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Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Beyond Feliz Navidad: Eight great holiday songs in Spanish and one in Ladino

Where I grew up in the U.S. southwest, “Feliz Navidad” played on the radio about 30 times a day during the entire month of December. But I don’t recall learning many, if any, other holiday songs in Spanish until a few weeks ago when my daughter started coming home from her school in San José singing a new one every day.

Only a couple of those are included below. The rest are recommendations from Latin American friends, plus a few other good finds. Some are originals, some are newer versions of old classics. Enjoy!

“Ven a Mi Casa Esta Navidad” (“Come to My House This Christmas”), Luis Aguile

“Mi Burrito Sabanero” (“My Savannah Burro”), Pedrito Fernández

“Arbolito de Navidad” (“Little Christmas Tree”), Pastor López (He also does a great version of “Mi Burrito Sabanero.”)

“Navidad de Los Pobres” (“Christmas of the Poor”), Los Tigres del Norte

“Ocho Kandelikas” (“Eight Little Candles”), Pink Martini

This Hanukkah tune is sung in Ladino, an ancient language derived mainly from Spanish and Hebrew but which also borrows from a handful of other languages. It developed among Spanish Jews and spread after Jews were expelled from Spain in 1492.

“Maldita Navidad” (“Damn Christmas”), Gabriel Romero

“Los Peces en el Río” (“The Fish in the River”), Ángela Aguilar and Pepe Aguilar

“Campanas de Belén” (“Bells of Bethlehem”), The I.C.

“Feliz Navidad” (“Merry Christmas”), Jared Smith (We had to have one spoof in here. If you’ve never heard of this guy, you can catch up here.)

Happy Holidays! Oh, and let us know which songs we missed.

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