Las Mananitas

--Informant Info--
Nationality: Mexican
Age: 54
Occupation: Restaurant worker
Residence: Los Angeles
Date of Performance/Collection: 04/22/2020
Primary Language: Spanish
Other Language(s):

Main piece: 

“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 pajaritos 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 tú naciste, nacieron todas las flores

Ya viene amaneciendo ya la luz del dia nos dió.

Levantate de mañana, mira que ya amaneció.” 

Full translation (transliteration not included since it’s a relatively long song) :

These are the morning lyrics that King David sang

And today for your birthday we sing them to you.

 Wake up my loved one

The sun has risen

The birds are chirping

And the moon has set.

What a beautiful morning it is, to come and visit you

We are all happy to be here and congratulate you.

 The day you were born all flowers bloomed

The sun is rising giving us its light.

Wake up it’s morning, morning has come.

Background: I’m going to give credit to my dad on this one because he knows it very well and I sang along a little but don’t know the full lyrics very well. My dad was born in Mexico and moved to LA when he was 15 years old. He is bilingual and we (led by my dad) sang “Las mananitas” to my mom on her birthday very recently this month. He sings this song instead of the “Happy Birthday” song. 

Context: It was my mom’s 50th birthday a couple days ago. We got her flowers, baked a cake, and made lasagna and salad. We went to her room and started recording and singing the above song. I only know the first four lines and from there on I sang sporadically. My dad knows them really well and my sister was on the same boat as me. This took place inside my parents bedroom around early morning. 

Thoughts: I’ve heard of “Las mananitas” very often because I have a big extended family and whenever we go to Mexico over the summer, we attend various birthday parties. And in Mexico, no one sings Happy Birthday, we all sing the song transcribed above. So I kind of know it but not fully. Anyway, it is a song that upon reading more into it, is really special and nice. The lyrics provide a perfect environment and are very loving. The birthday person feels special and knows what’s happening with the first line.