"Si Una Vez" (English: If I Once) is a song recorded by Mexican-American recording artist Selena for her fourth studio album, Amor Prohibido (1994). It was written by Pete Astudillo and produced by Selena's brother-producer A.B. Quintanilla. "Si Una Vez" is a mariachifusion song and draws influence from cumbia and Latin dance music. Lyrically, Selena questions why she ever fell in love with an abusive partner, saying she will never repeat her mistakes. The lyrics suggest unrequited love and female empowerment.
"Si Una Vez" is written in the key of D minor and is played in a moderate groove of 84 beats per minute. It incorporates music from several musical instruments, including the piano and guitar. Lyrically, Selena reminiscences her failed relationship and wonders why she ever fell in love with an abusive partner who betrayed and left her, vowing to never allow a man like that back into her life. The lyrics suggest unrequited love and female empowerment.
"Si Una Vez" was named by the Latin Times as one of the top-ten best karaoke songs sung in Spanish. Writing for the Latin Times, Maria Valdez called the song "fun" especially when running into your former partner at a karaoke party and found the track to showcases a singer's vocal abilities.Texas Public Radio's Nathan Cone, said "the song "resonates best" with South Texas".Entertainment Weekly contributor David Browne, commented on Selena's vocals as being "full-throated, warbling" and that it "recalls Lydia Mendoza, conjunto's leading lady." A New University writer found the recording to have "showcase [the singer's] passion with her vocals."
Girl in a Coma (pictured left) and Ivy Queen (pictured right) recorded their versions of "Si Una Vez", citing the song as having some form of influence on their careers.
Mexican singer Mary Boquitas recorded the song for the tribute albumMexico Recuerda a Selena (2005). Mexican mariachi singer Alicia Villareal performed and recorded "Si Una Vez" for the live televised tribute concert Selena ¡VIVE! in April 2005. American reggaeton singer Ivy Queen covered "Si Una Vez" for her fifth studio album Flashback (2005). She said in an interview how she felt "honored to be able to cover one of Selena's songs". Ivy Queen chose to cover "Si Una Vez" finding it to be identifiable to her and because of the song's message which the singer stood for. Jonathan Widran of AllMusic called her versions a "reggaetón-ed up twist". In 2010, indie rock group Girl in a Coma recorded a punk cover of "Si Una Vez". The group decided to record the song because it was their favorite recordings of Selena. Girl in a Coma performed the song live during the 2010 Tejano Music Awards as a homage to Selena. In April 2011, A.B.'s band Kumbia All-Starz performed their version of the song during their tour for La Vida De Un Genio (2010) in Bolivia. Colombian singer Kali Uchis performed "Si Una Vez" at the 2015 SXSW festival.Vibe magazine found Uchis' performance to have given them "shivers".
American merengue musician Manny Manuel covered the song on his debut album, El Rey de Corazones (1995). Out of the five singles released from the album, "Si Una Vez" was Manuel's most successful single off of the El Rey de Corazones album. The song debuted at number 29 on the United States BillboardHot Latin Tracks and number three on the U.S. Tropical Songs chart. The following week, "Si Una Vez" rose to numbers 22 and two on the Hot Latin Songs and Tropical Songs chart, respectively. On October 14, 1995, the track climbed to number 21 on the Hot Latin Songs chart, while it fell to number four on the Tropical Songs chart. In its fourth week, "Si Una Vez" jumped to number 18 on the Hot Latin Songs chart, while over at the Tropical Songs chart the song rose to number three. Despite increased airplay spins, "Si Una Vez" fell to number 20 on the Hot Latin Songs chart. On November 11, 1995, "Si Una Vez" peaked at number one on the Tropical Songs chart for one week, reeciving airplay honors that week.