La Bamba is a Mexican folk song which was made famous by Ritchie Valens in 1958. This arrangement is by Bob Hooper.
“La Bamba” is a traditional Mexican Folk song that became a hit for the young rocker Ritchie Valens’ after he died in a plane crash on the 3rd of February 1959, along with Buddy Holly and The Big Bopper. The song is very popular with Mariachi bands and is often played at weddings. The lyrics are in Spanish: “Para bailar la Bamba se necessita una poca de gracia” means, “To dance La Bamba you need to have a little grace.”
A brief translation: The verses start with a man telling his fiancée, “I’m not a sailor, I’m a captain,” indicating his big ambitions. In the next verse he sings, “In order to get to heaven you need a big ladder and a little ladder, a little ladder and a big ladder.” At this point, he’s climbing for the heavens. Then comes the refrain where he says, “Up and up and up I’ll go.” The song is filled with the optimism of youth, and hit the mark with the teenage audience that consumed this early Rock.
This song was only a modest hit when it was released in November 1958, but it became far more popular when the Ritchie Valens biopic La Bamba was released in 1987. The movie was a big deal because it was the first major, mainstream Hollywood film with a Hispanic subject. The movie was released in the United States in both Spanish and English versions, and Coca-Cola did a marketing tie-in targeting the growing Hispanic population in America – a population that would grow considerably in size and influence over the next several years.
If you like this video, then you might also want to look at these videos:-