Understanding the Words to Spanish Songs

“Suave” by Calle 13

I heard about Calle 13 when I lived in Chile in 2006. I downloaded their popular album, “Calle 13” when I got home because the music reminded me of my trip. They are a reggaeton group from Puerto Rico. The lyrics to the songs are fast, and the accent and slang words in Puerto Rico are very different than the Spanish that I’m used to. I didn’t understand most of what they were singing about when I first bought the album and I considered this a good thing. Lots of Reggaeton songs have offensive lyrics that are very sexual and/or derogatory to women. However, I really like the musical style, so most of the time, I prefer to stay in the dark and just enjoy the sounds of the music without trying to understand any lyrics.

However, my blissful ignorance is coming to an end as I get better and better at Spanish. For the last year, I have been speaking, reading, writing or listening to Spanish every day. Suddenly, I find that I understand a lot more of what is being said in Calle 13 songs. Last week I was listening to Calle 13 in my headphones as I worked on some writing. I usually listen to Spanish songs because the lyrics don’t distract me from my thoughts as I’m considering what to write. This time, I kept finding myself stopping my work, listening to the song, and thinking, “Did he just say what I think he said?” Suddenly, I’m learning how to talk dirty in Spanish.

So, I offer you “Suave” by Calle 13. I’m not going to go through and explain everything to you that they’re saying, because that’s not the purpose of my blog. However, you can check out the lyrics for yourself. The video that I’ve posted takes you to a censored version of the song, so if you read the lyrics while listening, you will get an idea of where to look for the….ahem….inappropriate content.

I’d suggest only checking this out for the sake of curiosity. These lyrics are along the lines of English rappers like Lil Wayne. Imagine talking to a lady like Lil Wayne does in his songs. Things will not go well! The same rule applies with Calle 13. You can listen to the song and figure out what he’s talking about, but if you try to actually use these phrases when talking to someone in real life, it’s sure to end badly!


2 thoughts on “Understanding the Words to Spanish Songs

  1. […] big winner of the night was Calle 13, a duo of brothers from Puerto Rico.Their music is a mixture of sounds including hip-hop and rap. […]

  2. […] fan of Calle 13 ever since I went to Chile and heard their music in 2006. In fact, I even posted a blog about one of Calle 13′s songs a few weeks ago. I’m not as familiar with their newer music, but I’m definitely going […]

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