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How to sing happy birthday in Spanish

Berges Institute • May 11, 2023 • 2 minutes
Updated Jul 31, 2023
How to sing happy birthday in Spanish
The Graf Method for Spanish Language

Download a PDF version of The Graf Method for Spanish Language, Vol.1 for free!

In this volume, we discuss the alphabet, definite and indefinite articles, and verbs ser and estar, among other topics.

Today we wanted to talk about the different birthday songs and versions of the songs that are usually sung in different Spanish-speaking countries.

First of all, in most Spanish-speaking countries, we sing the same song that people sing in the US (Happy birthday to you / happy birthday to you...). The lyrics can vary a little, though. Here are some common versions:

In Spain, these are the standard lyrics:

Cumpleaños feliz,

cumpleaños feliz,

te deseamos todos

cumpleaños feliz.

The third line is often substituted for “te deseamos [insert person’s name]". There are no rules for this, and what ends up happening in most birthday celebrations is that 50% of the people sing “te deseamos todos” and the other 50% sing “te deseamos Pedro”.

In Argentina, the lyrics are different:

Que los cumplas feliz,

que los cumplas feliz,

que los cumplas [nombre],

que los cumplas feliz.

In Colombia, the following lyrics are common:

Cumpleaños feliz

te deseamos a ti,

cumpleaños [nombre],

cumpleaños feliz.

Que los cumpla feliz,

que los vuelva a cumplir,

que los siga cumpliendo

hasta el año 3000.

And then, in Mexico, people don’t usually sing this song. People sing ‘Las mañanitas’ instead, which is a beautiful traditional Mexican song. Here are the lyrics for the first verse, the most commonly sung one:

Estas son las mañanitas que cantaba el rey David,

hoy por ser día de tu santo te las cantamos a ti.

Despierta, mi bien, despierta, mira que ya amaneció,

ya los pajaritos cantan, la luna ya se metió.

And here is Topo Gigio singing it:

Here are the rest of the lyrics:

Que linda está la mañana en que vengo a saludarte,

venimos todos con gusto y placer a felicitarte.

El día en que tu naciste nacieron todas las flores,

en la fila del bautismo cantaron los ruiseñores.

Ya viene amaneciendo ya la luz del día nos dio,

levántate de mañana, mira que ya amaneció.

Volaron cuatro palomas por toditas las ciudades,

hoy por ser día de tu santo te deseamos felicidades.

De las estrellas del cielo tengo que bajarte dos,

una es para saludarte, la otra es para decirte adiós.

Con jazmines y flores hoy te vengo a saludar,

hoy por ser día de tu santo te venimos a cantar.

It’s so much more beautiful than the standard happy birthday song, isn’t it?

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