Tomorrow is Cinco De Mayo, which translates to the “Fifth of May” in English. Cinco De Mayo is an important Mexican civic holiday which honors the Mexican Army’s victory over French occupation and is celebrated by people all over the United States with a lot of margarita drinking, enchilada noshing, and pinata smashing.
Even though these songs aren’t necessarily all Mexican, if you are having a Cinco De Mayo party tomorrow (or it’s just a party of one with you and a couple tequila shots), these Ten Latin-Infused Pop Songs will be the perfect soundtrack to your Cinco De Mayo fiesta!
10. “Bailamos”-[lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Enrique Iglesias[/lastfm]
One of the original stars of the ’90s Latin pop craze, Enrique Iglesias is still bringing the caliente dance jams, albeit sans mole. We guess when he sang, “?Bailamos! – We Dance/Let the rhythm take you over…/?Bailamos!/Te quiero amor mio – I want you, my love/?Bailamos! /Wanna live this night forever…/?Bailamos!” he wasn’t kidding.
He really is having a steamy dance party for the rest of his life. Where’s our invite, Enrique?
9. “Rhythm Is Gonna Get You”-[lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Gloria Estefan[/lastfm]
Gloria Estefan was bringing Latin music to the masses before any of the kids even knew how to shake their maracas, but she was probably a huge influence. And if the rhythm doesn’t get you after listening to this song, well Estefan has a response to that:
No way, you can fight it every day/But no matter what you say/You know it/The rhythm is gonna get’cha
8. “Loca”-[lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Shakira[/lastfm]
Before Shakira broke into English language mainstream music with “Whenever, Wherever” this eclectic, hip-shakin’ pop-rock artist was already relatively famous in Latin America.
To this day, she is one of the only mainstream pop artists to continually mix English and Spanish in her songs, most of them with a sexy Latin beat in them. Which is crazy. But we like it:
And I’m crazy, but you like it (loca, loca, loca)/You like that it ain’t easy (loca, loca, loca)
7. “Maria Maria”-[lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Carlos Santana[/lastfm]
One of the greatest guitarists of all time and the son of a mariachi violinist, Santana played at the original Woodstock in 1969.
Since then, Santana’s beautiful Spanish guitar skills have evolved with the popular music scene–making him a name on the lips of many generations. When Santana discovered this magic formula in the ’90s, he brought us “Maria Maria:”
Oh Maria Maria/She reminds me of a west side story/Growing up in Spanish Harlem/She’s living the life just like a movie star
6. “Spanish Guitar”-[lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Toni Braxton[/lastfm]
You aren’t alone. We also forgot that Toni Braxton made a moderately popular in 2000, probably on the wave of Santana’s popularity with his 1999 Supernatural.
Although it definitely features the sound of a Spanish guitar, the song features all the elements of what Braxton does best: sultry lyrics, sensual metaphor, and a soft groove that feels like twilight on a Mexican beach:
I wish that I was in your arms/Like that Spanish guitar/And you would play me through the night/’Till the dawn/I wish you’d hold me in your arms/Like that Spanish guitar/All night long, all night long/I’d be your song, I’d be your song
5. “Suerte”-[lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Jason Mraz [/lastfm]and [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Ximena Sarinana[/lastfm]
We just discovered that this Spanish version of Jason Mraz’s “Lucky” existed and we are addicted. Featuring Ximena Sarinana, half of Mraz’s original lyrics are in Spanish, half in English–which makes this love song even more poignant.
They sing “suerte que despierto junto a ti/Suerte que sentí lo que sentí/Suerte que regresas para mí” which is an indirect translation of Mraz’s original english duet with[lastfm link_type=”artist_info”] Colbie Caillat[/lastfm]:
I’m lucky I’m in love with my best friend/Lucky to have been where I have been/Lucky to be coming home again
4. “Macarena”-[lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Los Del Rio[/lastfm]
Horrible, we know, but this one hit wonder was all the rage back in the ’90s and for good reason.
The song is infectious, came with a patented easy-to-follow dance that almost everyone could do, and the video featured feisty girls giggling about hooking up:
When I dance they call me Macarena/And the boys they say que soy buena/they all want me/can’t have me/so they all come and dance beside me
3. “I Need To Know”-[lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Marc Anthony[/lastfm]
Right now, Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez are the King and Queen of Latin Pop, but back in the day Anthony was a bachelor and wooing over all the chicas with lyrics like:
Tell me Babygirl cuz I need to know /My every thought is of this bein’ true/It’s gettin’ harder not to think of you/Girl I’m exactly where I wanna be/The only things I need you here with me, oh
2. “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom”-[lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Selena[/lastfm]
Speaking of Jennifer Lopez, one wonders where her career would be without the beautiful and unfortunately deceased, Selena.
Selena had a huge influence over the stylings of modern Latin pop even though her music was still holding on to the structure of classic sounds like in “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom.”
“Cada vez /Cada vez que lo veo pasar /Mi corazon se enloquece /Y me empieza a palpitar.” This roughly translates to “Every time/Every time I see him go/My heart goes crazy/And begins to pound.”
1. “Livin’ La Vida Loca”-[lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Ricky Martin[/lastfm]
Ricky Martin’s song “Livin’ La Vida Loca” never gets old and if you are a woman with any sort of passion throbbing in your veins, you’ll always want to be Martin’s loca lady with the lips of “devil red:”
Upside inside out/She’s livin la vida loca/She’ll push and pull you down/Livin la vida loca/Her lips are devil red/And her Skin’s the color of mocha/She will wear you out/Livin la vida loca
- What are your favorite Latin-infused pop songs? Let us know in the comments!