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5 Latin Songs, Engineered To Cheer You Up

Celia Cruz, the queen of salsa. i i

Celia Cruz, the queen of salsa. Courtesy of the artist. hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of the artist.
Celia Cruz, the queen of salsa.

Celia Cruz, the queen of salsa.

Courtesy of the artist.

In spite of our many musical variations, one thing that seems to unite Latin Americans is our love of suffering in song — the gusto with which we sprinkle musical salt in our wounds. "Perfidia" is one of the best known love ballads of Latin America, and its words paint a terrifying portrait of anxiety and abandonment: "Nobody knows how much I suffer / I sing because I cannot sob / I shake, alone, anxiously / Everyone looks at me and walks away."

We've talked a lot about these love songs, and about cortavenas (vein slashers), so we're doing something different today. We wanted to create a playlist that doubles as a pick-me-up. So we asked Alt.Latino listeners: What do you listen to when you want to stop feeling down and out? We were flooded with suggestions — we might have to record a sequel to this episode — and ended up with a great show in which we play music from a legendary Mexican rock band, a newer Chilean folk artist and, of course, the queen of salsa, the goddess Celia Cruz. Because, as one of our listeners pointed out, if she doesn't make you smile, you might not have actual blood running in your veins.

As always, please help us keep the conversation going: Tell us what songs you pull out when you need to feel a little better.

5 Latin Songs, Engineered To Cheer You Up

Cover for Brazil Classics, Vol. 1: Beleza Tropical

Various Artists

  • Album: Brazil Classics, Vol. 1: Beleza Tropical
  • Song: Quilombo, O el Dorado Negro

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Song
Quilombo, O el Dorado Negro
Album
Brazil Classics, Vol. 1: Beleza Tropical
Artist
Various Artists
Label
Sire
Released
1989

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Cover for Re

Café Tacuba

  • Album: Re
  • Song: Baile y el Salón

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Song
Baile y el Salón
Album
Re
Artist
Café Tacuba
Label
WEA International
Released
1994

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Cover for Reina y Sus Amigos

Celia Cruz

  • Album: Reina y Sus Amigos
  • Song: Vida Es Un Carnaval [Live Carnegie Version] [Live][*][Version]

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Song
Vida Es Un Carnaval [Live Carnegie Version] [Live][*][Version]
Album
Reina y Sus Amigos
Artist
Celia Cruz
Label
Sony Music Distribution
Released
2009

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Mala Rodríguez

  • Album: Lujo Ibérico
  • Song: Especias y Especies

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Song
Especias y Especies
Album
Lujo Ibérico
Artist
Mala Rodríguez
Label
Universal Distribution
Released
2002

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Gepe

  • Album: GP
  • Song: Fruta Y Te
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Chico Buarque

  • Album: Meus Caros Amigos
  • Song: O Que Será (À Flor da Terra)

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Song
O Que Será (À Flor da Terra)
Album
Meus Caros Amigos
Artist
Chico Buarque
Label
Polygram
Released
1976

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Cover for Just Another Band from East L.A.: A Collection

Los Lobos

  • Album: Just Another Band from East L.A.: A Collection
  • Song: Bertha [Live]

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Song
Bertha [Live]
Album
Just Another Band from East L.A.: A Collection
Artist
Los Lobos
Label
FFRR
Released
1993

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