- Por qué te vas - Jeanette Dimech
- María - Ricky Martin
- Hijo de la Luna - Mecano
- Despacito - Luis Fonsi ft. Daddy Yankee
- Hasta Siempre - Nathalie Cardone
- Macarena - Los del Rio
- La Tortura - Shakira ft. Alejandro Sanz
- Bailando - Enrique Iglésias ft. Descemer Bueno and Gente de Zona
- La Camisa Negra - Juanes
- Bamboleo - Gipsy Kings
Whether you speak Spanish or not, Spanish-language music can make you dance or hum along to their catchy melodies.
Spanish or Hispanic music is becoming more and more popular, especially given the Latin rhythms from South and Central America and Spain.
In this article, we’re going to look at 10 popular Spanish songs that you can listen to in order to help with your Spanish. Make sure you add these tunes and songs to your Spotify or iTunes playlist.
Por qué te vas - Jeanette Dimech
Loosely translated to “Why are you leaving?”, the song Por qué te vas from 1974 is one of the most iconic Spanish-language songs of all time.
It was performed by Jeanette Dimech and made popular due to the film Cría Cuervos. It is a romantic song but it’s also sad.
The song is so popular that it’s been covered plenty of times.
- José Luis Perales in 1987.
- Attaque 77 in 1992.
- Pato Fu in 1996.
- Masterboy in 1999.
- Javier Alvarez in 2001.
- Sabine Paturel in 2002.
- Globus in 2006.
- Suarez in 2010.
- Marquess in 2014.
- Hot Banditoz in 2016.
- Lucero in 2017.
You might have even listened to the song in Spanish classes because it’s quite slow and great for beginners to listen to.
Want to learn more about Spain?
Check out our guide.
María - Ricky Martin
¡Un, dos, tres!
You’ve probably heard the Spanish song María by Ricky Martin. In 1995, this was the star’s first real hit. It reached number 6 in the UK charts.
While the lyrics aren’t very profound, some may remember the chorus:
“Un, Dos, Tres
Un pasito palante Maria
Un, Dos, Tres
Un pasito patras”
Even in 2019, you can’t help but dance to this tune. Gracias, Ricky!
It may surprise you to know that Ricky Martin still has Spanish-language hits to this day!
Hijo de la Luna - Mecano
Hijo de la Luna is a 1986 hit performed by the Spanish group Mecano. Considered one of the most beautiful Spanish songs, it’s also very melancholic.
In fact, the song is about a woman who asks the moon for a husband. The moon accepts this on the condition that she sacrifice her first child. However, the child who’s born resembles neither the father nor the mother so the father, enraged that the mother cheated on him, stabs her. He abandons the child who’s collected by the moon.
Hijo de la Luna was covered over 40 times in different countries.
Not your typical hit...
Despacito - Luis Fonsi ft. Daddy Yankee
We couldn’t ignore this tune even if we tried. Despacito is the most popular song of 2017 and its success can still be felt today. On YouTube, the video has racked up over 6 billion views!
The song left its mark on music history and was played on almost every radio. The title basically means “slowly” or “softly” and describes the physical attraction between two people from dancing and other stuff...
Listening to this song is a good opportunity to practise a few Spanish words. Additionally, Luis Fonsi’s voice will want you to get up and dance right from the first line.
Check out our brief guide to Spain's history.
Hasta Siempre - Nathalie Cardone
You may have already heard this song in a Spanish class! Hasta Siempre, which literally means “forever”, is a song which was written in 1965 by Carlos Puebla and performed many times by different artists. The most famous version is the 1999 version by Nathalie Cardone.
The song is about Che Guevara, the hero of the Cuban revolution. Guevara is glorified for his actions and speeches on liberty. His words still live on in the spirit of the Cuban revolution:
“Aqui se queda la clara
La entranable transparencia
De tu querida presencia
Comandante Che Guevara”
The song’s title echoes Che’s slogan: Hasta la victoria siempre.
It’s been covered many times and translated into many different languages.
Macarena - Los del Rio
When you speak of a Spanish tune, it's hard not to think of this famous song and the accompanying dance. The Andalusian group Los del Rio sang this song in 1993.
The song was number 1 in so many countries:
- The Netherlands
It became hugely famous during the summer of 1996 at the same time as the Democratic National Convention and there was footage of delegates dancing to it.
It’s earned its place as one of the biggest one-hit wonders of all time. Even the instrumental version will get people dancing.
You can also check out some great Spanish series.
La Tortura - Shakira ft. Alejandro Sanz
Shakira needs no introduction.
She’s had plenty of hits over the years including Hips Don’t Lie and Loca. This song from 2005 is completely in Spanish.
This song tells a complicated and passionate love story. It’s a mix of Latin pop and reggaeton.
Bailando - Enrique Iglésias ft. Descemer Bueno and Gente de Zona
With Enrique Iglésias singing this song in 2014, Bailando couldn’t be anything other than a hit across Latin America and the world.
With its alluring rhythm and easy-to-remember lyrics, this Spanish-language song even has an English-language version with Sean Paul. This song, like a lot of music, is about love and physical proximity...
“Yo quiero estar contigo, vivir contigo, Bailar contigo, tener contigo, Una noche loca, con tremenda loca” (I want to be with you, live with you, dance with you, spend a completely crazy night with you.)
The song was #1 in Spain but only reached #75 in the UK!
Check out who the most famous Spaniards are.
La Camisa Negra - Juanes
The Colombian singer is famous for their song “La Camisa Negra” (The Black Shirt). This song is about a man grieving over his relationship, which is why he’s wearing a black shirt.
The beautiful music lures you in with its mix of Colombian folklore and Latin pop. The song was problematic in Italy due to the fact that black shirts were often worn by the fascists. However, that didn’t stop the song from being successful elsewhere.
Bamboleo - Gipsy Kings
The Gipsy Kings are a group from the south of France that plays Andalusian music! The group is made up of Spanish and Gypsy musicians and their songs mix Latin pop and flamenco.
The song Bamboleo was a hit in 1987 across the world, especially in the United States of America where it reached 6th on the Billboard charts. The verses are inspired by a Venezuelan song and the chorus is that of Carmen Miranda’s song of the same name.
This song compares love to a frantic dance and calls upon you to live your life in the fullest way possible through joy and, of course, dancing.
There are also plenty of artists who sing in Spanish, too. Thanks to artists like Pitbull creating hit songs in Spanish, there's plenty of Latin and Spanish music becoming more popular in the English-speaking world. Additionally, the most popular songs are all available on iTunes, Spotify, or anywhere else you get your music from. Long gone are the days where you have to hope your record store imports hit songs from other countries or that they chart and you can record the radio edit when it comes on the wireless.
While there's music like reggaeton, flamenco, merengue, and bachata that are usually in Spanish and an important part of Latin and Spanish culture, there are other genres of music that you can listen to in Spanish. It doesn't matter whether you like pop songs, love songs, hip hop songs with sick beats, a singer-songwriter doing guitar music, folk, or Christmas songs, you can find tunes in Spanish. In fact, almost every genre of popular music exists in Spanish!
Additionally, a love song in Spanish is not only a great way to learn Spanish, it's also just enough to make your heart melt!
You’ve probably got a Spanish-language song that isn’t in this list. If you want to learn more about what the Spanish lyrics mean, you should get in touch with a private Spanish tutor to help you learn the language.
On Superprof, there are three main types of tutorial available: face-to-face tutorials, online tutorials, and group tutorials. Face-to-face tutorials are usually the most expensive but also the most cost-effective. This is a bespoke tutorial with a single student.
Online tutorials are similar but the tutor provides the tuition over webcam. With fewer travel expenses etc., the tutor can charge less for their tuition.
Finally, group tutorials tend to be the cheapest of the lot because there are multiple students all sharing the cost of the tutoring. That said, you'll get less individual attention from your tutor.
Check out some of the tutors on Superprof and get the right one for you. Many offer the first hour of private tuition for free!