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Chan Chan Lyrics

Artist: Buena Vista Social Club
Album: Self-Titled


De Alto Cedro voy para Marcan
Llego a Cueto, voy para Mayar

El cario que te tengo
No te lo puedo negar
Se me sale la babita
Yo no lo puedo evitar

Cuando Juanica y Chan Chan
En el mar cernan arena
Como sacuda el jibe
A Chan Chan le daba pena

Limpia el camino de paja
Que yo me quiero sentar
En aqul tronco que veo
Y as no puedo llegar

De alto Cedro voy para Marcan
Lleg a Cueto voy para Mayar


From Alto Cedro, I go to Marcan
I arrive in CUeto, and then I go towards Mayar.

The love I have for you
is something I cannot deny
I drool all over
I cannot help it.

When Juanica and Chan Chan
sifted sand at the beach
Chan Chan felt sorry/shame

Clean the path of straw
cause I want to sit down
on that tree trunk I see
and that way I'm never going to arrive

From Alto Cedro, I go to Marcan
I arrive in CUeto, and then I go towards Mayar.


by kbk on 6/2/2008 5:55pm
by tmomo on 6/3/2008 1:06am
these are wrong.... learn to speak spanish
by carrie on 6/5/2008 3:30pm
to bad theres a difference between spansih from mexico and spanish from cuba, just cause ur spanish is different and u cant understand it doesnt make it wrong dipshit spelling is diffrent too depending on what latin country, just like the different types of english
by alex on 6/27/2008 7:43pm
such a beautiful song
by seasunsnowflake on 7/3/2008 6:05am
by sam on 7/7/2008 9:19pm
It's missing words, but these are easily lost in listening ("para al Mayar" sounds more like "paral Mayar" with a drawing out of the "a" sound). Whoever translated this was hasty and didn't make an attempt to match the scansion
by GuesssWho on 7/13/2008 2:26pm
What a fucking prudish translation. Shame? The word is arousal, you pathetic moron.
by paul on 7/15/2008 3:35pm
your ears are right, this translation is ipretty bad. camino de paja is translated literally as "road of straw" but it really is a colloquialism or simply means "get the unimportant stuff out of my way".

In the chorus the towns mentioned are prounounced Marane and Mayari, but spelling in spanish misses regional dialects (llego is pronoounced "jego" for example( and in cuban spanish lots of consonants get dropped.

by mika on 7/20/2008 5:15am
great song. Croatian band Cubismo has also one great version of this song.
by me on 7/29/2008 6:54pm
jeez all you people criticizing go do your own translation. thanks lyrics person.
by bigpete on 8/28/2008 6:13am
viva cuba!
by manfred on 8/29/2008 11:15pm
I'm dutch but live in the dominican rep. even i get it !!!
viva buena vista.... viva cuba... viva fidel para la revolucion do never translate a song .. it won't work....a song is a song only in it's own lenguage. Y este es de CUBA !!!!
by Tigre y Nico on 9/10/2008 11:34am
by Venice on 10/2/2008 6:03pm
I love Cubanosssssss:))
by Sarah Palin on 10/30/2008 11:56am
I have cute glasses and nice boobs and an extremely mean heart. I will be a total loss in the White House. I'm glad people like me so I can spend huge globs of their money on myself and my family.
by olivia on 10/30/2008 12:34pm
i love you guess who.
by ???????? on 11/10/2008 10:20am
i am 14 years old and i will be able to translate that better you fucking retard

by Andres Felipe on 11/10/2008 2:17pm
De que hablan. La diferencia es muy pequeno. Yo lo entiendo aunque soy Colombiano.
by Jose on 11/10/2008 4:50pm
best song ever... for me to poop on.
by someone on 11/16/2008 7:25pm

why all this hate
just listen to the song
and those that have translated the
song they've done there best
music was not made to hate each other
by jaycee on 11/20/2008 2:35pm
There is a HUGE difference between "Mexican" spanish and "Castillian" Spanish. Paja literally translated is straw, but paja in the islands like Honduras and Salvador etc. means basically "bullshit" or in nicer terms "crap". Like if I say "pura paja" it basically means.."no, it's b.s". It is hard to translate because of the differences and accents, but if you can speak "Mexican" you can get this song.
by someone else on 11/22/2008 2:59pm
thank you, someone.
by someone on 11/22/2008 5:32pm
it's funny that all of you that are criticizing other people's ability to translate have terrible grammar and spelling of your own
by BILL on 11/22/2008 8:34pm
by insomniac on 11/24/2008 4:59pm
you cannot translate that, very stupid idea is to try do it
by Sarah Palin on 11/26/2008 5:19pm
You know, it's just soooo great that real people like Bill really care about the really real issues that real people care about, you know. God bless your dear little heart! And, you know, be sure to vote the Sarah Palin/David Duke ticket in 2012 and we'll be sure to keep those brown people that live on that dirty little island from infilitrating our pure American ways with music that is soooo darn tootin' good that it'll make our heads explode with ecstasy. It's what the American people really want. Make sure to spend all your hard-earned cash at a national retailer on Black Friday too, because, geez that would just show Fidel who's boss!!!
by lelucon on 12/3/2008 12:04am
well, I love this song so much. and I would like to know if there is a better translation. since I don't speak any spanish, would you (anybody) be so kind to give me a better translation. thank you.
by Mise on 1/14/2009 3:01am
Get out the film Buena Vista Social Club and it's the first song - there are sub-titles which are a reasonable translation - but it doesn't matter what it means - just listen to it :D
by Mokos on 3/5/2009 1:11am
It doesn't get much better than when one person calls another person a fucking retard,
by Charlie on 3/7/2009 8:28pm
You folks need to get a life, enjoy the song and music, great song.
by It don´t matters to the sun on 3/12/2009 4:35pm
Bueno Vista Social Club is great; they have the rhythm in their blood i enjoy listening every time it´s terribly good
by Salvador Dali on 3/17/2009 3:28pm
Yay Sarah Palin I love you!!!
by Kenneth on 3/19/2009 9:44pm
What inspiration for these true Artist to give something of themselves and to perform whats in their true nature Thank You
by SOme one on 3/26/2009 10:08am
Good Job , Translator. even if it wasn't correct but thank you.
It is really a very nice song.
Viva Habana
by Pies on 3/27/2009 9:04am
Song lyrics are poetry, and I think the only thing more difficult to translate than that are word-play-based jokes.
by red on 3/28/2009 3:52pm
can't understand, but it's nice. love spanish
by michele on 4/5/2009 12:10pm
theses lyrics are pretty wrong
by herzili on 4/12/2009 3:51pm
yourses english as well
by de Jimeno on 4/26/2009 1:40am
geez you could have at least gotten that the name was "Juanita" not "Juanica". So what if it sounds like that, we just talk like we have our mouths full with a cigar or some mojito. Otherwise I won't criticize the translator. I mean seriously it's translating poetry from one language to another. You can't get both the proper meaning AND the gist of it.
by pe'ah on 5/15/2009 11:01am
you bunch of cunts...
by Roish on 6/5/2009 11:56am
I agree with pe'ah. Also, nobody reads this..
by holy crap on 6/24/2009 2:39pm
Why? Regardless if the lyrics are wrong or right, it doesn't give anyone the right to be a complete jackass, although it is understandable that a f'n 14 year old would make such harsh comments without knowing who they are talking to...get a life and be grateful for what is available, rather than making rude, distasteful comments. That person's parents must be so proud. It's actually a bit pathetic that there are human beings out there with no couth and appreciation for what someone has done. Wow.
by Tilou on 10/29/2009 7:47pm
Remember that Marcane y Mayari are pequenos pueblos de Oriente y por alla Cervantes don't rule the language;"los palestinos" de Oriente have a strong and sympathetic accent like Compay Segundo who wrote the song..this will ever be a classic from "La Isla"
by toughcats on 11/11/2009 5:43pm
You don't really need to translate to feel the passion.

Just let the music move you and feel the Cuban breeze in your soul.

I think I need a Mojito.
by Amphibian on 11/19/2009 5:06pm
Since all you people keep whining and not doing anything, I'm going to put something up, although mi espanol no es perfecto. The important things in a song are rhyme, rhythm, and meaning. All three need to be there. Sometimes that means changing things a bit...

"The passion for you, that, I'm feeling,
I can no longer, deny,
It makes me seem to shake, all over,
Its not something, I, can hide"

"When juanita and, chan chan,
Lifted sand above the water,
Her bottom jiggled like guava jelly,
It made chan chan ache, all over"

"Clear these troubles from my path,
All I want is to, sit down,
On that tree trunk that, I see,
And so i will stay around"

Hows that? Sorry if i gravely changed the meaning of the song. However, at least its singable now.
by bastard on 11/26/2009 5:51pm
the most people here are idiots. there is nothing more to say.
by grant on 11/28/2009 6:41am
i'm black south african and i've never learned or conversed in spanish,however i can sing along with the track from start to finish
by mike on 12/5/2009 3:34am
thanks amphibian, I'm still looking for the meaning rather than the commentary
by fail on 6/5/2010 5:38pm
it's cariño
by Free Cuba on 7/14/2010 2:56pm
Cuba Libre!!!

It's time soon for Cubans in their homeland to break the chains of their oppression!!!
by Buena vista sevenle dernee on 8/1/2010 9:00am
kardaslarim benimde bir katkim olsun dedim :) guzel musik olmus ellerine saglik
by Elizabeth on 8/25/2010 3:56pm
Such a beautiful song... and thanks to all who helped with the lyrics.

One of the things that keeps me hooked on Cuban music is the rhythmic complexity, which in this song shows up in (as I try to piece it together now) '... voy para Marcane' / '... voy para Mayari'. This is consistently repeated in the Roy Cooder concert footage I was viewing, except the closing phrase is 'voy para a[l] Mayari' which is what plays in my head....
by manishadolly123 on 10/10/2010 7:35am
plzz amitabhji add kijiye mujhe mera id hai i hope u add me now
by Ian on 10/12/2010 12:57pm
The part that has ... is that she shakes her butt. (Something like Shook her behind).
by jess on 11/6/2010 4:28am
great song
by Mia on 11/25/2010 10:04am
I hear it! I feel it!! I live it!!! "Chan Chan",gives pleasure to my ears, shakes my heart, soul, mind, and spirt. Im thankful to the creater for a wonderful composition of words and music. Nothing else matters.. "Cant figure out the lyrics"? Humm, Art is free to be whatever, to whomever, without domination of or restrictions of language ... lol
by chinita on 12/7/2010 6:50am
hola amigos, me gustaria avisarlos que las letras estas suigen siendo malas, en el librito que viene con el cd dice otra cosa!
you guys are pretty funny. well, i'd like to say, the lyrics aren't right, you should look them up somewhere else..
by @ Sarah Palin on 12/7/2010 2:36pm
Seriously? Politics everywhere is totally corrupt. 4 years of Obama is just as bad as 4 years of Palin. Actually, the republicans are less frustrating because they always has the most amusing things to say. Obama had a whole lot to say about hope and change, but if and buts were candy and nuts LOL In conclusion, we're all f**ked in this world, so ya might as well forget about trying to change sh*t.
Just sit back and enjoy music!
by ziemia88 on 12/16/2010 5:41pm
beautiful this song has soul
by Myrna on 12/30/2010 1:04pm
This song needs more cowbell?
by qugo on 2/8/2011 8:36pm
great CD will never be composed by these artists again!!!!.. Enjoy!!
by Jeffry Wilkinson on 2/25/2011 9:34am
Thanks to to Amphibian for coming up with his/her version of the translation. Sounds close to what Compay intended. Her shaky butt makes me ache all over. MMmmmmmmm. Viva la gente de Cuba, y Egypt tambien.
by crustyb on 2/25/2011 10:48am
The film of these majestic musicians by Wim Wenders is worth checking out.
Wrongly or rightly translated aside, the chord sequence for anyone interested is:
D minor - F maj - G minor - A maj 7 (each separate chord duration of one bar each)
Just one island hop away, check out the reggae artist "Turbulence" who had a number one run away hit in Jamaica with "Notorious" using the same chord sequence! Coincidence??
by antonijeta on 2/28/2011 9:24am
prelepa pesma!!! savrsenstvo
by SkyV on 3/26/2011 6:07am
I cannot believe how people can get so aggressive towards one another over the translation of such a wonderful song. I was fortunate to see Omar Portuondo performing with Orquestra BVSC in the UK last week, it was a fantastic show, I only wish I could have seen them with Compay Segundo, Ibrahim Ferrer and Ruben Gonzalez sadly no longer with us. If you can't be nice go away until you can be!
by El Nino on 4/10/2011 7:33am
In "Buena" by Blue Cafe they're using the same chords and...the chorus!!! Isn't this a plagiarism?
by 7Tee on 6/13/2011 8:03pm
Thanks to all of you who have made an effort to translate the words for us who do not understand Cubano. The music is great.
Unfortunately there are a number of people who seem to roam these sites and just spit out venemous comments and sadly, there is not much we can do other than ask them to leave, and for us to enjoy such great music.
by Chan Chan fan on 6/18/2011 8:36pm
Que idioteces las gentes pones en estos blogs.
by el mejor on 8/15/2011 8:35am

choupa me verga pinche gavachos e gavachas e todos gringos
by el mejor on 8/15/2011 8:36am

choupa leche me verga pinche gavachos e gavachas e todos gringos
by öykü on 9/27/2011 12:34pm
çan çan diye şarkı mı olur
by Fidel Castro on 2/20/2012 12:27pm
Viva Cuba
by Idiots on 3/3/2012 1:19pm
Your all stupid. Watch the documentary on Netflix and you'll understand.
by dubai boy on 6/21/2012 5:14pm
i dont speak spanish but this music really touchs my soul ... for some reason Viva Cuba ...
U.A.E Dubai
by scorpio on 7/27/2012 3:27pm
ths makes me move...lets get it down B.V.S.C
by zyra vivien on 11/7/2012 3:28am
chan chan is the name of the one i love. . .
by wank wank on 11/29/2012 8:30am
i smoke crak
by salma on 12/9/2012 10:23pm
by Jimmy Dell on 12/12/2012 7:27pm
This music has developed on its own, isolated from outside influences, it sounds fresh and has pure emotion. I have no idea what their saying but I really like the way they say it.
by Hans on 12/13/2012 1:02pm
unfortunatly this lyrics are missing letters. Please rather let it be than puplicate wrong lyrics.
by pdxtone on 12/15/2012 7:20pm
From Alto Cedro, I go to Marcan
I arrive in Cueto, then I go towards Mayar.

The love/arousal I have for you
is something I cannot deny
I drool all over
I cannot help it.

When Juanita and Chan Chan
At sea sand hovered
[sifted sand @ the beach]
As shook the 'jibe' [her ass jiggled]
Chan Chan felt sorry/shame
[chan chan ached all over]
Clean the road of straw
[/=/ get the bullshit/unimportant stuff out of the way]
cause I want to sit down
on that tree trunk I see
and that way I'm never going to arrive
From Alto Cedro, I go to Marcan
I arrive in Cueto, then I go towards Mayar.
by Jenna Joker on 12/30/2012 5:28pm
by Gilberto Israel on 10/12/2013 2:35am
Quand vous aurait change le regime , chan chan sera centenaire
by matlou on 3/29/2014 10:30am
am a black south african n the last i heard ths song i was 9 n m happy tht finally in 2014,i got the album n i cnt stop singing

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