Cairaguas (cairaguas) wrote in songlations,

"Untados" by Aterciopelados, English translation of lyrics

Style: Slow rock, cynical but interesting
Country: Colombia

En el país del sagrado corazón
A nadie se le puede dar la absolución,
Cuando el billete es emperador.

In the country of the sacred heart
Absolution can be given to nobody,
When the banknote is emperor.

Ya no hay decencia que valga,
No hay honor.

There is no more decency that is worth anything,
There is no honor.

La horrible ley de la selva de cemento,
Supervivencia para el más violento,
Honor y escrúpulos son un invento
De un pasado lejano polvoriento.

The horrible law of the concrete jungle,
Survival for the most violent,
Honor and scruples are an invention
Of a distant, dusty past.

Todos estamos untados.
Todos quedamos involucrados.
Todos andamos armados.
Queremos harto billete de contado.

We are all tainted.
We all end up involved.
We are all armed.
We want excess bills of cash.

Aquí no quedan inocentes.
Todos aquí somos delincuentes.
Los hay de muchos pelambres y colores,
De cuello blanco, esos son los peores.

No innocents remain here.
We are all delinquents here.
They exist of many coats and colors,
Of white collars, those are the worst.

Aquí política es sinónimo de robo,
Millonarios sueldos y papayas de oro,
Animal social como los leones,
Es la presa riqueza,
Somos depredadores.

Here politics is synonymous with robbery,
Millionary salaries and golden papayas,
Social animal like the lions,
Wealth is the prey,
We are (the) predators.

[Chorus x3]

Translation Notes:

A nadie se le puede dar la absolución
Absolution can be given to nobody
To nobody can absolution be given [lit.]


Cuando el billete es emperador.
When the banknote is emperor.

billete = bill (like in "dollar bill")


Todos estamos untados
We are all tainted [lit. painted, smeared]
We are all bribed [alt., colloquial]


Todos andamos armados
We are all armed
We are all stubborn [alt.? not really]

I grew up with "armado, armada" also meaning "stubborn," but I looked it up and that usage is specific to Mexico and Puerto Rico. This Colombian group probably wasn't thinking of that double meaning.

andar [verb] = to go, to walk, to travel

You can use andar instead of a "to be" verb (estar, ser) to signify "being" in an active way.

estar feliz = to be happy
ser feliz = to be a happy person (generally happy, not just at a particular time)
andar feliz = to go about happy, to roam happy

Someone who está enojado is angry. That just explains their own emotional state, whether or not they display it.

Someone who anda enojado is going around being angry and grouchy. That might affect how they treat objects and people.


Queremos harto billete de contado
We want excess bills of cash
We want lots of bills of cash

(estar) harto = (to be) fed up

Without a "to be" verb and placed in front of a noun:

harto [adj.] = a lot of, an excessive amount


Millonarios sueldos y papayas de oro
Millionary salaries and golden papayas

No idea what "papayas de oro" refers to. I looked the phrase up online and only this song came up, so I just translated it literally.

As far as I can tell, it must have something to do with the phrase dar papaya from Colombia. In which case, I think it means something like "golden opportunities" in the song.


If you know of another meaning, tell me! Thanks.


Song about corruption and crime, at YouTube here.

If you want to hear more on the political situation in Colombia, see Juanes songs "Sueños" and "Fíjate Bien." The song "Desapariciones" by Rubén Blades is on a similar subject, on Latin America in general.

This is the 100th posted song translation, by the way.
Tags: aterciopelados

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