La Bamba Lyrics with English Translation – Free Printable PDF

“La Bamba” is a traditional Mexican folk song. Not much is known of the song’s origin, but it is certain that La Bamba was a traditional Mexican dance often performed at weddings especially in the Veracruz region. In 1958 Ritchie Valens recorded a rock arrangement of the song that made the song popular beyond the borders of Mexico. In 1987 the song was performed by Los Lobos in the film La Bamba; the new version went to n. 1 in both U.K. and U.S.A. charts.

On this page you can find the Spanish lyrics with an English translation by Singing Bell and you can download for free a printable lyrics PDF file. For those who would like to go a bit further, we have included the extended traditional lyrics in Spanish followed by the corresponding English translation. You can also watch two sing-along videos of the song: the first is the world famous Los Lobos version while the second is a vintage Mexican recording dating back to 1939. Listen, sing along, dance and enjoy the beautiful song!

Table of Contents

Printable Lyrics PDF

Click on the button to download a PDF file with lyrics to this song for free.

Lyrics PDF download

La Bamba Lyrics in Spanish

Para bailar la Bamba
para bailar la Bamba se necesita una poca de gracia
una poca de gracia pa’ mi pa’ ti
y arriba y arriba
Ay y arriba y arriba por ti seré,
por ti seré, por ti seré

Yo no soy marinero
Yo no soy marinero, soy capitán,
Soy capitán, soy capitán

Bamba, bamba,
bamba, bamba
bamba, bamba
bamba.

La Bamba Lyrics – English Translation

In order to dance the Bamba
In order to dance the Bamba one needs a little bit of grace
a little bit of grace for me, for you,
and up, and up*
Ah, and up, and up, by you I will be,
by you I will be, by you I will be**

I am not a sailor,
I am not a sailor, I am a captain
I am a captain, I am a captain

*can also be translated as dance figure instructions, like moving your body or hands:
“towards me, towards you, and up in the air / higher”

**also can be loosely translated as “I’ll be (there) for you”

Traditional Lyrics in Spanish

Para bailar la Bamba,
para bailar la Bamba,
Se necesita una poca de gracia,
Una poca de gracia y otra cosita.
Ay arriba y arriba,
ay arriba, ay arriba y arrbia iré
Yo no soy marinero,
Yo no soy marinero, por tí seré
Por ti seré, por tí seré.

Bamba, bamba,
Bamba, bamba,
Bamba, bamba,
bamba.

Para subir al cielo,
Para subir al cielo se necesita,
Una escalara grande,
Una escalera grande y y otra chiquita,
Ay arriba y arriba,
ay arriba y arriba, y arriba iré
Yo no soy marinero,
Yo no soy marinero, soy capitán,
soy capitán, soy capitán.

Cuando canto la bamba,
Cuando canto la bamba, yo estoy contento,
porque yo me accompaño
porque yo me accompaño con mi instrumento,
ay arriba y arriba
ay arriba, y arriba iré,
Yo no soy marinero,
Yo no soy marinero por tí seré,
por tí seré, por tí seré.

Ay te pido, cupido (or Ay te pido, to pido)
Ay te pido, cupido, de compasión,
Que se acabe “La Bamba”
Que se acabe “La Bamba” venga otro son
Ay arriba y arriba
ay arriba y arriba, y arriba iré,
o no soy marinero,
Yo no soy marinero por tí seré,
por tí seré, por tí seré.

English translation by Singing Bell:

In order to dance the Bamba,
In order to the Bamba,
You need a little bit of grace,
A little bit of grace and a little something else,
Oh Up and Up I go,
Oh Up and Up I go,
I am not a sailor,
I am not a sailor, for you I will be
for you I will be, for you I will be

Bamba, bamba,
Bamba, bamba,
Bamba, bamba,
bamba.

To go up to heaven,
To go up to heaven you need a big ladder,
A big ladder and another smaller one,
Oh up and up,
Oh up and up, and up I’ll go,
I am not a sailor,
I am not a sailor, I am a captain,
I am a captain, I am a captain.

When I sing the Bamba,
When I sing the Bamba, I am happy,
Because I accompany myself
Because I accompany myself with my instrument,
Oh up and up,
Oh up and up, and up I’ll go,
I am not a sailor,
I am not a sailor, for you I will be
for you I will be, for you I will be

Oh, I ask you Cupid (or, Oh, I ask, I ask..)
Oh, I ask you Cupid out of compassion,
That La Bamba should end,
That La Bamba should and another song will be played
Oh up and up,
Oh up and up, and up I’ll go,
I am not a sailor,
I am not a sailor, for you I will be
for you I will be, for you I will be

Sing-Along Video with Lyrics (Los Lobos version)

Sing-Along Video (traditional version)

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