Jarabe de Palo - La Flaca (English translation)

English translation

The Skinny Woman

Versions: #1#2#3
During my lifetime I met a woman,
just like the skinny one,
coral black from La Habana,
a spectacular "mulatta"
One-hundred pounds of skin and bones,
forty kilos of salsa
and two _____ on her face,
that speak without words,
that speak without words.
The Skinny Woman sleeps all day,
she says that's how you trick hunger,
when night falls,
she comes out to dance a la Tasca
and to dance and to dance,
and to drink and to drink
one beer after the other,
but she never puts on weight,
but she never puts on weight
I would give anything
for a kiss from The Skinny Woman.
for one of her kisses,
even if it were only one
I would give anything
for a kiss from The Skinny Woman.
for one of her kisses,
even if it were only one
...even if it were only one.
I wet my white sheets
as the song says
remembering the caresses
that she gave me the first day
And the desire to sleep by her side
is making me crazy,
because, my God,
this woman has made me crazy!
(this woman) has made me crazy!
I would give anything
for a kiss from The Skinny Woman.
for one of her kisses,
even if it were only one
I would give anything
for a kiss from The Skinny Woman.
for one of her kisses,
even if it were only one
...even if it were only one. (x6)
Submitted by liebe.jessi on Wed, 16/12/2009 - 00:51
Author's comments:

this was my first attempt. i love this song, but some parts are poetic..like the beginning, so it can be difficult.

"mulata" doesnt translate well, but just note that in spanish it is NOT an offensive term. it's actually a term of endearment.

the "dos soles en la cara" part is throwing me a bit. "soles" in this case could be A LOT of things. help, anyone?

but hopefully this helps. you have the rest of the song now, anyway..so enjoy Teeth smile


La Flaca

Jarabe de Palo: Top 3
See also
liebe.jessi    Wed, 16/12/2009 - 00:58

this was my translation, btw. i just became a member. help and feedback appreciated Teeth smile

Atreo    Sun, 11/04/2010 - 00:47

"y en la cara dos soles" --> Yes, two suns. Definitely. No doubt about it.

The metaphor is very, very, very old. It comes from a Medieval popular Spanish poem called Romance de Rosalinda:

Como el oro es su cabello,
como la nieve su tez;
sus ojos como dos soles
y su voz como la miel.

Because they are striking, flashy, etc.

And notice: At least 600 years before that JAPANESE CARTOONS, which are based on the same idea.

P.D.: One more thing. Maybe this can help you:


P.D. 2: "I wet my white sheets / as the song says". O.K. And that songs is Devórame otra vez, by Puerto Rican salsa singer Lalo Rodríguez. Just in case you want to add a footnote or something. Regular smile

forensicterp    Sun, 24/01/2010 - 01:47

I liked your translation. The first line in the song is a tough one! "En la/mi vida" can be used by the Spanish speaker to convey "never in my life" as well as the literal "in my life." It is often used as the former for emphasis. The giveaway is that it reads "En la vida conozi mujer" as opposed to "una mujer". It is a very poetic intro by its sentence structure so when I hear it I think "never in life did I meet, a woman like 'la flaca'. Or something to that effect. I also like not translating "la flaca" except in the title to keep some of the original flavor. As for the "soles", the writer is talking about her eyes being like "two suns" perhaps due to a yellowish hue contrasting with the "black coral" common in many "habaneras"or due to her hot intensity. Regardless, it's a tough line because of the poetic element. "On her face two suns burned brightly that used no words to speak" might work to capture the flavor. Keep in mind that these types of translations allow you to be flexible in choosing your renditions as the flavor of the song is what really needs to be translated, much more than the words. A far cry from my regular world which is why I come to this site. Keep it up!!


Regina1962    Sat, 11/09/2010 - 00:36

Smooth all the way. Love that song.

marta.carrasco.585    Mon, 22/09/2014 - 03:26

Hi, I liked your translation and I believe R above is on the right track. I think "La Flaca" refers to Santa Muerte venerated in Aztec Catholic Church, similar to the skeleton we are used to seeing in regards to Dia De Los Muertos. According to Jeremy Hatch posting 6/22/09 in The Rumpus and quoting David Lida, "to venerate death means you adore life because death is the only thing that can take life away from you."

Kilgore Trout    Tue, 08/08/2017 - 08:56

Dude, you rock! I love Carlose Santana, but I speak very little spanish, so sometimes I get hung up on some of the lyrics because I don't fully understand what the song is trying to get across. Some times us white guys need a little help understanding out spanish brothers and you really have helped me out, thank you very much, and I also have to thank Mr Santana for many years of wounderful music that knows no borders because when the truth comes down there is only one race of people that live on this planet we call Earth, and that race is "human" God bless!