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one piece, nico robincairaguas wrote
on August 29th, 2008 at 06:58 pm

"La Camisa Negra" by Juanes, English translation of lyrics

"The Black Shirt"
Album: Mi Sangre (My Blood)
Style: Rock, grieving/bitter
Country: Colombia

{No por pobre y feo, pero por antojado...}

{Not for being poor or ugly, but for longing...}

Tengo la camisa negra.
Hoy mi amor está de luto.
Hoy tengo en el alma una pena
[*pena, f. = pain (emotional); regret]
Y es por culpa de tu embrujo.

I wear the black shirt.
Today my love is mourning.
Today I have a regret weighing my soul
And it's the fault of your witchcraft.

Hoy sé que tú ya no me quieres
Y esto es lo que más me hiere
Que tengo la camisa negra
Y una pena que me duele.


Today I know that you do not love/want me anymore
And this is what hurts me most
(So much) that I have a black shirt
And a regret that pains me.

-Coda-
Mal parece que solo me quedé
Y fue pura todita tu mentira.
Qué maldita mala suerte la mía
Que aquel día te encontré.


Sadly, it looks like I was left alone
And it was purely, completely all your lie.
What damned bad luck, mine,
To find you on that day.

Por beber del veneno malevo de tu amor,
Yo quedé moribundo y lleno de dolor.
Respiré de ese humo amargo de tu adiós
Y desde que tú te fuiste yo sólo tengo...


For drinking from the evil venom of your love,
I was left dying [lit. moribund] and full of pain.
I breathed of that bitter smoke from your goodbye
And since you left all I have left is...

Tengo la camisa negra,
Porque negra tengo el alma.
Yo por ti perdí la calma
Y casi pierdo hasta mi cama.


I wear the black shirt,
Because black (is how) I have my soul.
I lost my calm because of you
And I almost even lost my bed.

Cama cama caman baby, [*Spanglish :) ]
Te digo con disimulo,
Que tengo la camisa negra
Y debajo tengo el difunto.


C'mon, c'mon, c'mon baby,
I tell you furtively,
Because I wear the black shirt [*for mourning]
And beneath (it) I have the deceased. [*he mourns for himself!]

{Pa' enterrartelo cuando quieras, mamita.}

{To bury it for you whenever you want, little mama.} [*alt. To bury it into you whenever you want, little mama.]

{Asi como lo oyes, m'hija.}

{It's just as you hear it, sweetie.}

Tengo la camisa negra.
Ya tu amor no me interesa.
Lo que ayer me supo a gloria,
Hoy me sabe a pura (mier-)


I have the black shirt.
Your love doesn't interest me anymore.
What tasted of glory to me yesterday,
Today tastes to me of pure (shi-)

Miércoles por la tarde y tú que no llegas,
Ni siquiera muestras señas,
Y yo con la camisa negra,
Y tus maletas en la puerta.


Wednesday by the afternoon and you that doesn't appear,
(You) don't even show signs,
And me with my black shirt,
And your suitcases by the door.

[Repeat from coda]

[Repeat "Cama cama caman..." stanza]

Translation Notes:

No por pobre y feo, pero por antojado...
Not for being poor or ugly, but for longing...
Not for being poor or ugly, but for lusting...

This is a paraphrasing a line from Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez, but I don't have a copy of the book in Spanish to find the right quote. It is in the second half of the book somewhere. At one point, someone says something very similar to the main character.

---

Tengo la camisa negra
I have the black shirt [lit.]
I wear the black shirt [alt.]
I am wearing a black shirt [alt.]

Black is for funerals.

tener = to have
tener puesto/a = to have on, to be wearing

---

Hoy mi amor está de luto
Today my love is (in) mourning

estar de luto = to be visibly mourning (a death), usually means wearing black for a period of time

---

Y es por culpa de tu embrujo
And it's the fault of your witchcraft

por culpa de = lit. by fault of

---

Mal parece que solo me quedé
Sadly, it looks like I was left alone
It looks (badly, unfortunately) that alone I was left [lit.]

Also meant to suggest the word malparido to the listeners.

malparido/a [noun] = bastard; son of a bitch; bitch; lit. badly born (compound of mal and parido)

---

Y casi pierdo hasta mi cama
And I almost even lost my bed
And I almost even lose my bed [tense, lit.]

Said as if telling a story.

---

Pa' enterrartelo cuando quieras, mamita.
To bury it for you whenever you want, little mama.
To bury it into you whenever you want, little mama. [*alt.]

The first meaning is literal, offering to bury a body. The second meaning is a lewd comment offering to bury something else.

---

Asi como lo oyes, m'hija.
It's just as you hear it, sweetie.

This line is said in the background. It is teasing the listeners, telling them to believe their ears. This song has several lines that suggest profanity or indecent thoughts without explicitly saying them.

---

Hoy me sabe a pura mier- [pause]
-coles por la tarde...

Today tastes to me of pure shi-
Wednesday by the afternoon...

mierda = shit (merde in French!)
Miércoles = Wednesday

---

sólo vs. solo
just/only vs. alone

When I first started translating long ago, this difference confused me because both words have the emphasis on the first vowel. I didn't see why the accent even needed to be there. This page explains the difference. Something to memorize!

Listen:

Video at YouTube here.
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