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Las Mañanitas

The Mexican Birthday Song

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Girl (7-9) receiving birthday presents in Tepoztlan, Morelos, Mexico
Edgardo Contreras/Photodisc/Getty Images
Las Mañanitas is a traditional Mexican song that is sung on birthdays and other important holidays. It is often sung as an early morning serenade to wake up a loved one. At birthday parties it is sung before the cake is cut.

As a traditional song with a long history, there are variations of Las Mañanitas, with many different verses. At most Mexican parties only the first two verses are sung, but I have included some additional verses that are occasionally sung, particularly when the song is performed by mariachis.

Las Mañanitas Lyrics:

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 pajarillos cantan, la luna ya se metió.

Que linda está la mañana en que vengo a saludarte,
Venimos todos con gusto y placer a felicitarte,
Ya viene amaneciendo, ya la luz del día nos dio,
Levántate de mañana, mira que ya amaneció.

Translation:

This is the morning song that King David sang
Because today is your saint's day we're singing it for you
Wake up, my dear*, wake up, look it is already dawn
The birds are already singing and the moon has set

How lovely is the morning in which I come to greet you
We all came with joy and pleasure to congratulate you
The morning is coming now, the sun is giving us its light
Get up in the morning, look it is already dawn

* Often replaced with the name of the person who is being celebrated

Additional verses:

El día en que tu naciste nacieron todas las flores
En la pila del bautismo, cantaron los ruiseñores

The day you were born all the flowers were born
On the baptismal font the nightingales sang

Quisiera ser solecito para entrar por tu ventana
y darte los buenos días acostadita en tu cama

I would like to be the sunshine to enter through your window
to wish you good morning while you're lying in your bed

Quisiera ser un San Juan, quisiera ser un San Pedro
Para venirte a cantar con la música del cielo

I would like to be a Saint John I would like to be a Saint Peter
To sing to you with the music of heaven

De las estrellas del cielo tengo que bajarte dos
una para saludarte y otra para decirte adiós

Of the stars in the sky I have to lower two for you
One with which to greet you and the other to wish you goodbye

More information and resources for planning a Mexican fiesta:

  1. About.com
  2. Travel
  3. Mexico Travel
  4. History & Culture
  5. Las Mañanitas - Mexican Birthday Song

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