Today is the 44th birthday of the late Selena Quintanilla-Pérez. It’s still very tragic that she was taken away from us at a young age. I was only one year old when she passed, but grew up listening to her music. My mom stills tells me about the memories of me singing to her songs, from me singing on the yard with a Fischer Price tape recorder to me waving back to Selena when she sings Como La Flor on her Last Concert. It’s been 20 years since she died, but she has and never will be forgotten. Her legacy still lives on and hers songs are timeless. To celebrate her birthday, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite Selena songs.
15. Techno Cumbia – Another song that would be played at a quinceanera. This is basically the sister to Baila Esta Cumbia. Though it may have a dance pop feel, it still isn’t a classic, but I still love it and dance to it.
14. Donde Quiera Que Estes – A duet with the Barrio Boyzz. Song means “Wherever You Are” and the lyrics talk about two lovers separated by vast distances.The song has an R&B funk to it and it works wonderfully.
13. Cobarde – The song title means “Coward”, the song talks about a man leaving a woman for another, but not telling her and she’s calling him out on it. It’s quite a hidden gem on her Amor Prohibido album.
12. La Carcacha – Uno! Dos! Tres! Quatro! You just can’t help but countdown with her in the beginning. The song is one of her best and a great crowd pleaser.
11. Baila Esta Cumbia – Like the song says, “baile!” If you go to a quinciniera , there’s a guarantee that you would hear this and go straight to the dance floor. A classic
10. Fotos Y Recuerdos – Song means ” Photos and Memories”, with a theme about a woman kissing photos of a boyfriend before going to bed, while reminiscing memories she has with him. Sampling The Pretenders’ Back On The Chain Gang, it vastly improves it with the Cumbia and dance pop fusion.
9. Si Una Vez – One of her signature songs. The lyrics explains about a woman regretting loving a man. It’s an empowering song that boosts self-pride and dignity towards a recent break up. The vocals are absolutely strong and leave a big impression on you. Need a song to deal with a jerky ex? This is the song for you!
8. No Debes Jugar – Meaning “You Shouldn’t Play Around”, the song talks about a woman who is being unappreciated by her boyfriend and she threatens to leave him because she is done being played with. With empowering vocals, it really shines and a strong Cumbia song. Intertwining uptempo Cumbia with rock en español, it’s one of her most distinguished songs.
7. Bidi Bidi Bom Bom – A great fun song! You could hear the excitement and enthusiasm in her lovely voice during the entire song. One of the most important Tejano songs. Right from the get go, you’ll just love the song. With reggae fusion and lovely lyrics, it’s a perfect, fun summer love song.
6. Ya Ves – One of her earliest songs, and a damn great one! Talks about how an ex left her for someone else and nows wants her back, but she’s not going for it because of the pain he gave to her. Her vocals bring some sass to the song and I love it.
5. Dreaming of You – Another recognizable song, especially with non Spanish speakers. It’s a Top 40 ready song and her best recorded song in her career. It’s lyrics talk about longing and hoping your love interest is thinking about you while you dream about him or her. I really think it is the most beautiful love song ever. The Spanish speaking bridge really elevates the song to a whole new level of balladry. Every time I hear the song, I tear up a little because how the song was used in the movie
4. Como La Flor – Another one of her signature songs and probably her most famous one. The song talks about a broken-hearted woman who lost her boyfriend and explains how it hurts to lose his love and the love is compared to a flower; dried up and dead. This song became her first hit and really broke down barriers for women singing Tejano music. The melodies and vocals are incredible and is just a contagious dance Cumbia song.
3. Amor Prohibido – Meaning “Forbidden Love”, the song talks about two lovers who aren’t accepted because they come from two different socio-economic groups, they ignore parental disapproval and continue their relationship. Right when the song begins, it immediately lures you in with it’s melodic hook. The instant appeal of the song is why it’s a fan favorite and why it’s in the top three of my list.
2. No Me Queda Mas – Song means “There’s Nothing Left For Me”, its lyrics explain about a woman’s ex lover leaving for her another woman and she believes that he will come back, but is revealed that he never loved her and she wishes him happiness. It’s definitely one of her best sung songs. Singing with sentimental vocals and with lush string instruments, the ballad is downright beautiful. Every time I hear this song, I get chills and teary, it’s too bittersweet.
1. I Could Fall In Love – Exploring the feelings of heartbreak and expressing the fear of rejections by a love interest you’re falling in love with. Selena’s vocals are very velvet and beautifully tender. Along with Dreaming of You, these two songs are anthems when dealing with a crush. The ballad is an epic, beautiful masterpiece. Not wanting to get heartbroken and being in situations like the song conveys, I can really relate to the song and is why it’s my all time favorite song of Selena.
Feliz Cumpleaños a la Reina! There’s no other way I can think of how to finish this post, but to ask for your favorite Selena song and leave this message from Selena: “Mil abrazos y mil besotes, a cada una de ustedes. Cuídate muchísimo y nos veremos muy pronto! Hasta luego! Chau! Buenas noches!”
April 16, 1971 – March 31, 1995