Carlos Santana and Los Lonely Boys – “La Bamba” Live
“La Bamba” was adapted by Ritchie Valens from a Mexican folk song and he added a rock flavor to the beat and rhythm. His version ranked at number 354 in the “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” by the Rolling Stone magazine. The original composer, however, is still unknown. This also used to be played during weddings for the accompanying dance.
“La Bamba” is a classic example of the Son Jarocho musical style, which originated in the Mexican state of Veracruz and combines Spanish, indigenous, and African musical elements. The song is typically played on one or two arpas jarochas (harps) along with guitar relatives the jarana jarocha and the requinto jarocho.
Although it may seem like the title has a literal translation, it actually doesn’t have any. Los Lonely Boys, a rock power trio, covered this song along with Carlos Santana. I love how their own version is a fusion of various musical styles and adding in Santana was a splendid choice — he’s the master of versatility!
The traditional aspect of “La Bamba” lies in the tune, which remains almost the same through most versions. The name of the dance, which has no direct English translation, is presumably connected with the Spanish verb bambolear, meaning “to shake” or perhaps “to stomp”.
I can’t help but dance to this!