Childhood
Customs
Musical

Las Mananitas

Las Mañanitas

Instead of the english birthday song, every time it was a kid’s birthday in my elementary school class we would sing Las Mañanitas before taking turns hitting a piñata. It’s a traditional mexican birthday song sung at parties. YOu usually replace “mi bien” with the person’s name.

 

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.

 

Qué linda está la mañana en que vengo a saludarte

venimos todos con gusto y placer a felicitarte.

 

El día en que tu naciste nacieron todas las flores

y en la pila del bautismo cantaron los ruiseñores.

 

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 used to sing.

Today being the day of your saint, we sing it to you.

 

Wake up my dearest, wake up, see now that the day has dawned

the sparrows are singing, the moon has finally set.

 

How lovely is this morning, when I come to greet you

we all come with joy and pleasure to congratulate you.

 

The very day you were born all the flowers first bloomed

and in the baptismal font all the nightingales sang.

 

The dawn has come my darling, and the sunlight is here for us.

Rise up and shine with the morning and you’ll see that here’s the dawn.

I do know of similar things before, as where I went to for middle school in San Antonio, Texas also had similar traditions where they sang long spanish birthday songs. Having never learnt Spanish however, I never knew what the lyrics meant.

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