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Single by Gipsy Kings
from the album Gipsy Kings
  • 12 July 1987 (US)
  • 31 March 1988 (UK/Hispanic)
Recorded 1987
Genre Rumba Flamenca
Length 3:25
Label Elektra
Gipsy Kings singles chronology
"Djobi Djoba"

"Bamboléo" is a Spanish language song by the Gipsy Kings in 1987 appearing in their eponymous album. The writing credits are Tonino Baliardo, Chico Bouchikhi (J. Bouchikhi) and Nicolas Reyes and arrangements by Dominique Perrier. "Bamboleo" without an accent means "I swing" or "I sway" in Spanish.

The now iconic song has been a worldwide hit for the Gipsy Kings and has been covered by tens of artists. It has also been translated into a great number of languages. There are also instrumental arrangements, samplings and adaptations.


The word bamboléo means "swaying" in Spanish. The song's refrain says: "Bamboléo, Bamboléa, Porque mi vida yo la prefiero vivir asi." Which translates to: "Swaying, swaying, because I prefer to live my life this way."

Part of the song is an adaptation of a Venezuelan classic folk song called "Caballo viejo" composed by Simon Diaz.[1] The definitive refrain of "Bamboleo" is Brazilian and was performed by Brazilian (Portuguese) Carmen Miranda. Julio Iglesias performed it as "Caballo Viejo (Bamboleo)".

Track list[edit]

  • A-Side: "Bamboléo" (3:28)
  • B-Side: "Quiero Saber" (4:09)
1988 12" UK version
  • A-side: "Bamboléo"
  • B-side: "Bamboléo (Single Version)" (3:25) / "Quiero Saber" (4:10)
1988 US version
  • A-side: "Bamboléo" (3:28)
  • B-side: "Bamboléo (LP version)" (3:28)
1988 long 12" version
  • A-Side: "Bamboléo (Latin single)" (3:45)
  • B-side: "Bamboléo (Latin Extended version)" (7:17)

Other Gipsy Kings recordings[edit]

The Gipsy Kings included the song again on their album Greatest Hits as track #3.

The same 1994 album also includes a last track (track #18) that uses the song in a medley of hits as "Bamboléo – Volare – Djobi Djoba – Pida Me La – Baila Me".


  • Spanish language versions include those done by Celia Cruz, Julio Iglesias
  • The Spanish teen band Gypsy Teens released a revamped recording in 2001.Video on YouTube
  • The German band Chico Chico released a cover version in 1988.Video on YouTube
  • Argentine David Bolzoni recorded it in his 2007 album Estigmas de amor
  • Many music-only arrangements have been released without lyrics
  • Ensiferum used the refrain in a bonus track titled "Bamboleo (Gipsy Kings cover)" on their 2012 album Unsung Heroes



  • "Sunshine", a song by Umboza, their biggest hit in UK is based around a sample of The Gypsy Kings' "Bamboléo" Video on YouTube

Appearances in movies[edit]


Since January 2014, "Bamboléo Wednesday" has become a feature on The Scott Mills Show on BBC Radio 1 in the United Kingdom, which involves the playing of the record. In particular, the so-titled "clappy bit" in the instrumental is the regular feature.


  1. ^ Sullivan, Steve (2013). Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings. Scarecrow Press. p. 143-145. Retrieved 6 September 2014. 

External links[edit]