Esa noche yo bailá


This 17th century carol was found in the Archives of the Monastery of Santa Clara, Cochabamba, Bolivia. Enslaved people from West Africa spoke this dialect, which was a mixture of Spanish and the native language of Guinea. (source)

Lyrics - Afro-Bolivian dialect

(Traditional Afro-Bolivian carol)

Esa noche yo bailá, ha ha ha ha
con María lucumé, he he he he
asta sol que amanecé , ha ha ha ha
plo mi Dios que sa acuyá, he he he he
esa gente comensá, ha ha ha ha
aunque pe la buesa fe, he he he he
su hichito ya nacé, ye ye ie ie

Poca poca nobelá, ha ha ha ha
nacie con Batalumé, he he he he
puero nega en bona fe,
del chiquillo que aye sa, he he he he
el mandame a mi cantá, ha ha ha ha
yo cantá hasta amanecé, he he he he
su hichito ya nacé, ye ye ie ie

Approximate English Translation - Tonight I am dancing

Tonight I am dancing
and Mary with me
until the sun comes up
for my God who is in the cradle
all these people are with me
even in good faith
this little Son is now born.

Little by little they will see us
born with Bartholomew
but they deny good faith
he asks me to sing him a song.
I will sing for him until dawn
this little Son is now born.

See also


  • Song with chords (PDF)
  • MIDI file
  • Listen to the song

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