5 Latin Songs, Engineered To Cheer You Up : Alt.Latino Alt.Latino recently asked listeners to recommend Latin songs they seek out when they're feeling low and need a boost. They sent us Chilean folk, Spanish rap, Cuban salsa and much more.
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5 Latin Songs, Engineered To Cheer You Up

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5 Latin Songs, Engineered To Cheer You Up

5 Latin Songs, Engineered To Cheer You Up

5 Latin Songs, Engineered To Cheer You Up

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/223158091/226817071" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

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

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Courtesy of the artist.

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

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

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Song
Brazil Classics, Vol. 1: Beleza Tropical
Album
Brazil Classics, Vol. 1: Beleza Tropical
Artist
Various Artists
Label
Sire
Released
1989

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Café Tacuba

  • Song: Baile y el Salón
  • from Re
YouTube

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Song
Re
Album
Re
Artist
Café Tacuba
Label
WEA International
Released
1994

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Celia Cruz

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

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Song
Reina y Sus Amigos
Album
Reina y Sus Amigos
Artist
Celia Cruz
Label
Sony Music Distribution
Released
2009

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Mala Rodríguez

  • Song: Especias y Especies
  • from Lujo Ibérico
YouTube

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

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Gepe

  • Song: Fruta Y Te
  • from GP
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Chico Buarque

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

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Song
Meus Caros Amigos
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

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

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

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