Four years ago I posted my compilation of Spanish language rock from the Sixties. This year I have been adding lyrics for several of the “missing” songs to this blog, and with this entry all 28 songs are finally included…

This track from 1966 is generally considered the first original rock single in Argentina. The band had little money or equipment, which led to one member of the group imitating a “fuzz guitar” sound with his mouth. The only single by Los Beatniks was generally ignored, and it was Los Gatos with “La Balsa” the following year who broke through. The B-side of that single was written by ex-Beatnik Moris, who enjoyed a successful solo career. The other former members went on to the groups Manal (who have featured on this blog) and La Barra de Chocolate.


Rebelde me llama la gente
rebelde es mi corazón
soy libre y quieren hacerme
esclavo de una tradición

Todo se hace por interés
porque este mundo es al revés
si, todo esto hay que cambiar
siendo rebelde se puede empezar


¿Por qué el hombre quiere luchar,
aproximando la guerra nuclear?
¡Cambien las armas por el amor
y haremos un mundo mejor!


Yeah, rebelde seré
Yeah, rebelde hasta el fin
Yeah, y así moriré

People call me a rebel
My heart is rebellious
I’m free and they want to make me
A slave to tradition

They do everything for self interest
Because this world is upside down
Yes, all this has to change
You can begin by being a rebel


Why do men want to fight
Bringing nuclear war closer?
Swap arms for love
And we could make a better world!


Yeah, I'll be a rebel
Yeah, a rebel untilthe end
Yeah, and that's how I'll die


Los Gatos changed the face of Argentinian rock with their great single “La Balsa” (previously featured on this blog).

Here is another fine track from their eponymous debut album of 1967, featuring the superb organ playing of Ciro Fogliatta.


Si prometió, 
Que te iba a amar 
Se olvidó, y se marchó 
Por eso no, no vayas a llorar 
Yo se muy bien que encontrarás 
El que te hará feliz 
Y olvidarás lo que paso, con el 

En vano es el recordar 
que se marchó y te olvidó 
Por eso no, no vayas a llorar 
Yo se muy bien que encontrarás 
El que te hará feliz 
Y olvidarás lo que paso, con el 

Lo olvidarás... 

If he promised 
That he was going to love you
He forgot, and he left
Don't, don't cry for that
I know very well that you will find
That which will make you happy
And you'll forget what happened, with him

There's no point thinking about the past
That he left and forget about you
Don't, don't cry for that
I know very well that you will find
That which will make you happy
And you'll forget what happened, with him

You'll forget about it ...


Part 4: Blues Rock and Pappo

Blues rock was (and remains) hugely popular in Argentina. Deeply embedded in the family tree of Argentinian rock is the guitar hero Pappo (real name Norberto Napolitano). He started out as guitarist with the short lived psych band Los Abuelos De La Nada in the late 1960s. Then he toured with Manal (as a keyboard player!), who were the first important blues rock band to sing in Spanish. At the turn of the decade he played guitar with Los Gatos on their last two albums, leading them into a heavier direction.

When that group broke up he started his own band, Pappo’s Blues, and they released a series of successful albums during the seventies. This beer drinking anthem comes from Volúmen 4 (1973).

At the start of the eighties Pappo realised that tastes were changing, and he formed a new band Riff, pioneers of Heavy Metal in Argentina. However, by the nineties there was a blues rock revival in the country, and it was natural for him to return to the blues. He died in 2005.

Related Post: Manal


Quiero tomar un trago de cerveza fresca,
para mi sed, hace calor en esta fiesta.

Quiero tomar un trago de licor muy fino,
con mis amigos, hace calor, y no he bebido.

I want to have a gulp of cold beer
For my thirst, it's hot in this party

I want to have a gulp of really fine liquor
With my friends, it's hot and I haven't had a drink


Part 2: The Birth of Argentinian Rock

The impact of Los Shakers quickly inspired local bands. Moris was the singer with Los Beatniks, whose 1966 single ‘Rebelde’ is generally considered the first original rock single to come out of Argentina. However, it was a complete flop. The breakthrough came the following year when ‘La Balsa’ by Los Gatos was a smash hit. For the first time the public bought an original rock single sung in Spanish, and overnight many groups were inspired to give up English cover versions and follow their lead.
The B-Side of ‘La Balsa’ was ‘Ayer Nomás’, a song written by Moris. However, Los Gatos toned down the protest elements of the original lyrics, turning it into more of a generic love song. Here is Moris’ own version from 1969, with the original lyrics. It also appears on his eclectic but occasionaly brilliant debut album which belatedly appeared in 1970.

Related post: La Balsa


Ayer nomás, 
en el colegio me enseñaron, 
que este país 
es grande y tiene libertad. 
Hoy desperté 
y vi mi cama y vi mi cuarto 
en este mes 
no tuve mucho que comer. 

Ayer nomás, 
mis familiares me decían 
que hoy hay que tener 
dinero para ser feliz. 
Hoy desperté, 
y vi mi cama y vi mi cuarto, 
ya todo es gris y sin sentido, 
la gente vive sin creer. 

Ayer nomás, 
había una chica en mi cuarto 
y la besé sin fundamento. 
Hoy ya la chica ya no está. 

Ayer nomás 
vi una chica en mis brazos. 
En este mes 
no tuve mucho que comer. 

Ayer nomás 
salí a la calle y vi la gente 
ya todo es gris y sin sentido, 
la gente vive sin creer. 
Sin creer.

Just yesterday,
They taught me in school,
That this country
Is large and free.
Today I woke up
And saw my bed and my room
This month 
I didn't have much to eat.

Just yesterday,
My family told me
Today you have to have
Money to be happy.
Today I woke up,
And saw my bed and my room
Now everything is grey and meaningless,
People live without believing.

Just yesterday,
there was a girl in my room
I kissed her without reason.
Today the girl has already gone.

Just yesterday,
I saw a girl in my arms.
This month 
I didn't have much to eat.

Just yesterday
I went outside and I saw the people
Now everything is grey and meaningless,
People live without believing.
Without believing.
Guitar Chords

Pop, Rock, Psych and Garage from Spain and Latin America (1964-69)


To celebrate four years of Spanish Pop Lyrics, and also as a kind of Xmas gift, here is this blog’s first ever compilation / mix-tape (much of it in authentic low fidelity). Download

All the songs are sung in Spanish, and all but a handful are original songs rather than covers.

It’s generally up tempo, but there are a couple of slower tracks at the end.
Almost all the songs have been featured on this blog, and those that aren’t may well appear in the near future. Anyway, you know where to look for the lyrics… 

UPDATE (Nov 2017): Now the lyrics to all 28 songs are available on this blog. The download link has also been updated.



Today we relax border restrictions and welcome Los Gatos, all the way from Argentina.
Their first single from 1967 is arguably the most important in Argentinian rock.
A real gem (great organ playing!) that would fit easily onto the Nuggets compilation.

Estoy muy solo y triste, acá,
en este mundo abandonado,
tengo una idea es la de irme
al lugar que yo mas quiera.
Me falta algo para ir,
Pues caminando yo no puedo.
Construiré una balsa
y me iré a naufragar.
Tengo que conseguir mucha madera,
tengo que conseguir, de donde pueda.
Y cuando mi balsa esté lista
partiré hacia la locura
Con mi balsa yo me iré a naufragar.
I'm very sad and lonely here,
In this deserted world
I’ve got the idea of leaving
to a place I’ll like more
I need something to go on,
Because I can’t walk
I’ll build a raft
and I'll go and get shipwrecked
I have to get a lot of wood,
I have to get it, from anywhere I can.
And when my raft is ready
I’ll set out towards the madness
With my raft I'll go and get shipwrecked

E6 – F#7/13 – A7/13 – E6
E6 – F#7/13
F#m – F#mM7 – A – B7 – E6
C# – F#m – D# – G# – B7
F#m – F#mM7 – A – B7 – E – E7
F#m – F#mM7 – A – B7
E6 – C#7 – Am – B7
G#m – F#m (repeat)

There are lots of examples of the future tense here:

Construiré una balsa – I’ll build a raft

However, this tense is used less than in English, especially in spoken Spanish.
Often used is ‘Ir a’ – basically ‘Going to’:

Voy a construir una balsa – I’m going to build a raft

There is also the future perfect – Will have:

La habré acabado para el miercoles – I’ll have finished it by Wednesday

The present simple can also be used to talk about the future:
This can be used in English
e.g. We leave tomorrow, though it’s more common
to use the present continuous e.g. We’re leaving tomorrow

Nos vamos mañana en la balsa – We’re leaving tomorrow in the raft

In Spanish the present simple is frequently used like this.
However, the future can be full of doubt and uncertainty!
To emphasise this the present subjunctive can be used.

Cuando mi balsa esté lista – When my raft is ready (Will I ever finish it!)