La Bamba and other songs to be embarrassed about

Richie Valens came out with La Bamba in 1958 and I was there to hear it. And for the next 56 years, I went along blithely assuming that the opening line to the song was something like “Badahdahdahdah la bamba.” Then today, as I was thinking of a song for a thread in the Games forum, that song came to mind.

Wanting to get the lyrics right, I did a search. What came up were lyrics that had actual Spanish words in the opening line. WTF? Slowly, it came to my enfeebled brain that those words had been there all along; I just couldn’t hear them. Even after taking Spanish classes, I couldn’t hear “Bailar, bailar la bamba” (dance, dance la bamba). At last, the song actually makes sense to me, and it only took nearly six decades. :smack:

Any similar experiences would be a balm to my fractured ego. Thanks.

Well… apparently, I have always had a similar problem with the same exact song. I always heard it as “La la la la la bamba.”

I thought the lyric was Para bailar La Bamba.

‘To dance The Bamba, you need a little grace…’


I did not know that.

Maxwell Jump! Go ahead and jump!
I don’t know where my hole is.

I never saw the 1987 bio film of the same title, but the song (by Los Lobos) regained popularity and the actual lyrics became clearer, although I don’t speak Spanish and didn’t know exactly what was being said.

I still don’t know why being blinded by the light made the guy dress up like a douche.

Let alone give his anus curly-wurly!

In the 60s there was a song where the singer sang, " I don’t want to lose you baby"

I could never understand why somebody would sing," I don’t want a Root Beer Baby."

I’ve never seen a warm wind strong enough to blow the stars around.

That’s how I heard it, too. But I have never actually seen the lyrics in print before.

From The Pogues, “Broad Majestic Shannon:”

“So I walked as day was dawning
Where small birds sang and leaves were falling
Where we once watched the robots landing,
By the broad, majestic Shannon.”

Wait, what? Oh, rowboats.

Thanks again, Straight Dope. I had no idea.

I always wondered how living in the limelight was like living in the fish islands.

Apropos of nothing, the first line scans perfectly to:

♫♪ “What are the words to La Bamba?” ♫♪

He’s not talking 'bout the linen.

It appears that you’re correct, but the first link I clicked on said “bailar, bailar”. Makes more sense the other way.

Double head smack for me.

Rolling Stones “Beast of Burden”

All your sickness, I could suck a duck
Throw it all up, I could struggle.

Aaaannnnd, I just found out that memories really aren’t ‘like’ the corners of my mind at all.

“Would you like-a some lasagna?”