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Sing and Learn in Spanish: 4 Covers of English Songs to Improve your Pronunciation

As someone who has taught Spanish for years, there’s a question I get asked almost every day: “How can I learn Spanish online fast?” Since people who ask this question are usually busy professionals or stressed university students, I always say the same: “Whatever you do, make sure you have fun while you learn. Otherwise, you will quit before you make any progress”.

So, if you’re in the mood to learn Spanish online while having a good time with your friends, you’ve come to the right place. With the Spanish songs below, you will get to boast your singing skills while you boost your Spanish pronunciation!

But wait till you hear the best part!

Since all the Spanish songs in our list are covers of some of the most famous English-language hits of all time, following the lyrics will be pan comido… I mean,…‘a piece of cake’.

Luis Miguel – Será que no me amas (“Blame It On the Boogie”, by The Jackson 5)

Luis Miguel (Mexico) is one of the most popular Latin singers of the 1990s and 2000s. Known for his versions of classical boleros and rancheras, he became an Internet sensation in 2019 with the release of “Luis Miguel – La serie”, on Netflix, which has made audiences fall back in love with his music all over again.

Luismi, as his fans affectionately call him, had always dreamed about collaborating with one of his idols: Michael Jackson. But due to disagreements between their respective record labels, the collaboration never happened. However, he did end up paying tribute to the King of Pop in 1990 by covering one of his early family band’s greatest hits.

In the iconic chorus of Será que no me amas (“I guess you just don’t love me”), Luis Miguel sings:

No culpes a la noche

(Don’t blame it on the night)

No culpes a la playa
(Don’t blame on the beach)

No culpes a la lluvia
(Don’t blame it on the rain)

Será que no me amas
(I guess you just don’t love me)

Pronunciation notes:

  1. Notice that the Spanish /k/ sound (culpes), is less aggressively aspirated than in English. In English, we say comma /k(h)oma/. In Spanish, there is no puff of air after the consonant ➜ coma: /koma/.
  2. Both the “ll” (lluvia) and the “y” (playa) are pronounced as the ‘y’ in “you”. In Argentina, however, they both would be pronounced as /sh/ ➜ lluvia: /shuvia/, playa: /plasha/

Charly Garcia – Me siento mucho mejor (“I’ll Feel a Whole Lot Better”, by The Byrds)

Carlos “Charly” García (Argentina) is one of the most respected musicians in Latin America. In the 1970s and 80s, he became one of the biggest exponents of rock nacional thanks to his unique style which combined elements of progressive rock with highly poetic language.

Though he is known for his contributions to Argentinean and Latin American rock music, García has always looked up to British and American musicians, and he has covered innumerable English classics such as The Beatles’ Dear Prudence and There’s a Place. But perhaps, his most revered cover, and one of the most popular Spanish songs in his native Argentina, is Me siento mucho mejor, originally played by The Byrds.

If you want to learn Spanish online, play this beautiful song on YouTube and follow our tips for pronunciation.

Mucho tiempo atrás

(A long time ago)

Me hiciste sentir

(You made me feel)

Que nuestro amor era lo más

(That our love was strong)

Y de esa forma viví

(So I lived happily)

No sé más quien soy

(But now I don’t know who I am)

¿De qué te reís?
(What are you laughing at?)

Y ahora sé que me siento

(Now I now that I feel)

Mucho más fuerte sin tu amor
(A whole lot better without your love)

Pronunciation notes:

  1. The “h” (hiciste, ahora) in Spanish is always silent unless it’s part of the cluster “ch”, which has the same pronunciation as in English.
  2. In the combination of letters “que” (que) and “qui” (quien), the “u” is also silent. Together with “h”, these are the only soundless letters in the Spanish alphabet.

Selena – Fotos y recuerdos (“Back In the Chain Gang”, by Pretenders)

Selena Quintanilla (Texas, US) was a singer and songwriter who explored varied musical genres such as tex-mex, ranchera, mariachi, balada, cumbia, and Latin pop. At the age of only 23, when she was at the peak of her meteoric career, she was murdered by the president of her fan club, Yolanda Saldivar. Though she parted way too early, Selena’s legacy remains intact almost thirty years after the infamous event.

When Selena got into the studio to record her most famous record, Amor prohibido (1994), she realized there was something missing and decided to record one more song at the last minute. That’s how Fotos y Recuerdos (English: Pictures and Memories) was born. Released as the fourth single of the album, this is a cover version of the Pretenders’ 1983 original song “Back on the Chain Gang” which, according to critics, pales in comparison to Selena’s Spanish cover.

What are you waiting for? Pay tribute to one of the most beloved stars of our time and learn Spanish online by listening to her beautiful Spanish song on YouTube and singing along to its nostalgic tune.

Tengo una foto de ti

(I have a picture of you)

Que beso cada noche antes de dormir

(I kiss it every night before I go to bed)

Está media rota y ya se está borrando

(It’s a bit broken, and it’s fading away)

Por tantas lágrimas que estoy derramando

(for all the tears I cry over it)

Pronunciation notes:

  1. The Spanish “r” is stronger than its English counterpart. For a single “r” (lágrimas, dormir) you have to hit your hard palate with your tongue one single time. Be careful not to curl the tip of your tongue backwards, which will result in an American English sound.
  2. The double “rr” (borrando) or single initial “r” (rota) is an even stronger sound that consists of several rapid taps which produce a drilling sound.

Madonna – Verás (“You’ll See”, by Madonna)

What can I say about Madonna? One of the best-selling artists of all time, she has been a source of inspiration (and imitation!) for dozens of singers for almost forty years. Known for provocatively mixing genres, aesthetics, and dance styles to wow both fans and haters, she has definitely earned the title of Queen of Pop.

In 1995, she reinvented her public image by releasing an album made of quiet, heartfelt ballads. “You’ll See”, co-written with Canadian composer David Foster, did so well in the music charts that she decided to record a Spanish version, adapted by Argentine musician Paz Martínez. Unsurprisingly, it quickly became one of the hottest Spanish songs in all of Latin America and Spain.

Next time your Mum enters your room, hears the sound of an acoustic guitar and a sensual violin, and asks you what on Earth you’re doing, just say you’re learning Spanish online.

Tú piensas que jamás feliz sin ti.

(You think I’ll never be happy without you)

Que destruiste al fin mi corazón

(That you destroyed my heart)

Que no voy a descubrir la forma de volver atrás

(That I won’t be able to go back…)

Sin ti, yo sé que sí.

(…Without you. But I know I will)

Pronunciation notes:

  1. In Castillian Spanish, the “z” is pronounced like the “th” in ‘thumb’ ➜ feliz: /felith/. However, in Latin American countries, the “z” is pronounced just like an “s” ➜ feliz: /felis/. In this song, Madonna seems to be doing her “z” sounds the Latin way.
  2. Both “b” (descubrir) and “v” (voy) are pronounced like an English “b” in Spanish.

So, which of the Spanish songs in this list are you going to start with? Is there any Spanish cover of an English hit that you think should’ve been included in our top 4?

If you want to go beyond catchy tunes and learn Spanish online with a proven method, send us a quick message and we’ll match you with a Spanish teacher for a completely personalized lesson. All you have to do is tell us what your learning goals are, and we’ll come up with a tailor-made lesson plan specially designed to suit your needs. What’s more, if you reach us by clicking here, the first lesson is completely free, with no strings attached.