Spanish Birthday Sonf – “Las Mañanitas”
Éstas son las mañanitas que cantaba el rey David
a las muchachas bonitas, te las cantamos a ti.
Despierta, mi bien, despierta, mira que ya amaneció,
ya los pajarillos cantan, la luna ya se metió.
These are the early morning birthday songs
that Kind David used to sing
to pretty girls, and so we sing them to you.
Wake up, my dear, wake up, look, dawn has already come,
the little birds are singing, the moon is gone.
My aunt, a high school spanish teacher who has traveled to tens of Spanish speaking countries, told me of this song she first heard in Spain 10 years ago. Every birthday, this is a popular song to sing in not only Spain, but many Spanish speaking countries. According to my aunt, every Spanish speaking country has this song associated with the birthday celebration.
She claims she does not know the origin of the song and admits she does not know why King David is included in a birthday song. She did say that this song is often sung around when the birthday cake is brought out, and that the song reminds the birthday boy or girl or their mother’s love and how special they really are. My aunt also recalls that there are several different versions and verses, but above is the one she remembers the most. This song can be sung at various celebrations other than birthdays, as well, such as anniversaries and weddings or can include mariachi instruments.
I thought this was a wonderful song to sing on one’s birthday. It has a great message that one is loved and cherished by their family and reminds them that today is their special day to celebrate.