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International Music & Culture
Cielito lindo
(Mexican Traditional Song)


"Cielito lindo" literally means "beautiful little heaven' (or 'sky'). "Cielito" is a term of endearment like "darling". I translated it here as "pretty little darling".

"Cielito lindo" was originally a ranchera song sung by a solo guitarist. Nowadays you'll hear it performed by mariachi bands.

Cielito lindo
Pretty Little Darling
Canción infantil
Traditional Song

De la Sierra Morena,
Cielito lindo, vienen bajando,
Un par de ojitos negros,
Cielito lindo, de contrabando.

Ay, ay, ay, ay,
Canta y no llores,
Porque cantando se alegran,
Cielito lindo, los corazones.

Ese lunar que tienes,
Cielito lindo, junto a la boca,
No se lo des a nadie,
Cielito lindo, que a mí me toca.


Pájaro que abandona,
Cielito lindo, su primer nido,
Vuelve y lo halla ocupado
Cielito lindo, bien merecido.


Una flecha en el aire,
Cielito lindo, lanzó Cupido,
y como fue jugando,
Cielito lindo, yo fui el herido.


De tu casa a la mía,
Cielito lindo, no hay más que un paso,
Antes que venga tu madre,
Cielito lindo, dame un abrazo.


Down from the Sierra Morena mountains,
Pretty little darling, they come,
A pair of black eyes,
Pretty little darling, they're contraband!

Oh, oh, oh, oh,
Sing and do not cry
Because singing cheers up,
Pretty little darling, our hearts.

That mole that you have,
Pretty little darling, near the mouth,
Don't give it to anyone,
Pretty little darling, it's for me to play with.


The bird that leaves,
Pretty little darling, its first nest,
Comes back and finds it occupied
Pretty little darling, that's what it deserves.


An arrow in the air,
Pretty little darling, launched by Cupid
As he was playing,
Pretty little darling, I was the wounded one.


From your house to mine,
Pretty little darling, there is no more than one step,
Before your mother comes,
Pretty little darling, give me a hug.


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"Cielito lindo" was written by Quirino Mendoza y Cortés (c. 1859–1957) in 1882. It was first published in print in 1919.

Many versions of this song exist. Many people sing the verses in different orders or only sing two or three verses. Please feel free to email me any additional verses that you know.


We received this alternative translation of one of the verses by nanczon...

Down from Sierra Moreno there
comes the lovely Cielito Linda
Tripping down, right into the town
Comes the lovely Cielito Linda
Ay yi yi yi...


Pearl wrote:

"I'd like to add to 'Cielito Lindo' a verse I've heard when someone is falling in love...

Siempre que te enamores
Celito lindo mira primero,
Donde pones los ojos
Cielito lindo no llores luego."

English Translation:

Whenever you fall in love,
Pretty little darling, look first
Where you set your sights,
Pretty little darling, don't cry later.

Thanks and Acknowledgements

Many thanks to Pearl for sending another verse!

Lyrics & Recordings Needed!

Email us a traditional song or rhyme from your country.

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