Las Mañanitas


Estas son las mañanitas

Que cantaba el rey David

A las muchachas/los muchachos bonitos

Se las cantamos así

Despierta (nombre), despierta

Mira que ya amaneció

Ya los pajaritos cantan

La luna ya se metió


This is the song of the morning

That King David sang

To the good-looking girls/boys

We sing it like this

Wake up (name), wake up

See that it has dawned

Now the little birds are singing

The moon has already set



(In informant’s words:) “Las Mañanitas” is a Spanish song that we sing in Mexico on birthdays… I don’t know if they also sing it in other, uh… Latin American countries, but… we do it on everybody’s birthday in our family, and our friends in Mexico. And sometimes if we’re with close family, uh, like my parents or cousins or siblings, or in Mexico, there’s another verse that we sometimes… uh, add, which goes:

“Que linda está la mañana

En que vengo a saludarte

Venimos todos con gusto

Y placer a felicitarte

El día en que tú naciste

Nacieron todas las flores

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”


“How lovely is the morning

On which I come to greet you

We’re all coming with relish

And pleasure to congratulate you

The day on which you were born

All the flowers were born

On the altar of baptism

Sang the nightingales

Now daybreak is coming

Now the light of day has reached us

Get up in the morning

See that it has dawned”



It is interesting that this traditional birthday song revolves around the motif of morning and dawn to symbolize a new year of life for the birthday person, as well as other symbols of “new life” such as flowers and birds, which are also often used to represent springtime. It also contains images central to Christianity (King David, baptism), which is unsurprising for a song sung in a culture that is (traditionally) steeped in religion. This is, to my knowledge, the most common Spanish birthday song (perhaps now rivaled by a Spanish translation of the common English “Happy Birthday” song), and one that has, without fail, been sung at every single Mexican birthday I have attended, including my own.



For another version of the song (as well as videos of various performances) see:

“Las Mananitas.” Mexican Birthday Song, Explore Hispanic Culture,