A lot of people in the US speak both English and Spanish, so it’s not surprising that some songs mix up both languages. This song by Beck from 2005 includes lots of Mexican slang. Güero literally means blonde (or blondie) but apparently Mexicans use it to refer to white people.

‘¿Qué onda?’ means ‘what’s up?’ or ‘what’s happening?’ – in Spain ‘¿qué pasa?’ is more typical.


See the vegetable man in the vegetable van
With the horn that’s honking like a mariachi band
In the middle of the street, people gather around
Put the dollar, dollar, dollar in the can
Ay wey, ¿qué onda? [oh shit, what’s up?]
TJ cowboys hang around
Sleeping in the sidewalk with a burger king crown
Never wake them up, más cerveza [more beer]
‘Till the rooster crows, vatos vergallos [guys choking the chicken]

¿Qué onda güero? [what’s up white boy?]

Manos blancos [white hands] roll with crowbars
Sing rancheras [Mexican folk songs] on cheap guitars
Abeulitas [grannies] with plastic bags
Walking to the church with spanish candles
Dirty barracho [drunk] says “¡qué putas!” [what whores!]
Ándele joto [hurry up, faggot], your popsicle’s melting
Run better run, do run run
Mara Salvatrucha in the midnight sun

Güero where you going?
¿Qué onda güero?


Rampart boys with loaded rifles [rifles]
Guatemalan soccer ball, instant replays
Mango ladies vendedoras [saleswomen]
At a bus stop sing a banda macho chorus [macho singing group]


¿Qué onda güero?
¿A donde vayas? [where are you going?]


Riff: C7 – C#7

Chorus: C# – G# – B – F#


I’ve used the correct Spanish spelling of güero above i.e. with a diaeresis (two dots) above the u. However, Beck doesn’t include them on his album of the same name!

In Spanish when the letter g (/g/ sound) is followed by an e or an i you insert a u after the g, but this is not pronounced e.g. guerra, guitarra. On the rare occasions when you want to pronounce the u, you put a diaeresis above it e.g. pingüino, cigüeña


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