27 February 2010

Escuchaaaarrrrrrr!!!!!!! The Songs Constantly Stuck in My Head

If you've got some time on your hands and would like a little more Spanish culture than what I can write about, I offer you the songs of Spain.

We hear a lot of songs when we go out on the weekend and often listen to music in our culture class, and several of these have a tendency to get stuck in your head. It's a trilingual experience because some are in Spanish, some in English, and some in Portuguese.

This one is in Portuguese, and it's called Rap Das Armas. When that Parapapapapa . . . part comes on everybody in the room starts to sing. It's peppy and fun, but my Brazilian friends let me know that it's about guns in the slums of Brazil and that fun sound in the chorus is mimicking gunshots. It was a happier song before this piece of information was shared with me. However, without the English subtitle version I find it enjoyable, in a stuck-in-your-head-all-day kind of way.

And songs that get stuck in your head makes me think of this gem I heard a lot during Carnaval: HumahuaqueƱo Carnavalito. I haven't heard it since (and I'm not complaining), but it sticks with you. Or at least one word sticks with you: Bailaaaarrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!! The great thing is that there are many Spanish verbs that end in -ar like bailar (which means "to dance" for those of you who don't speak Spanish), so we can yell these verbs and roll the r for a long time like King Africa. It shouldn't be as fun as it has turned out to be.

I have a friend who is a little obsessed with this next one. It's also in Portuguese, but my Brazilian friends tell me it's Portuguese from Angola and they can't even understand a lot of it. It's called Kalemba and it's by a group called Buraka Som Sistema.

These first three are things you hear when you go out, but every now and then in class we get stuck on a Youtube search and end up with new things to laugh at. Exhibit A: El Mamut Chiquitito (The Little Mammoth). It sounds like a kids song, but it is not. It is both horrible and wonderful at the same time. To summarize, the little mammoth wanted to do things that are bad for him, such as fly, smoke, and drink. He is at first unsuccessful in each attempt, but then some friend (a different animal every time) helps him get what he wants and it turns out bad for him in a different way every time (he overdoses, gets AIDS, and eventually dies). It sounds ridiculous, because it is, but if you listen to it you'll be singing it all day (even if you don't have a clue what you're saying). Also, even if you don't understand the Spanish I think the animations will give you a fairly good idea of the storyline.

And finally, I apologize for the animations on this last one because they are inappropriate, but the song is hilarious. One of our teachers encountered this one when she searched for El Mamut Chiquitito. This guy is talking about his girlfriend, and he says lots of horrible things about her, such as she's so ugly that when she emailed her picture it was detected by the antivirus software. But he continually throws in the line "Pero te quiero," (but I love you). The best line of the song is toward the end when he just says, "Fea," (ugly). This same guy has a song about giving a girlfriend breast implants as a gift and her leaving him shortly after.

These songs should not be taken as a representation of Spanish music or culture overall, but it should give you an idea of some of the things that are entertaining me here. Enjoy!


  1. I giggled at these.

    And they are obsession worthy! Even if they're about horrible things!!!!

  2. El mamut chiquitito = the highlight of my day!!

    I showed it to my brother and he also found it hilarious :)
    Thanks for sharing your insane obsessions ;)