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Thursday, 28 June 2012

A metrical English translation of 'La Cucaracha'

Counter Most Americans over the age of 40 would probably recognize "La Cucaracha's" catchy tune, and could even provide the first four words. But I doubt that even one in a thousand knows any more of the song. Now, part of the problem is that there are so many different verses, and even more parodies--all of them in Spanish. So, in the interests of literary literacy, I here provide a metrical translation of the chorus, from the Spanish as I first saw it written:

Though Mister Cockroach
May be outspoken,
He won't be gettin' very far.
He won't be smokin',
He won't be jokin',
Because he ain't got no cigar.

Actually, the last word in the original is 'marijuana,' but there are a lot of people in Washington who read this blog--and it would mess up both the rhyme and the meter.

I'm not sure if the song was the origin of calling a joint 'a roach' or not--I'll leave that to someone else to investigate.


  1. Nice post.Thnaks for sharing the english translation.The translation is a genuine content, not the mere shadow of an original one.Hoping you a great success in translation and the likes.

  2. To be fair, I should add that this particular verse is not likely to be original. I'll give a gist translation of the verse more likely to have started the phenomenon:
    The Cockroach can't walk, because it's missing a leg.


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