Tag Archives: quinceranera

What a way to wake up

I was deep asleep at 6:30 am on Sunday morning when the sound of trumpets squeezed through my window. It was a full ensemble of mariachis playing “Las Mananitas,” the traditional Mexican birthday song to fete a neighbor who just turned 15. What a trip!

Mariachis playing \"Las Mananitas\" in Boyle Heights

A note on Las Mananitas: Contrary to popular belief, the Mexican birthday song is not the American one substituting “Feliz cumpleanos” for “Happy birthday.” I haven’t verified this, but I would argue it is the longest, most complicated birthday song in the world. It took me months to fully master and memorize. Here are the lyrics in English:

This is the morning song that King David sang
Because today is your saint’s day we’re singing it for you
Wake up, my dear, wake up, look it is already dawn
The birds are already singing and the moon has set

How lovely is the morning in which I come to greet you
We all came with joy and pleasure to congratulate you
The morning is coming now, the sun is giving us its light
Get up in the morning, look it is already dawn

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized