Salem State University | Language Resource Center | Spanish Lyrics Collection

Cumbia Classics

Country: Colombia (Caribbean coast)

Songs featured here

  • La Colegiala [MP3]
  • Tabaco y Ron [MP3]
  • La Pollera Colorá [MP3]
  • El Pescador de Barú [MP3]
  • La negra Tomasa

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    Introduction

    The Cumbia is one of the most representative types of Colombian music. It is associated with the Caribbean coast. (Another main music type is the Vallenato, from the valley in the interior.) It is the result of African, Spanish, and Indigenous influences (cf. Origen de la Cumbia).

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    Links

    Yo me llamo Cumbia
    La página de la música del Caribe Colombiano. See, for example, the Clasificación de la música colombiana and the Cumbia page ("que se baila suavesona"), which includes Origen de la Cumbia. Don't miss the links page.

    All about Cumbia (UK)

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    Recommended albums

    CD cover

    Cumbia Cumbia: Columbian Cumbia Recordings Various Artists - International - Latin - Cumbia/Vallenato/Colombia, Cumbia Cumbia (Series) Audio CD (March 1, 1994) Number of Discs: 1 World Circuit; ASIN: B0000023UW. (NOT At Barnes&Noble: $; At amazon.com: $12.99.)

    CD cover

    Cumbias Cumbias Cumbias Cumbias UPC: 37628290025 Format: CD Release Date: Nov 17 1998 Label: Sonolux. (At Barnes&Noble: $11.99; At amazon.com: $.)

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    Lyrics

    [All translations by Jon Aske. Please give credit and send suggestions.]

    La Colegiala

    Hoy te he visto con tus libros caminando
    y tu carita de coqueta, colegiala de mi amor.
    Tu sonries sin pensar que al mirarte solo
    porque estoy sufriendo colegiala de mi amor.

    colegiala, colegiala
    colegiala, linda colegiala
    colegiala, no seas tan coqueta
    colegiala, decime que sí
    colegiala, colegiala
    colegiala, linda colegiala
    colegiala, no seas tan coqueta
    colegiala, decime que sí

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    Tabaco y Ron

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    La Pollera Colorá
    The red skirt -- By Wilson Choperena - J. Madera

    ¡Cumbia, cumbia, cumbia, cumbia!
    ¡Colombiana!

    Ay, al sonar de tambores,
    esa negra se amaña,
    y al sonar de la caña,
    va brindando sus sabores.
    Es la negra Soledad,
    la que goza mi cumbia.
    Esa negra zalamera,
    ¡qué caramba!
    con su pollera colorá.

    De allá p'acá,
    de aquí p'allá,
    oye, negrita,
    ¡Con su pollera colorá!
    Como goza esa negra
    con su pollera colorá
    ¡Con su pollera colorá!
    Esa negrita sí baila
    de aquí p'allá.
    De allá p'acá,
    ¡Con su pollera colorá!. (bis)
    Con su pollera, con su pollera colorá.
    ¡Con su pollera colorá!.

    Ay, cuando le canto a Soledad,
    es que estoy yo contento,
    porque con su movimiento,
    ¡oye, caramba!
    inspiración ella me da.
    Tiene sabor de canela
    o rico sabor a pimienta.
    ¡Cómo está de contenta,
    oye, caramba,
    con su pollera colorá!

    De allá p'acá,
    de aquí p'allá,
    oye, negrita
    ¡Con su pollera colorá!
    Barranquilla, Cartagena,
    yo te la voy a llevar.
    ¡Con su pollera colorá!
    De aquí p'allá,
    de allá p'acá
    oye, negrita
    ¡Con su pollera colorá!
    Colorá, colorá, colorá, ...
    ¡ay, qué buena está!
    ¡Con su pollera colorá!
    (bis)

    Cumbia, cumbia, cumbia, cumbia!
    from Colombia!

    Ay, when the drums sound,
    that black woman gets all fixed up
    and when the cane sounds,
    she's sharing all her flavors (?),
    it's the black woman Soledad,
    the one who enjoys my cumbia.
    That flattering black woman,
    Gracious me!
    with her red skirt.

    From there to here
    and here to there,
    listen, black woman,
    With her red skirt!
    ¡How that black woman rejoices!
    with her red skirt.
    With her red skirt!
    That black woman does dance
    from here to there
    from there to here
    With her red skirt!
    with her skirt, with her red skirt
    With her red skirt!

    Oh, when I sing for Soledad,
    I am really happy,
    because with her movements
    Gracious me!
    she gives me inspiration.
    She tastes like cinnamon
    or like nice tasty pepper.
    How happy she is,
    Gracious me!
    with her red skirt.

    From there to here,
    from here to there.
    Listen, black woman!
    With her red skirt!
    Barranquilla, Cartagena,
    I'm going to take her to you
    With her red skirt!
    from here to there
    from there to here,
    listen, black woman
    With her red skirt!
    red, red, red,...
    Oh, how tasty she is,
    With her red skirt!
    (bis)

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    El Pescador de Barú

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    La negra tomasa

    NOTES: In Caribbean cultures race relations are not like in the United States and that using term negra "black" with a person’s name does not have the same connotations that it would have here. It is used as a term of endearment and the speaker could be either black or white.

  • People in Latin America are less self-conscious about referring to people’s physical characteristics in general, especially as terms of endearment (e.g. negro, negra, gordo, gorda). Also, in Latin American countries there is a whole spectrum of racial terms, since they do not divide people into two categories (black and white) as in the US. This doesn’t mean that there isn’t a color hierarchy of sorts in these societies. Negra would probably refer to a very dark woman. In places like Cuba and Brazil, with large populations of African origin, blackness (‘Africanness’) has to a large extent been adopted as a sign of national identity. Most people in these countries (unlike in the US) believe that they themselves as well as their societies are the product of racial mixture. (This is not the case in the Dominican Republic, however.) See the web page on Race in Latin America (forthcoming).

    Estoy tan enamorado de la negra Tomasa,
    que cuando se va de casa, triste me pongo.
    (bis)

    Estoy tan enamorado de mi negra preciosa
    que cuando se va de casa triste me pongo.
    (bis)

    Ay! Ay! Ay!

    Esa negra linda que me tiene loco,
    que me come poquito a poco.
    (bis)

    Estoy tan enamorado de mi negra Tomasa
    que cuando se va de casa, triste me pongo.
    (bis)

    Ay! Ay! Ay!

    Esa negra linda que me tiene loco,
    que me come poquito a poco.
    (bis)

    Mi negra linda nunca me dejes,
    ay, mi negra linda, nunca me dejes.

    I am so in love with the black woman Tomasa
    that when she leaves the house, I get all sad.
    (twice)

    I am so in love with my beautiful black woman
    that when she leaves the house, I get all sad.
    (twice)

    Ouch! Ouch! Ouch!

    That beautiful black woman, I’m crazy about her
    she’s eating me up, little by little
    (twice)

    I am so in love with the black woman Tomasa
    that when she leaves the house, I get all sad.
    (twice)

    Ouch! Ouch! Ouch!

    That beautiful black woman, I’m crazy about her
    she’s loving me up, little by little
    (twice)

    My beautiful black woman, never leave me.
    My beautiful black woman, never leave me.

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    Last updated: Jan 23, 1999