Las Mañanitas

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"Las Mañanitas" Spanish pronunciation: [las maɲaˈnitas] is a traditional Mexican[1] birthday song sung in Mexico and other Latin American countries at birthday parties, usually early in the morning to awaken the birthday person, also before eating cake, and especially as part of the custom of serenading women. In Mexico, Las Mañanitas is sung to men and women of all ages. In some countries, such as Colombia, the song is mostly sung to girls, especially on their 15th birthdays. Perhaps the most famous rendition of "Las Mañanitas" is that sung by Pedro Infante to "Chachita" in the movie Nosotros los pobres.


Spanish original[2] English translation[2]

Estas son las mañanitas
que cantaba el rey David
hoy por ser día de tu santo, te las cantamos a ti.

Despierta, <name of person who celebrates their birthday>, mi bien despierta,
mira que ya amaneció,
ya los pajaritos cantan, la luna ya se metió.

Qué linda está la mañana
en que vengo a saludarte
venimos todos con gusto
y placer a felicitarte.

El día en que tu naciste,
nacieron todas las flores,
y en la pila del bautismo,
cantaron los ruiseñores.

Ya viene amaneciendo,
ya la luz del día nos dio.
Levántate de mañana,
mira que ya amaneció.[2]

These are “Las Mañanitas”
that King David used to sing.
Today because it's your birthday;
we sing them to you.

Wake up, my love, wake up.
Look at what has dawned,
Already the little birds are singing,
The moon already went in.

How pretty is the morning
In which I come to greet you.
We all came with pleasure
and joy to congratulate you.

On the day you were born
All the flowers were born.
At the baptismal font
The mockingbirds sang.

It is starting to be dawn,
The day has given us light.
Get up in the morning,
Look that it has already dawned.[2]

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 elided 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 instead of hoy por ser día de tu Santo te las cantamos aqui. Years ago, it was common to give a child the name of the patron saint that corresponded to the day the child was born. (see Calendar of saints).[citation needed]

The song is usually set in the key of A major at a 3
time signature
at the first 2 stanzas with tempos between 90-100 beats per minute, then shifts to a 6
time signature
for the rest of the song.


Every year, during the night between 11 and 12 December, mañanitas are sung to the honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe by Mexico's most famous and popular artist in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

United States[edit]

New Mexico[edit]

In the US State of New Mexico it is sometimes sung as an honorary song during birthday celebrations, for both men and women. One such example was during a live performance for Al Hurricane's 75th birthday, during the concert setlist it was recorded by Al Hurricane Jr. and Christian Sanchez as a rendition alongside the English-language Happy Birthday to You, the entire concert was released as an album mastered by Lorenzo Antonio.

Puerto Rico[edit]

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 Catholic Mass, and a popular breakfast.[3] The celebration started in 1964,[4] but the circumstances of its origin are uncertain. Some say it was started by immigrant Mexican engineers while others state it was started by Spaniards from Extremadura, Spain.[4] The early morning, pre-dawn celebration is attended by over 10,000 people,[5] including mayors and other prominent figures. The city of Ponce offers a free breakfast to everyone present at the historic Ponce City Hall after the religious Mass concludes.[6]


  1. ^ Las Mananitas for Guadalupe. Archived 10 February 2014 at the Wayback Machine John Rieping. The Madera Tribune. Madera, California. 6 September 2013 . Retrieved 18 March 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d Las Mañanitas: Traditional Spanish Song Lyrics with English Translation. Archived from the Original. Spanish lyrics, sound clip and English translation provided by La Familia Peña-Govea. Using Music to Promote Learning. Chandler, Arizona: Songs for Teaching. 2016. Accessed 19 November 2018.
  3. ^ Vuelven a Ponce las Fiestas Patronales. Carmen Cila Rodríguez. La Perla del Sur. Ponce, Puerto Rico. 5 December 2012. Retrieved 5 December 2012.
  4. ^ a b Latente la Tradicion: Multitud Madruga para Venerar en Ponce la Virgen de Guadalupe. Coral Negron Almodovar. La Perla del Sur. Year 35, Issue 1724. (14 to 20 December 2016) Ponce, Puerto Rico. p.4.
  5. ^ Miles le cantan las Mañanitas a la Virgen de Guadalupe en Ponce. Primera Hora. 12 December 2010. Retrieved 3 April 2014.
  6. ^ Vivo el fervor por la Guadalupana. La Perla del Sur. Ponce, Puerto Rico. 12 December 2013. Retrieved 18 December 2013.

See also[edit]

  • 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.

External links[edit]