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.
Below 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.
It is not a secret that adding songs to teach and practice Spanish is widely use in classrooms all over the world. Teachers say:
“These are perfect for using with my students, both in reinforcing what I have taught and also in exposing them to different accents and music.” — Leah T.
“These have been great for reviewing specific grammar themes, and just learning about different artists in general!” — Theresa F.
Consider using one of our ready-made fill-in-the-blanks Spanish songs worksheets. Here’re over 200 titles to get started.
Download Our Free Spanish Songs Directory
Organized to Find that Next Big Hit for Your Students
12 Popular English Songs in Spanish (Part 1)
Without You by Harry Nilsson
Si no estás tú by Harry Nilsson
Vivir sin tu cariño by Jenni Rivera
This Ain’t a Love Song by Bon Jovi
Como yo nadie te ha amado by Yuridia
The Power of Love by Jennifer Rush
Si tú Eres mi hombre y yo tu mujer by Angela Carrasco
El poder del amor by Yolandita Monge (video)
Total Eclipse of the Heart by Bonnie Tyler
Eclipse total del amor by Lissette
Eclipse total del amor by Milly Quesada (merengue)
Eclipse total del amor by Los Horóscopos de Durango (Mexican style)
Blame It on the Boogie by The Jacksons
Será que no me amas by Luis Miguel
Yesterday by The Beatles
El ayer by Boyz II Men
El ayer by Moncho
All by Myself by Celine Dion
Sola otra vez by Celine Dion
Irreplaceable by Beyonce
Irreemplazable by Beyonce
Back on the Chain Gang by The Pretenders
Fotos y recuerdos by Selena
Hotel California by The Eagles
Hotel California by Gypsy Kings (Spanish)
Hotel California (Flamenco version in Spanish)
Bonus Track in Spanglish
No One by Alicia Keys
Nadie by Prima J (Spanglish Version)
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? These Hispanic and Spanish singers did an excellent 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.