Learners’ Notes

  • Very distinct Argentinean “y/ll” sound
  • Entire song in the present indicative tense; good to practice conjugation
  • Usage of “hacer dañar” as a set phrase meaning to “inflict damage”
  • Some instances of verbs conjugated in the simple future tense
  • Preterite form of -ar verbs (here, “empezar”) in first person singular
Lamento Boliviano

Me quieren agitar

Me incitan a gritar.

Soy como una roca,

Palabras no me tocan

Adentro hay un volcán

Que pronto va a estallar.

Yo quiero estar tranquilo.

Es mi situación

Una desolación,

Soy como un lamento,

Lamento boliviano.

Que un día empezó

Y no va a terminar

Y a nadie hace daño.

Y yo estoy aquí

Borracho y loco

Y mi corazón idiota

Siempre brillará

Y yo te amaré,

Te amaré por siempre.

Nena no te peines en la cama

Que los viajantes se van a atrasar.

Bolivian Wail

They want to work me up,

they incite me to yell.

I’m like a rock,

words don’t touch me.

There’s a volcano inside

that will soon erupt.

I want to be calm.

My situation is

an enormous affliction.

I’m like a wail,

a Bolivian wail.

That one day began

and won’t ever stop

and hurts no one.

And I am here

drunk and crazy.

And my idiot heart

will always shine.

And I will love you,

I’ll love you forever.

Baby, don’t comb your hair on the bed

or the travelers will be delayed. (*)

The last two lines refer to an old folk legend from the Andes mountains that if a woman combed her hair while in bed, it would delay the boats at the harbor!