Mexican Piñata Song

When children break a piñata, the participants sing a particular song:

“Cuando niños van a romper una piñata, ellos cantan:

Dale, dale, dale                    Hit it, hit it, hit it

no pierdas el tino.               Don’t lose your skill.

Mide la distancia                 Measure the distance

que hay en el camino.      Between you and the piñata.

Hay otra versión de la canción:                                   (first 2 lines are the same)

Porque si lo pierdes        Because if you lose it

pierdes el camino.       You’ll lose the way.”

My Aunt, a high school Spanish teacher who has traveled to tens of Spanish speaking countries, often sings this song at her birthday celebrations and I had her send me the lyrics and translation.  Although the song and game are usually played by young children in Mexico, but not in Spain or South America according to my aunt.  The lyrics almost directly instruct the player how to play the piñata game.  Instructing the player to hit the piñata, calculate the distance to it, and do their best to aim.

Overall this is a fun tradition to break the piñata and have the candy flow out on a birthday celebration.  The game appears to have made its way to the United States, but I have yet to hear a song instructing the players how to win in the English language.  I find it interesting that the game has crossed the border, but the song has not.  Piñatas can be found at a variety of party stores around the United States and are often associated with Mexican themed birthdays, fiestas, or Cinco de Mayo celebrations.  I enjoy that a fun party game has transcended borders, allowing Americans to partake in Mexican festivities and spreading the culture further.