La Camisa Negra

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"La camisa negra"
La Camisa Negra.jpg
Single by Juanes
from the album Mi Sangre
Released August 26, 2004
Format CD single, Maxi single
Recorded 2004
Genre Cumbia
Alternative rock
Latin pop
Length 3:36
Label Universal
Writer(s) Juanes/Octavio Mesa
Producer(s) Juanes, Gustavo Santaolalla
Juanes singles chronology
"Volverte a Ver"
"La Camisa Negra"
"Para Tu Amor"

"La Camisa Negra" (English: "The Black Shirt") is a Spanish rock song written by Colombian singer-songwriter Octavio Mesa and recorded by Juanes for his third studio album Mi Sangre. In Latin America, the track was released in 2005 as the third single from Mi Sangre, and in Europe, it was released in 2006 as the album's lead single.

The song received mixed reviews from critics and generated controversy when it was used to support neo-fascism in Italy. The single was very successful in Latin America, topping most record charts.

Music and structure[edit]

"La Camisa Negra" is written in common time in the key of F-sharp minor.[2] The song is carried by a heavy bass guitar and an acoustic guitar strum at a moderate 100 beats per minute, with an accompanying melody on the electric guitar.[2] The lyrics are organized in the common verse-chorus form,[3] and Juanes' range spans around an octave and a half, from C#4 to F#5.[2]


The lyrics explain that the bitter singer is wearing La Camisa Negra, the black shirt, as a way of mourning a failed love affair or even his own death, presumably singing to the object of his love. Some of the lyrics have double meanings or are structured to suggest more off-color phrases. Several sentences seem ready to end with an obscenity, before gliding into a new sentence that begins with a similar but non-obscene word. The sad lyrics are dissonant with the cheerful melody.[4]

Critical reception[edit]

The song received mixed reviews from critics. stated that the track "is a good intro into the world of Juanes as it fully exhibits his guitar style and absorbing voice."[5] MyVillage gave the song two out of five stars, commenting that it "has a certain charm about it, but I certainly won't mind missing the boat on this occasion."[6] IndieLondon called the song "a supremely slick acoustic ballad", stating that "the rolling guitar licks…provide a wonderful accompaniment."[7] OMH gave the song a mixed review, stating that "the powerful chorus has a rather catchy vocal melody to it" but that "it's like being promised a culinary banquet only to be served a few chicken nuggets."[8]


The song was used in Italy in support of neo-fascism because of the association of "black shirt" with the Fascist Blackshirts of Benito Mussolini,[9] and many nightclub attendees from the far right raised an arm in the fascist salute when the song was played.[10] In response, left-wing media network Indymedia called for a boycott of the song.[10] Juanes later stated that "'La Camisa Negra' has got nothing to do with fascism or Mussolini...People can interpret music in all kinds of ways I guess."[11] The song was also banned in the Dominican Republic for its sexual undertones.[12] It was also implicated in controversy at his August 2009 performance in Havana.[13][14]

Chart performance[edit]

In the United States, the song performed quite well for a Spanish language recording reaching number eighty-nine on the Billboard Hot 100.[15] It performed much better on the Latin charts, topping the Hot Latin Tracks for eight non-consecutive weeks,[16] topping the Latin Pop Airplay, and reaching number two on the Latin Tropical Airplay.[15] Billboard listed the song at number two on the 2005 year-end Hot Latin Songs chart, behind fellow Colombian singer-songwriter Shakira's "La Tortura".[17] The song performed well in Europe, topping the charts in Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Switzerland and reaching the top twenty in Belgium, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, and Norway.[18] The single was certified gold in Switzerland[19] and it is one of the Top 10 singles in the country's history.[20] As of August 2014, it is the 51st best-selling single of the 21st century in France, with 395,000 units sold.[21]

Music video[edit]

A music video for the song was released in 2005. In the video, Juanes arrives in a town, accompanied by two women and an older man. The man and women exit the car, and the man begins playing a guitar while the two dance. Various people are shown in realist street scenes. A wave comes out of the guitar, and aside from Juanes, everyone through whom the wave passes is frozen in time, performing the same motion repeatedly in forward and reverse. During the last chorus, the wave reverses direction, and the people of the town disappear. The waves emitted by the guitar are sucked back in to the guitar. It is unexplained the identity of the women and the old man, and their motives, but it is assumed that they are sinister and possibly they are not even humans. The song and video appear in the video game Dance Dance Revolution Hottest Party 3 and Dance Dance Revolution X2.

Cover versions[edit]

In 2007, Mexican singer Lucero included a live version with mariachi of this song on her album Lucero En Vivo Auditorio Nacional. Live cover version from Kylie Minogue in Bogotá 2008, KylieX2008.

In 2009, the University of Rochester Midnight Ramblers recorded a contemporary a cappella version of the song for their 8th studio album, "Ca C'est Bon".

Fox's 2009 TV Show Glee in episode 3 "Acafellas," a cover version of this song was heard in background.

There is also an Iranian version of the song entitled "Beverley Hills" by group Barobax.

Dutch band 3JS covered the song in 2011 as a b-side for their Toen Ik Jou Vergat single.

There is a several Russian cover versions of this song made by different artists (inc. Ярилов Зной, Марк Тишман, Игорь Пресняков, etc).

Formats and track listings[edit]

12" maxi single (House Remixes)

  1. "La Camisa Negra" [Main Mix]
  2. "La Camisa Negra" [Duro Mix]
  3. "La Camisa Negra" [T.U.&G! Remix]

CD single #1

  1. "La Camisa Negra" [Album Version] - 3:36
  2. "La Camisa Negra" [Remix por Toy Hernández] - 4:36

CD single #2

  1. "La Camisa Negra" [Album Version] - 3:36
  2. "La Camisa Negra" [Sonidero Nacional Remix] - 3:36

Maxi single (July 24, 2005)

  1. "La Camisa Negra" [Album Version] - 3:36
  2. "La Camisa Negra" [Sonidero Nacional Remix] - 3:36
  3. "Fotografía" [feat. Nelly Furtado] - 3:58
  4. "La Camisa Negra" [Video] [Bonus]
  5. An Introduction to Juanes [Bonus]

Charts and certifications[edit]

Preceded by
"Aire" by Intocable
U.S. Billboard Hot Latin Songs number-one single
(first run)

April 9, 2005 – May 28, 2005
Succeeded by
"La Tortura" by Shakira featuring Alejandro Sanz
Preceded by
"La Tortura" by Shakira featuring Alejandro Sanz
U.S. Billboard Hot Latin Songs number-one single
(second run)

June 18, 2005
Preceded by
"Maria" by US5
German Singles Chart number-one song (first run)
August 20, 2005
Succeeded by
"Durch Den Monsun" by Tokio Hotel
Preceded by
"Durch Den Monsun" by Tokio Hotel
German Singles Chart number-one song (second run)
September 17, 2005
Preceded by
"Hung Up" by Madonna
French Singles Chart number-one single
January 7, 2006 – January 21, 2006
Succeeded by
"Nolwenn Ohwo !" by Nolwenn Leroy"

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Forero, Juan. "A Singer Confronts Colombia's Pain". The New York Times. November 23, 2005. Retrieved April 1, 2007.
  2. ^ a b c Sheet music for "La Camisa Negra". Songs of Camaleon. 2004.
  3. ^ Juanes. "La Camisa Negra" lyrics. Mi Sangre liner notes. 2004.
  4. ^ English translation of the lyrics, with detailed explanation, at
  5. ^ Fabode, Seyi. "Juanes, Mi Sangre, Album Review". ContactMusic.Retrieved March 31, 2007.
  6. ^ Dallimore, Rachael. "Juanes: La Camisa Negra". MyVillage. Retrieved March 31, 2007.
  7. ^ "Juanes - Mi Sangre". IndieLondon. Retrieved March 31, 2007.
  8. ^ Harper, Jamie. "Juanes - La Camisa Negra (Polydor)" Archived 2007-04-20 at the Wayback Machine.. OMH. Retrieved March 31, 2007.
  9. ^ Martínez, Daniel. "Juanes en medio de polémica italiana". BBC Mundo. September 3, 2005. Retrieved January 25, 2007.
  10. ^ a b "Italians see red over 'black shirt' pop song". Reuters. September 1, 2005. Retrieved from Free Republic April 1, 2007.
  11. ^ Wilson, Scott. "From Colombia, Encouraging Sounds". The Washington Post. October 14, 2003: page C01.
  12. ^ Sainz, Adrian. "Rubio, Juanes Earn Billboard Latin Awards" Archived 2007-06-10 at the Wayback Machine.. Yahoo! Music. April 28, 2005. Retrieved February 7, 2007.
  13. ^ Junco, Maite (August 21, 2009). "Juanes' Havana concert stirs controversy". Daily News. New York. 
  14. ^ Juanes#2009 Peace Concert in Cuba
  15. ^ a b "Mi Sangre > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles". Allmusic. Retrieved March 31, 2007.
  16. ^ Jeckell, Barry A. "Carey Still 'Belongs' At No. 1". Billboard. June 9, 2005. Retrieved March 31, 2007.
  17. ^ "Hot Latin Songs". Billboard. Retrieved March 31, 2007.
  18. ^ "Juanes - La Camisa Negra: Charts" Archived 2007-02-22 at the Wayback Machine.. Music Square. Retrieved March 31, 2007.
  19. ^ "Awards 2005" Archived 2011-05-15 at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved April 1, 2007.
  20. ^ "Best of All Time - Singles". Retrieved April 1, 2007. It peaked at #32 in the UK, surprisingly, and was the first and only song of Juanes to enter the UK charts.
  21. ^ "Top 100 des singles les plus vendus du millénaire en France, épisode 5 (60-51)". Chartsinfrance. 9 August 2014. Retrieved 2015-03-17. 
  22. ^ " – Juanes – La Camisa Negra" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  23. ^ " – Juanes – La Camisa Negra" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  24. ^ " – Juanes – La Camisa Negra" (in French). Ultratop 50.
  25. ^ "Radio Top100 Oficiální". International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. Retrieved December 29, 2010.
  26. ^ "{{{artist}}} – {{{song}}}" (in Danish). Tracklisten.
  27. ^ "Juanes – Chart history" European Hot 100 for Juanes.
  28. ^ "Juanes: La Camisa Negra" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
  29. ^ " – Juanes – La Camisa Negra" (in French). Les classement single.
  30. ^ " – Juanes Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  31. ^ " – Juanes – La Camisa Negra". Top Digital Download.
  32. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Juanes search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
  33. ^ " – Juanes – La Camisa Negra". VG-lista.
  34. ^ " – Juanes – La Camisa Negra". Singles Top 100.
  35. ^ " – Juanes – La Camisa Negra". Swiss Singles Chart.
  36. ^ Los Discos No. 1 En España de 1950 and 2010 - NEWALENCIA, retrieved 2 September 2010 
  37. ^ "Juanes: Artist Chart History" Official Charts Company.
  38. ^ "Juanes – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for Juanes.
  39. ^ "Juanes – Chart history" Billboard Hot Latin Songs for Juanes. Retrieved 2 September 2010.
  40. ^ "Juanes – Chart history" Billboard Latin Pop Songs for Juanes. Retrieved 2 September 2010.
  41. ^ a b La Camisa Negra - Juanes, retrieved 6 September 2010 
  42. ^ "Ultratop − Goud en Platina – 2006". Ultratop & Hung Medien / 
  43. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Juanes; 'La Camisa Negra')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. 
  44. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Juanes; 'La Camisa Negra')". IFPI Switzerland. Hung Medien. 
  45. ^ "American single certifications – Juanes – La Camisa Negra". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  46. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-01-20. Retrieved 2010-07-30.