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Las Mañanitas is a traditional Mexican birthday song sung in Mexico at birthday parties, usually before eating cake and especially as part of the custom of serenading women. Perhaps the most famous rendition of "Las Mañanitas" is that sung by Pedro Infante to "Chachita" in the movie Nosotros los pobres.
|Spanish original||English translation|
Estas son las mañanitas que cantaba el rey David.
These are like the morning songs that our King David used to sing.
Often if being sung instead of played from a recording, "mi bien" ("my dear") is replaced with the name of the person being celebrated, e.g. Despierta Jacob, despierta, mira que ya amaneció. Single syllable names are stretched through the two original notes, and longer or compound names are often hushed to fit the music, such as Guadalupe or "José Alberto", which in Spanish would be sung "Josealberto", creating a diphthong in the second syllable.
The second line of the first stanza is sometimes sung "... a las muchachas bonitas se las cantamos aquí", or, in English, "... to the pretty girls we sing them here". In some regions is changed as hoy por ser día de tu Santo te las cantamos aqui.
Years ago, it was common to name a child with the name of the patron saint that corresponded to the day the child was born. (see Calendar of saints) Thus, a child born on February 17th was named Patrick (Patricio for a boy or Patricia for a girl). Someone born on December 12th was often named Guadalupe. (See also name day).
Las Mañanitas is also very popular in the Philippines and is sung with English lyrics.
How beautiful is the morning
As we come and ‘waken you
With God’s early morning blessing
With pleasure we sing to you.
On the day that you were born
The flowers came into bloom
And at the baptismal font
All the Saints brought forth their song
The dawn is now appearing
The rays of the sun break through
Arise early this bright morning
As we sing hello to you
How I wish I were St. Peter
How I wish I were St. John
As we bring this salutation
In this very early dawn
From all the stars in the heavens
How I wish I could get you two
One to tell you good morning
And the other to bid you adieu
With a bouquet of carnations
We have come to sing our song
And make your day full of color
So that you may carry on.
Las Mañanitas are also an annual event held in Ponce, Puerto Rico, dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe. It consists of a pre-dawn festival parade, followed by a Christian mass, an athletic competition, and a popular breakfast.
- Vuelven a Ponce las Fiestas Patronales. Carmen Cila Rodríguez. La Perla del Sur. Ponce, Puerto Rico. 5 December 2012. Retrieved 5 December 2012.
- Laura Vázquez Blázquez, "Leyendas, historias, canciones e himnos populares." Culturas Populares. Revista electrónica vol. 1, pp. 1–25. (January–April 2006).
- Olga Martha Peña Doria, "La dramaturgia femenina y el corrido mexicano teatralizado." Sincronía, Fall 2002, p. 2.
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