Mala Rodríguez is probably the most internationaly successful rap artist to emerge from Spain. She often mixes flamenco influences with hip-hop, and the second half of this track feature vocals from Estrella Morente, daughter of the celebrated flamenco singer Enrique Morente. She starts with some traditional soleá lyrics (‘Fui piedra y perdí mi centro’). The song appears on the 2010 album ‘Dirty Bailarina’.


NB Rodríguez is from Andalucia (in the south of Spain). People from this region have a distinct accent e.g. they don’t use /th/ sounds, using /s/ instead (this is also typical in Latin America). This is even reflected in the spelling at times, which can be confusing e.g. ‘Safar’ (not in the dictionary!) should really be ‘Zafar’ (to untie).


The song was included recently in a list of misanthropic songs in the Guardian newspaper, but I don’t think they really understood the lyrics that well, which is partly why I decided to do this translation.



Que dificil es tratar como a un hermano
A quien derrama sangre
Porque se le va de las manos
No hay mundo, si no tienes mundo
No hay ellos, si somos los mismos
No hay mal, si no hay necesidad
Los colores están en las gotas de agua
En la luz que nos llega

¿Por que tenemos que seguir andando
Tropozando con la misma piedra?
Si podemos volar y verlo todo desde arriba
Explicame lo inexplicable
Somos inconmesurable atomos
Llenos de tu y yo. 
Madera - Y asi prende arde
¿Pa' que aprender?

Prefiero libarme, 
soltarme, safarme, lanzarme
Escapar que desaparescan
Cada ministro, cada obispo
Cada general y cada culpable
El mundo es un patito feo

Dejalo crecer
Dejalo reponerse de tanto juezes corruptos
De tantas veces 
Intoxicado de tantas luces
Mostrando sus defectos
Déjalo hacerse mayor
Déjalo aprender de sus errores
Déjalo recuperarse del daño
Déjalo ser como es hermoso, bello
Maravillozo mundo
Crecer despacio
Pero crece

Fui piedra y perdí mi centro
y me arrojaron al mar
y al cabo de mucho tiempo
mi centro vine a encontrar

Qué triste será en el mar 
Pasar la noche sin luna 
Qué triste será en el mar 
Pero más triste es vivir 
Sin esperanza ninguna 
Recordandome de ti

Vuelo por mis alas
Dejadme volver 
Quiero ser libre 
Siento amanezer 

Un mundo, dos mundos
Medio mundo se rie del otro medio mundo
Que llora

En el nombre de toda la música 
y de todos los músicos 
El mundo es de todos
Oiga senor presidente
No dispare
Los ninos son inocentes

El mundo es un patito feo

It's so difficult to treat as a brother 
Someone who spills blood
Because things are getting out of control
There is no world, if you have no world 
There is no them, if we are the same 
There is no wrong, if there is no need 
The colours are in the drops of water 
In the light that reaches us 

Why do we have to keep going 
Tripping over the same stone? 
If we can fly and see everything from above 
Explain to me the inexplicable 
We are uncountable atoms
Full of you and me. 
Wood - so it catches fire and burns 
What is there to learn? 

I'd rather free myself
Break away, untie myself, launch myself
Escape, so that they all disappear:
Every minister, every bishop 
Every general and every guilty person
The world is an ugly duckling

Let it grow 
Let it recover from all the corrupt judges 
So many times 
Drunk on the bright lights
Showing its shortcomings 
Let it make itself better
Let it learn from its mistakes 
Let it recover from the damage
Let it be as it is beautiful, exquisite
A wonderful world
That grows slowly 
But is growing

I was a stone and I lost my centre
And I was thrown into the sea
And after a very long time
I found my centre again

How sad it will be in the sea
Passing the night without the moon
How sad it will be in the sea
But it's sadder to live
Without any hope
Remembering you

Flying with my wings
Let me return
I want to be free
I feel the dawn

One world, two worlds 
Half the world laughs at the other half 
Which is crying

In the name of all music 
And of all musicians 
The world belongs to everyone
Hey Mr. President 
Don't shoot 
Children are innocent 

The world is an ugly duckling


  1. Que dificil es tratar como a un hermano
    A quien derrama sangre

    Do you really think your translation is correct?

    Derramar sangre can only be translated as bleed when the subject is either a wound or tumour, etc. If the subject is a person the meaning has to be to spill blood. I think you have misunderstood both the lyrics and the nature of the Guardian’s game.

    You have a reasonably good website and an obvious love of Spanish music but you are nothing like as good at translating the real meaning of the songs as you think you are. C+ at the very best.

    You put a lot of work into it, which is commendable. But your inability to realise quite how limited your abilities are is embarrassing.

  2. Corrections are welcome – but you haven’t said what you think would be better.
    I really like the Guardian Readers Recommend column but I do this is a strange choice for misanthropic songs – the lyrics express an obvious concern and love for the planet and humanity.
    Finally, chill out – there is no reason to be rude about my work.

  3. How hard is to treat as a brother
    Someone who spills blood


    I understand the opening to be about how hard it is to consider someone who does harm as a brother, not that it’s hard to consider someone who suffers as a brother. Surely that makes more sense, doesn’t it? The angle that Fuel was looking for in the thread was not only full on misanthropy but a distrust of, or a disappointment with humanity, (this happens a lot with the threads, but if you only see the results this is not obvious, of course). It was filed under mistrust / disappointment and not hatred and as such seems a reasonable fit.

    With regard to your comment regarding Mala’s “seseo”, quite right, but there are whole areas of Andalusia where “ceceo” is prevalent too (Huelva, Cadiz, for example).

    If you like Readers recommend you really should take part. It would be good to have more people recommending music in Spanish.

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