Unlike its English counterpart, the Spanish-language break-up song is significantly more aggressive. It directly attacks, insults and even ridicules the departed party, giving the scorned lover full liberty to unleash their rage.
Few words are off limits!
While Gloria Gaynor’s greatest hit, I Will Survive takes us through the healthy process of overcoming our fears, discovering our inner strength and resolving to learn from our mistakes: I’m not that chained up little person / still in love with you / now I’m saving all my loving / for someone who’s loving me; Gloria Trevi’s Cinco Minutos (Five Minutes) openly boasts about her ex’s misfortune: I’ll give you five minutes; vent / Don’t think I don’t have anything better to do / And if I said hello it was only a courtesy / Now you are at the bottom and I am at the top.
On the other side of the spectrum, Beyonce’s chart topper, Irreplaceable steps up the rage: You could pack all your things, we’re finished / Cause you made your bed, now lay in it / I can have another you by tomorrow / Don’t you ever for a second get to thinking you’re irreplaceable; but still is not as forceful as say Pesado’s Ojala (Hopefully), which leaves very little to the imagination: Hopefully / Life will charge you with interest the damage you’ve done to me / That you may not find love, And if one day you do / That it fails / Hopefully someone will make you suffer and from all the pain / You will no longer desire to live / That you will want to die.
Now that’s frustration!
La India’s Que Me Importa (What do I care?), callously expresses: What do I care to see you like that, without dignity / I don’t care about anything and that is your truth / What do I care… / If it takes you a lifetime to understand / That you have lost me / If our memories hurt you / And cause you to cry like a child / What do I care? Not to be forgotten. Few can deliver a great break-up song as well as the Mexican singer Paquita la del Barrio (Paquita from the hood). Her most popular anthem Rata de dos patas (Two-legged rat) spares no offense in its fury: Disgusting rat / Despicable animal / Slum of the earth / Ridiculous mistake / Damn reptile / How much damage you have caused me / Trash of this life / I hate you and despise you.
Next time you’re unfortunate enough to be suffering from a love affair gone wrong, you might give Spanish break-up songs a chance. They may not have a lasting impact, but in the moment, they are a hell of a quick fix.
If you have a favorite break-up song of your own, share it here.