There are many songs that become popular and then make a crossover to other languages. Some turn out to be good, but others are a complete disaster. I assume that translating a hit song to a different language is difficult. Think about the challenge of keeping the essence of the original lyrics yet finding the appropriate words to fit in the melody… that takes some in-depth language skills! That is why both versions do not have the exact same translation.
Here is a playlist of 12 Spanish versions of popular English songs (and a Bonus Track in Spanglish). Some were recorded by the same artist; like Celine Dion with All By My Self and Beyoncé with Irreplaceable. There are other songs that not only are in Spanish, but are also available in different rhythms. For example, I found two versions of Hotel California that have the flamenco influence from Spain and Total Eclipse of the Heart with three versions: a pop Spanish, a merengue and a Mexican style.
Go ahead, click on the MP3 link to listen to a demo of each song and decide if these songs are just as good as their original versions.
Singing Latino Part 1: 12 Popular English Songs in Spanish
Listen Demo | Total Eclipse Of The Heart by Bonnie Tyler
Listen Demo | Eclipse total del amor by Lissette
Listen Demo | Eclipse total del amor by Milly Quesada (merengue)
Listen Demo | Eclipse total del amor by Los Horoscopos de Durango (Mexican style)
A final recommendation is the legendary Swedish group ABBA. Their ABBA Gold Greatest Hits album also has a Spanish version available called ABBA Oro Grandes Éxitos. Both albums do not have the exact same songs, but they include the hits Mama Mia, Chiquita and Dancing Queen.
So what do you think? Which were you favorite Spanish version? And the worst? Can you think of more songs that exist in both languages? In my opinion, these Hispanic and Spanish singers did a great job. I grew up listening to some love songs without knowing that they were Spanish versions of an English song. Today I still don’t know the original English lyrics and I easily follow the tune with the Spanish words… it sounds so good!
If you want to listen to more songs, read the second part of this post Singing Latino: 15 Additional Popular English Songs in Spanish.
Check out these other English Spanish articles.