There are a variety of different types of women in this world. Many are weak, many are strong, but in between everyone has the capability of being both at particular times in their lives. Nothing is as painful as being the vulnerable woman getting treated badly by a lover; however, nothing is as rewarding as being strong and capable all alone. There’s nothing that can take those feelings of success away from you. Before Gloria Gaynor sang “I Will Survive,” there were Latinas who had heartfelt pain that they were going to belt out and show the lovers that did them wrong, that they could be strong and independent alone.
1. “No Volvere” Take for instance, Chavela Vargas, the Costa Rican singer who became famous in her later years all over the world for her folk-y style of singing. The passion in her voice and the simple music that accompanied her was all she needed to get her point across. “No Volvere” tells the lover that mistreated their relationship that she’ll never go back because they don’t work and she won’t put up with it anymore. In fact, she promises she won’t return even if she falls apart in the process.
2. “Rata de Dos Patas” The next up on the list is Paquita la del Barrio. Starting her career in 1970, this Veracruzana made it well known that she wasn’t gonna take nothin’ from no one. She’s infamous for standing up to the machismo that exists in the Latino culture. Boys, are you listening? Yes, boys, because according to Paquita, that’s what you are. The beautiful song “Rata de Dos Patas” is one of the most charismatic ways of telling this guy she’s talking to that he’s a scumbag. You’re a rat on two legs. The closest insult to this song that you can send off to someone is telling them their mom’s a whore. I’m not even kidding.
3. “Mira Nomas” In “Mira Nomas,” Beatriz Adriana tells the guy that broke up with her, “Listen, yo. I didn’t want to break up, and you did. Not my fault. After you left, I got over you and look at this now, you’re back and you want me. Sorry pal. Find yourself another destiny.” Born in Sonora, Mexico she made a name for herself also singing to former lovers who dissed her although they decided to look back. It’s painful, but the pride in these songs could get any chick out of the dumps after being passed up by a ruthless lady-killer.
“Vete Ya” This is another good one. She tells her estranged lover that she stood by him because she loved him and she dealt with his cheating ass because she loved him. But too bad, chump! She’s dumping you in this song. See ya later!
4. “Es Demasiado Tarde” And no one, ever, can deny Ana Gabriel a place on this list of feminine voices that showed just how pain really feels crying into your pillow at night when all you can think is, “That man is such a liar! He told me he loved me!” Born in Sinaloa, Mexico with Chinese heritage on her mother’s side, this woman started singing at the ripe age of six. In “Es Demasiado Tarde,” Gabriel sings her heart out to a man that pained her by telling her it was over. “This is what you wanted and now you want to come back and make it all better?” Maybe in another life.
5. “Dame Un Beso” Ok, this last one is not a ranchera. This last one is one that I remember from when I was a kid, and it’s fun to dance around and sing to. La Yuri, as my parents called her, sings “Dame Un Beso” where she tells her boyfriend that it’s just not working, even though making up is way better than fighting. She comes to grips with the fact that they’re just not working out. So, well, no more kissies for you, baby doll!