"La Bamba" by Ritchie Valens

This week for Song Lyric Sunday, Jim Adams has prompted us with “La” in the title or lyrics. I found this difficult as there are so many obvious songs. I wanted to go off the beaten path, but couldn’t. I had to go with what I know and love.

  • Ritchie Valens became the first Latino Rock n’ Roll superstar, hailing from LA (Los Angeles, California).
  • “La Bamba” is a Mexican folk song, originally from Veracruz that combines Spanish, Indigenous and African musical.
  • In 1958, “La Bamba” was produced on the 45 record, Side B, as a fluff piece to Valen’s soon to be hit, Side A “Donna”, a hit Valen’s wrote for his girlfriend.
  • Producer, Bob Keane added “La Bamba” to the record because he didn’t think anyone would listen to a song with spanish lyrics, putting “Donna” in the spotlight. It backfired.
  • Los Lobos performed “La Bamba” for the 1987 movie “La Bamba” starring Lou Diamond Phillips.
  • In 1987, “La Bamba” reached number 1 on the US and UK singles charts for Los Lobos.
  • Ritchie Valens died at the age of 17 in a plane crash with 2 other greats, Buddy Holly & J.P. “Big Bopper” Richardson heading to Fargo, North Dakota.
  • Valens was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001.
"La Bamba"
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
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, bam

Para bailar La Bamba
Para bailar La Bamba
Se necesita una poca de gracia
Una poca de gracia
Para mi, para ti, ay arriba, ay arriba

Para bailar La Bamba
Para bailar La Bamba
Se necesita una poca de gracia
Una poca de gracia
Pa' mi, pa' ti, ay arriba, ay arriba
Y arriba y arriba
Por ti seré, por ti seré, por ti seré 

14 Comments on “"La Bamba" by Ritchie Valens

  1. I loved the Go, Johnny, Go! video from the 1959 rock and roll film starring Alan Freed and with Chuck Berry sitting at the table. That plane crash was a horrible destruction of so much talent.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I remember this was played a lot on the TV is in the 90s and/or 2000s for TV ads. It is a go-to song for promotion, I think?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This song is such a joy to me. When I was up in Wales over the holidays, we played it on the Alexa and all the little ones (we have a lot of little ones in our family) were dancing and shimmying away!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Love the song and lots of his other ones, too. The movie about him was good. So sad he was taken so soon in his life. We live here where Buddy Holly grew up, and we have many memorials to him. I’m sure they all would have and should have had many more years to create wonderful music.

    Liked by 1 person

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