La Bamba

November 17, 2021

The 1950s were a transformative time in popular music; a new beat fused with blues and jazz and country captured kids worldwide, including a young Ritchie Valens. 

Born and raised in Los Angeles by Mexican emigre parents who enjoyed mariachi music, jump blues, R&B, and flamenco guitar, Valens developed a love for music and especially the new Rock-and-Roll.

Fun Facts

  • “La Bamba” began as a folk song believed to have originated in Veracruz, Mexico, and a dance associated with it.
  • Alvaro Hernández Ortiz produced the earliest recording of the song in 1938 or 1939, released on the Victor label with the title “El Jarocho.”
  • Valens was reluctant to record “La Bamba” because he had never learned Spanish and ended up asking his Aunt Ernestine for the lyrics.
  • During the recording session, studio musicians backed Valens, including Carol Kaye from “The Wrecking Crew” on rhythm guitar, who would become one of the most recorded bass guitarists in history.
  • “La Bamba” peaked at #22 on the US Billboard Top 100, and Rolling Stone Magazine ranked it #354 on its 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list.
  • The Grammy Hall of Fame inducted Valens’ recording of “La Bamba” in 2000.

Lyrics:

(Lyricfind)

To dance the Bamba

Para bailar La Bamba

To dance the bamba you need a little grace

Para bailar La Bamba se necesita una poca de gracia

A little grace for me, for you and up and up

Una poca de gracia pa’ mi pa’ ti y arriba y arriba

Oh and up and up I will be for you, I will be for you, I will be for you

Ah y arriba y arriba por ti seré, por ti seré, por ti seré

I’m not a sailor

Yo no soy marinero

I am not a sailor, I am a captain,

Yo no soy marinero, soy capitán,

I am captain, I am captain

Soy capitán, soy capitán

Bamba bamba

Bamba bamba

To dance the Bamba

Para bailar La Bamba

To dance the bamba you need a little grace

Para bailar La Bamba se necesita una poca de gracia

A little grace pa ‘mi pa’ ti ah and up and up

Una poca de gracia pa’ mi pa’ ti ah y arriba y arriba

To dance the Bamba

Para bailar La Bamba

To dance the bamba you need a little grace

Para bailar La Bamba se necesita una poca de gracia

A little grace pa ‘mi pa’ ti ah and up and up

Una poca de gracia pa’ mi pa’ ti ah y arriba y arriba

Oh and up and up I will be for you, I will be for you, I will be for you

Ah y arriba y arriba por ti seré, por ti seré, por ti seré

Bamba bamba

Bamba bamba

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