo “-pués” tiene 5 y 3/4 medidas, un instrumental sigue con 7 y 1/4)


Bésame Mucho (a translation)
Words and Music by Consuelo Velázquez (1940)

(instrumental introduction of 9 measures)

Kiss me now,
kiss me with passion —
kiss me as if this were to be
our very last night.
Kiss me now,
kiss me with passion —
for you I may never-more see
once past early light.

(repeat, then the music changes a little bit) …-more see once past early light. —

I want to hold you so closely,
look into your eyes to find
you mirroring me.
I’m sure dawn will find me lonely
cast away so far behind
where you then will be.

Kiss me now,
kiss me with passion —
kiss me as if this were to be
our very last night.
Kiss me now,
kiss me with passion —
for you I may nevermore see
once past early light.

(“light” has three beats followed by one beat then 7 measures of music)

Kiss me now
kiss me with passion —
fearing tomorrow I’ll lose you
past dawn’s early light; —
and I may forever lose you, —
forever lose you. — — —

(the last “you” has 5 and 3/4 measures, followed by 7 and 1/4 measures of music)


Bésame Mucho is such a good song that it can enchant in many different styles, and despite the passing of time. Here are nine performance videos of Bésame Mucho that caught my attention, many many more are out there. These videos are listed in a sequence of performances that I like.

Andrea Bocelli
(An elegantly balanced performance; video shows lyrics and a literal English translation)

Diana Krall
(A sultry and lush version by a wonderful, popular North American jazz stylist)

Consuelo Velázquez
(A piano instrumental by the composer herself, in 1990)

and in 1968


Raquel Andueza
(A high soprano version of bell-like clarity and tone, it sounds so Andean to me)

Alina Izquierdo
(¡LLeva! A potent Cuban vocalist gives a rich and propulsive performance)

(Very sweet, lovely singing by a Cubana during a jam session at a club)

Chico y Rita
(Idania Valdés, singer; Cuban soul singing about mythical memory)

Bésame Mucho by Ella Garcia


Cucurrucucú Paloma, Español-English

Cucurrucucú Paloma is a Mexican Huapango song written by Tomás Méndez Sosa (25 July 1927 – 19 July 1995) in 1954. Huapango is a style of Mexican music and folk dance.

This song has always been popular, more recently in moving performances by Caetano Veloso in the 2002 Pedro Almodóvar movie Hable Con Ella (Talk To Her), and in concert.

Caetano Veloso (in the movie Hable Con Ella)

Lola Beltran (the 1965 recording, dearest to Mexicans)

Cucurrucucú Paloma – Ella & Lilah
[My favorite version.]

The Spanish lyrics of Cucurrucucú Paloma are shown below followed by an English translation. It is impossible to match the poetry of the Spanish original with any translation. Mine is simply an attempt to convey in English the meaning of the song, with some suggestion of the cadences and rhyming pattern of the Spanish language original, without taking too many poetic liberties.

Cucurrucucú Paloma

Dicen que por las noches
no más se le iba en puro llorar;
dicen que no comía,
no más se le iba en puro tomar.
Juran que el mismo cielo
se estremecía al oír su llanto,
cómo sufriá por ella,
y hasta en su muerte la fue llamando.

Ay, ay, ay, ay, ay cantaba,
ay, ay, ay, ay, ay gemía.
Ay, ay, ay, ay, ay cantaba,
de pasión mortal moría.

Que una paloma triste
muy de mañana le va a cantar,
a la casita sola
con sus puertitas de par en par.
Juran que esa paloma
no es otra cosa más que su alma,
que todavía la espera
a que regrese la desdichada.

Cucurrucucú paloma,
cucurrucucú no llores.
Las piedras jamás, paloma,
¿qué van a saber de amores?

(Final que hace Caetano Veloso.)

Cucurrucucú, cucurrucucú,
cucurrucucú, paloma, no llores.
(Final que hace Lola Beltran; su versión tiene unas diferencias de lo que se ve aqui.)

Cucurrucucú Paloma (translation)

They say through every nighttime
he was purely a flowing river of tears;
they say he wasn’t eating,
but drinking to drown out the pain that so sears.
They swear that even the night skies
shudder with pity to his sad wails and sharp cries,
for her, oh he was suffering,
and vainly calls out past the death where she now lies.

Ay, ay, ay, ay, ay he’s singing,
ay, ay, ay, ay, ay he’s moaning.
Ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, he’s singing,
and from mortal passion dying.

A Mourning Dove sad and lonesome
at dawn its song will be cooed for your ears,
the cottage still is waiting
with wide open doors emptying fears.
They swear that Mourning Dove cooing
is surely the very soul of your darling,
that is still so sweetly awaiting
her return to his love never-ending.

Cucurrucucú paloma,
cucurrucucú no crying.
The stones we walk on, paloma,
will never know about our loving.

(The ending of the song as performed by Caetano Veloso.)

Cucurrucucú, cucurrucucú,
cucurrucucú, paloma, no crying.
(The ending of the song as performed by Lola Beltran; her version has other differences from what is shown here.)

A Personal Look Back From 2013

I look back on 10 years of writing commentary for the Internet on public affairs.

A Personal Look Back From 2013
16 December 2013

This end-of-year look back echoes thoughts I posted (with Mark Twain) in August 2013 at:

The Damned Human Race (Still)
1 August 2013


Homo sapiens is the first species known to have developed the intellectual sophistication to anticipate its own self-induced extinction, but it gives no indication of having the ability to advance its social behavior so as to prevent that outcome.

The next article that I contributed to and is likely to appear should be published/posted by Swans on 13 January 2013. It is a dialog with Dr. Daniel P. Wirt, M.D., on anthropogenic global warming (AGW). It is an extensive and richly detailed discussion about the impact of human-caused global warming on the well-being of the world’s poor, about some politically motivated global warming contrarians, and about the prospects for global cooperation in response to a species-wide climate change crisis: extinction. Our title for this article is:

A Dialog On AGW And Malthusian End Times
by: Dr. Daniel P. Wirt, M.D., and Manuel García, Jr.

Look for it next year.

Goodbye 2013, and Happy New Year, World.

To all: Have fun, and be kind.


13 January 2014

Swans didn’t like “A Dialog On AGW and Malthusian End Times,” so it appears elsewhere on this blog:


Remembering Lived History 1963-2013

Fifty-Year Look Back 1963-2013, Part II: 1968-2013
2 December 2013


Part I of the two-part “Fifty-Year Look Back 1963-2013,” was published two weeks ago:

Fifty-Year Look Back 1963-2013, Part I: 1963-1968
18 November 2013


Four earlier articles connect to the above to form a “remembrance” series:

The Promise Of Remembered Soundtracks
7 October 2013

Overtones Of Awareness
8 September 2013

Castro And The Kennedy Image After The Checkmate
23 April 2012

Libya 2011: The Human Right To Political Freedom
3 May 2011