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The original lyrics of "Guantanamera" are the opening stanzas of Cuban hero Jose Martí’s Versos Sencillos. Martí was a writer and intellectual who died in 1895 fighting for Cuba's independence from Spain. His immensely popular verses were combined with the chorus in a way that suggests the song is addressed to a young woman from Guanta'namo on the southern tip of the island. The version written for Musical Spanish is quite different from the original.

Learn Languages through Songs through Guantanamera & More

Guantanamera   guajira Guantanamera
gwahn-tah-nah-MEH-rah gwa-HEE-rah gwahn-tah-nah-MEH-rah
Girl from Guanta’namo, girl from Guanta’namo
yo soy un hombre   humilde
yo soy oon OHM-bray   oo-MEEL-day
I am a humble man
tal vez no tengo   dinero  
tahl vays no TEHN-goh   dee-NEH-roh
maybe I don’t have any money
quizás no sabes mi nombre  
kee-SAHS no SAH-bays mee NOHM-bray  
maybe you don’t know my name
y ni conoces mi cerro  
ee nee   koh-NOH-says mee SEH-rroh  
and you don’t even know my hill
estribillo (chorus)            
yo debo irme   a casa  
yo DEH-boh EER-may ah KAH-sah  
I should go to my house
tal vez mi esposa   me espere
tahl vays mee eh-SPOH-sah may eh-SPEH-ray
perhaps my wife will wait for me
no puedo   irme ahora    
no PWEH-doh   EER-may ah-OH-rah  
I can’t go right now
tal vez mis piernas no lleguen
tahl vays mees PYEHR-nahs no YAY-gehn
my legs might not make it
estribillo (chorus)            
tan tarde yo   siempre llego
tahn TAHR-day yo   SYEHM-pray YAY-goh
so late I always arrive
jamás alcanzo el   metro    
hah-MAHS ahl-KAHN-soh ehl   MEH-troh  
I never catch up with the metro
un tren con   tantas personas
oon trehn kohn   TAHN-tahs pehr-SOH-nahs  
a train with so many people
espere el otro  
eh-SPEH-ray ehl   OH-troh  
(probably) better that I wait for the other one

Guantanamera lyrics in Spanish and English, with pronunciation guide from Musical Spanish book and CD-rom




















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