Best Bachata Songs to Learn Spanish From

¿Te gusta la bachata? (Do you like bachata?)

If you’ve somehow stumbled across this article without knowing what bachata is—well, it’s both a style of music and dance that originated in the Dominican Republic during the 20th century.

Even though bachata is quite young (it only took hold of the popular imagination in the 1980s), its potent combination of sensual lyrics and expressive dance movements have won it countless fans from outside its country of origin. 

Not only is it great for dancing or belting out after a breakup, but it’s also useful for Spanish language learners.

Read on for the 10 best bachata songs you can play for pure entertainment, for Spanish learning purposes or both! 


1. Romeo Santos — “Propuesta indecente” (Indecent proposal)

Lyrics: AZLyrics

Every line in this song could be whispered into a delicate ear and get you covered in sloppy kisses—or, in the wrong context, slapped in the face. But, as the song says, “una aventura es más divertida si huele a peligro” (an adventure is more fun if it smells of danger). Among the useful phrases for seducing/being a creep:

  • Me acerco a tu boca
    (I get close to your mouth)
  • Te adelanto, no me importa quién sea él
    (I’m telling you, I don’t care who he is)
  • Permíteme apreciar tu desnudez
    (Allow me to appreciate your nudity)

Mix and match to create your own! What body parts would you like to appreciate and get close to?

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2. Romeo Santos — “La diabla” (The devil-woman)

Lyrics: Musica

If a woman doesn’t love you anymore, obviously she’s a devil! In these lyrics, the poor, innocent man says “jugué a fuego lento con amor” (literally, “I played with love on a slow fire”). Perhaps you can think of a better, more poetic translation?

A fuego lento is a synonym for lentamente (slowly). My best interpretation is “I let our love slowly simmer,” although that doesn’t quite capture the idea of betting or taking a risk (jugar also means to gamble on something). What’s yours?

3. Juan Luis Guerra — “Bachata en Fukuoka” (Bachata in Fukuoka)

Lyrics: Musica

As you can see from the title alone, the song has a few words and place names that you won’t find in your Spanish-English dictionary. Fukuoka, for example, is a city in southern Japan, and there are a couple of Japanese words like kon’nichiwa (hello). So “quiero cantar contigo una bachata en Fukuoka” is “I want to sing a bachata song in Fukuoka with you.”

The images in this song are a bit less aggressive compared to the other songs above, no? We have “caminé la playa de Momochi” (I walked on Momochi beach), “se me escapó una sonrisa del alma” (a smile escaped from my soul) and “en el mar las gaviotas” (in the sea, the seagulls).

4. Huey Dunbar — “Yo sí me enamoré” (I did fall in love)

Lyrics: LyricsTranslate

Let’s discuss the chorus, as there are a couple of great things about the Spanish language in there:

Mas yo sí me enamoré
Por eso no te olvidé
Los besos de tus labios
Me muero por besarlos

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(But I [on the other hand], did fall in love
That’s why I didn’t forget you
The kisses from your lips
I’m dying to kiss them)

You’re probably more familiar with más meaning “more.” In this case, however, it has an accent mark: más. Mas means the same as pero: “but,” “however.”

The yo is usually unnecessary and would be omitted, because me enamoré already makes it very clear that the speaker himself is the one being a foolish romantic. Beginning Spanish speakers often overuse yo in their Spanish when it’s already obvious from the context—doing so sounds very stilted.

That said, note that yo can be used in cases like this one to provide stress and contrast. Throughout the rest of the song, he’s complaining about a girl who seems to have forgotten all about him. He is different.

The word also adds contrasting emphasis. Another example would be, “Ahora sabe bailar bachata” (Now he does know how to dance bachata).

5. Huey Dunbar — “Las noches” (The nights)

Lyrics: Letras

You’re on a dance floor, grinning at something pretty, asking him to dance, swaying back and forth, arms locked around each other, hip brushes hip, belly to belly, earlobe to earlobe, and you both hear this:

Son noches para llorar
Son noches para sufrir
Son noches para olvidar
Que ayer fui feliz

Do you see why dancing bachata can be truly weird?

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Here’s the translation:

(They’re nights to cry
They’re nights to suffer
They’re nights to forget
That yesterday I was happy)

However alluring the music and provocative the dance, the lyrics often infuse them with a shot of sorrow and regret.

You can distract that nice man from the lyrics by whispering sweet nothings, however. How would you use the construction para + [infinitive] to whisper to him about these nights? ¿Son para enamorarse? ¿Para besar? ¿Para apreciar tu desnudez? … (They’re to fall in love? To kiss? To appreciate your nudity?)

6. Prince Royce — “Darte un beso” (To give you a kiss)

Lyrics: Letras

The lyrics are rather cheesy, aren’t they? (Beware that the word falar is Portuguese, not Spanish, for “to speak.”) It’s a pretty song sung by a pretty guy, however, and the lyrics are simple and easy to learn a few phrases from:

  • Yo solo quiero darte un beso
    (I just want to give you a kiss)
  • Quiero que no te falte nada
    (I want you to not be lacking anything)
  • Si el mundo fuera mío, te lo daría
    (If the world was mine, I would give it to you)

7. DLG — “Volveré” (I will return)

Lyrics: Letras

Note that there’s also a popular salsa version of this song.

Las promesas (promises) are easy to make in Spanish—just tack a stressed “é” onto the end of any verb. The singer of this song leaves his ring with the woman he has just bedded and says “volveré” (I will return).

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You can promise anything like this: te amaré (I will love you), te cuidaré (I will take care of you) and—I’ll just go ahead and reveal the height of my personal fantasies—te cocinaré pulpo a la gallega (I will cook Galician-style octopus for you).

8. José Manuel Calderón — “¿Qué será de mí?” (What will become of me?)

Lyrics: Genius

According to some, Calderón can take credit for recording the first bachata. This beautiful song is quite a bit different from the more modern ones above, both musically and lyrically. In it, the singer decries his awful life, with phrases such as:

  • Tantas penas en mi pobre vida
    (So many sorrows in my poor life)
  • Mis esperanzas ya están perdidas
    (My hopes are already lost)

The silver lining, he says, is un dios (a god) who will at least take care of us.

9. Xtreme — “Te extraño” (I miss you)

Lyrics: LyricsTranslate

This is a very popular bachata song, made even more famous by the viral video of Tanja La Alemana and Jorge Ataca dancing to it in 2008.

It’s one of those desperately sad love songs with lines like “Mira cómo estoy sufriendo” (Look how I’m suffering) and Me quemo por dentro por sentir tu amor (I burn inside to feel your love). 

Grab a partner and see if you can learn the viral dance routine! 

10. Grupo Extra – “Me emborracharé” (I’ll get drunk)

Lyrics: LyricsTranslate

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While I don’t condone blaming someone else for imbibing, I do support listening to this song and busting out some bachata moves to the beat. 

Like “Volveré,” the title and lyrics of this song use the future tense in the first person singular. In this case, it’s also a reflexive verb—emborracharse (to get drunk).

Por tu culpa” might be translated literally as “for/because of your fault” but more simply as “because of you.”

If you want to learn Spanish while listening and need some help following the lyrics of some of the best bachata songs of all time, you can try out a program like FluentU.

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Whether you’re a Spanish learner or just a bachata fan, I hope you enjoy these bachata songs as much as I do! 

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