The song is that of a man telling a woman (from Málaga, Spain) how beautiful she is, and how he would love to be her man, but that he understands her rejecting him for being too poor.
Malagueña Salerosa is attributed to Elpidio Ramírez and Pedro Galindo, published by Peer International in 1947 (monitored by BMI), although Mexican composer Nicandro Castillo questions the validity of that authorship. As he mentions:
"The issue is controversial because […] [hidalguense composer] don Nicandro Castillo wrote that several tunes from la Huasteca which in decades past were known as huapangos, composed by Elpidio Ramírez, Roque Ramírez and Pedro Galindo, were actually anonymous songs, as was the case of Cielito Lindo and La Malagueña, which like La Guasanga or El Sacamandú, were in the public domain, written “long before the construction of the Cathedral of Huejutla”."
Many have recorded and played this song, in particular Tríos huastecos, Mariachis and Bolero Trios. But the most famous version was made by Miguel Aceves Mejía with his mariachi. With Huapangos or Son Huastecos, the falsetto technique is used to great effect, as in David Záizar's version. Quite a few versions of the song feature vocal gymnastics by whomever sings them, particularly the stretching of vowels such as the "e" sound in the gentilic 'Malagueña' for as long as the singer can hold the note. Other known mariachi versions of the song were recorded by
- Antonio Aguilar,
- Antonio Aguilar and Joselito
- Ramón Vargas
- Miguel Aceves Mejía
- Mariachi Vargas
- David Záizar.
Tríos huastecoss that have played this song include,
Bolero trio versions were recorded by
This song became known internationally and has been recorded by such Mexican and non-Mexican artists as:
- Avenged Sevenfold released the cover version of the song in 2017, with its original Spanish elements while adding metal elements to the song.
- Bud & Travis on their 1959 album Bud and Travis.
- The Limeliters on their 1960 album The Limeliters.
- Ray Boguslav in 1961 on the album Curfew shall not ring tonight Monitor MF359
- Juan Reynoso
- Kathy Kirby whose 1963 UK hit (#17) "You're the One" set English lyrics (by Marcel Stellman) to the melody of "Malagueña Salerosa".
- Yugoslav and Serbian singer Nikola Karovic recorded "Malagueña" in 1964 as a single album and sold it in more than 1.000.000 copies.
- Trini Lopez on his 1964 album The Latin Album, however, wasn't released as a single until 1968.
- Luiz Bonfá on his 1966 album "The Brazilian Scene"
- Harry James on his 1966 album The Ballads And The Beat! (Dot DLP 3669 and DLP 25669).
- Paco de Lucía on his 1967 album Dos guitarras flamencas en America Latina
- Nancy Ames on her 1969 all Spanish album "This Is The Girl That Is".
- Estela Nuñez on her 1972 album "Estela Nuñez con el Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán".
- Trio Los Angeles in 1973, reaching the Dutch pop charts. It was produced by Hans Vermeulen and played by the band Sandy Coast.
- The San Francisco rock band The Tubes sang it on their eponymous 1975 album debut.
- The Croatian singer Massimo Savić in 1988 on his album Riječi čarobne (Magic Words).
- The Texan folksinger Tish Hinojosa sang it on her 1991 album Aquella Noche
- Cowboy music group Riders in the Sky on their 1994 album Cowboys in Love and their 2003 album Riders in the Sky Silver Jubilee
- Nana Mouskouri on her 1998 album Côté Sud, Côté Coeur.
- Eddie Palmieri on his 1998 album El Rumbero del Piano.
- Plácido Domingo on his 1999 album 100 Años de Mariachi, which won a Grammy Award for Best Mexican-American Performance.
- Helmut Lotti in 2000 on the album Latino Classics.
- The French singer Olivia Ruiz in 2003 on her album J'aime pas l'amour, and then again on her 2008 Spanish-language album La Chica Chocolate
- Tex-mex band Chingón recorded it for the 2004 soundtrack of Kill Bill: Volume 2.
- Chitãozinho & Xororó in 2006 on their album Vida Marvada
- Yanni on his 2010 album Yanni Mexicanisimo
- The Italian band El Cuento de la Chica y la Tequila recorded "Malagueña Salerosa" on their 2013 EP The Wounded Healer.
- Antonio Banderas played the Malagueña in the movie "Once upon time in Mexico".
- Bomba Estéreo
- Los Caballeros
- Carol Cisneros 
- "Once upon a time in Mexico" mariachi version of Malaguena salerosa recorded by Chingon, members of group Del Castillo of Austin, Texas and Robert Rodriguez motion picture director and producer.
- José Feliciano
- The Iranian singer Googoosh.
- Lydia Mendoza
- Ronstadt Generaciones y los Tucsonenses
- Pablito Ruiz
- Sandler and Young
- Românticos de Cuba, Brazil
- The Iranian singer Viguen who sang La Malagueña in Persian. He has a Spanish version as well.
Alla Bayanova was recorded in Romania in 70 years on long-playing record. She sang this song in Romanian language
Notes and references
- "All versions of Some musics". Retrieved 2011-12-31.
- See Elpidio Ramírez on IMDb
- See the "Soundtrack" section of Pedro Galindo on IMDb
- "Elpidio Ramírez - La Malaguena Sheet Music".
- Nicandro Castillo (1914 – 1990): "El Hidalguense", "Las Tres Huastecas", "El Cantador", "La Calandria", "Sueño", "El Alegre", "El Huasteco Enamorado", "Fiesta Huasteca", "El Gavilán Tamaulipeco", and "Mi huejutla"
- Trejo, Ángel. "El huapango resucitó y vive una de sus mejores etapas: Enrique Rivas Paniagua" (in Spanish). México D.F.: Conaculta. Archived from the original on 2004-06-12. Retrieved 2009-09-28.
El tema es controvertido porque en dichas páginas [compositor hidalguense] don Nicandro [Castillo] escribió que varios sones huastecos que en las décadas pasadas fueron conocidos como huapangos compuestos por Elpidio Ramírez, Roque Ramírez y Pedro Galindo fueron en realidad sones anónimos -como fue el caso de Cielito Lindo y La Malagueña, que al igual que La Guasanga o El Sacamandú, eran del dominio público- escritos mucho antes « que se construyera la Catedral de Huejutla ».