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one piece, nico robincairaguas wrote
on January 13th, 2009 at 06:30 pm

"El Rey" by José Alfredo Jiménez, English translation of lyrics

"The King"
Composer: José Alfredo Jiménez
Style: Ranchera
Country: Mexico

Yo sé bien que estoy afuera
Pero el día que yo me muera
Sé que tendrás que llorar.
(Llorar y llorar, x2)

I am fully aware that I am out
But the day that I die
I know that you will have to cry.
(Cry and cry, x2)

Dirás que no me quisiste,
Pero vas a estar muy triste
Y así te vas a quedar.

You will say that you did not love me,
But you will be very sad
And that is how you will stay.

Con dinero y sin dinero
Hago siempre lo que quiero
Y mi palabra es la ley.

With money and without money
I always do what I want
And my word is law.

No tengo trono ni reina
Ni nadie que me comprenda
Pero sigo siendo el rey.

I have no throne or queen
Nor anyone who understands me
But I continue being king.

Una piedra en el camino
Me enseño que mi destino
Era rodar y rodar.
(Rodar y rodar, x2)

A stone on the road
Taught me that my destiny
Was to roll and roll. [*rodar = to roll; to roam]
(To roll and roll, x2)

Después me dijo un arriero
Que no hay que llegar primero
Pero hay que saber llegar.

Afterwards an arriero told me
That one need not make it first [*llegar = to make it, to arrive]
But one must know how to make it.


Translation Notes:

No tengo trono ni reina
Ni nadie que me comprenda

I have no throne nor queen
Nor anyone who understands me

or = o (also u if before a word that begins with the o sound)
nor = ni

Like "nor" in English, ni requires a negative phrase somewhere before it. In this case, it is "no tengo" (I do not have).

Watch and Listen:

Renditions: José Alfredo Jiménez (original), Alejandro Fernandez, Vicente Fernandez, and now George Strait (possibly because of my translation? I don't know, but if so, I am very honored!)

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