La chica de ayer – Nacha Pop

I just found this song yesterday and I really like it! Nacha Pop is a rock-pop group from Spain, formed in 1978 by 18 year old Antonio Vega and his cousin Nacho. This was their first television debut in 1980 singing the first song from their album “Un Dia Cualquiera” (whichever day). This song “La chica de ayer” (The girl from yesterday) became really popular in Spain, this video alone having 3 million views now. Apparently the idea for the song arose while young Antonio was walking along the Malvarrosa Beach in Valencia, Spain..


Lyrics Translation (note: since I’m doing this translation completely on my own to practice my Spanish, I will place { } around words/phrases I had to look up. And any asterisks * are something I will refer to at the end, also parenthesis’s (  ) are when I have to reword things for it to make grammatical sense in the translation. Additionally, brackets [ ] are a chorus that repeats):

Un dia cualquiera no sabes que hora es  –  whichever day, you don’t know what time it is

Te acuestas a mi lado sin saber por que  –  You {lie down} to my side without knowing why

Las calles mojadas te han visto crecer  –  The wet streets have seen you grow up

Y tu en tu corazon estas lorando otra vez.  –  And in your heart you’re crying again.

[Me asomo a la ventana eres la chica de ayer,  –  I {stick my head out} the window, you’re the girl from yesterday,

jugando con las flores en mi jardin.  –  playing with the flowers in my garden.

Demasiado tarde para comprender,]  –  Too late to understand,

chica vete a tu casa no podemos jugar.  –  Girl, (see your way home), we can’t play.

La luz de la mañana entra a la habitacion,  –  The light of the morning enters the room,

tu cabellos dorados parecen sol.  –  Your golden {hair} looks like sun

Luego por la noche al Penta a escuchar  –  Later, by night to Penta*, to listen to

canciones que consiguen que te pueda amar.  –  songs that achieve that I* can love you

[Chorus repeats]

Mi cabeza de vueltas persiguiendote. x4  –  My head {turns following you}. x4

Ahhh, this song would melt any girl’s heart.. Especially when the lead singer Antonio Vega is so cute… ❤ BUT ANYWAYS, I DIGRESS… On to the interpretation of this song!! I think the narrative in this song is a metaphor for when memories of past loves or crushes come back in a person’s mind, those people from yesterday. And they can come back at “whichever day”, whichever time.. as if they’re “lying by our side”, bringing back the feelings.. Then things like “the light of the morning sun” entering the room and reminding us of their “golden hair” in this case. And then no matter how much we try, “they won’t go home and our heads keep turning following them” to paraphrase it, looking back at the past. The overall theme being nostalgia of love or romance.

An interesting lyric is “The wet streets have seen you grow up, and in your heart you’re crying again”. Are the streets wet from her tears during growing up? Or during the past, like during their break up or separation? Or is it perhaps saying that the wet streets have seen him get through this, and now he’s crying in his heart again as he remembers? What are your takes?

Now for the things I asterisked*..  Penta is a bar in Madrid, which was the center of the popular La Movida madrilena (The Madrid Scene), which was a countercultural movement. It was a movement during Spain’s transition post-Franco’s death in 1975. It was a movement that called for freedom of expression, transgressing taboos, the acceptance of dialects and alternative lifestyles, overall a sense of freedom in the streets. Nacha Pop often frequented the bar and were probably very in support of this movement.

Now for the second thing I asterisked, I would like the input of any Spanish speakers because I am unsure if I translated this sentence correctly because I am unsure of what context is pueda in (whether it is yo te pueda amar or if it’s el te pueda amar?) and then I’m unsure which context is consiguen is in (whether it is conseguir as in to get or obtain, or to achieve?). So my interpretation was that he was going to the bar to listen to songs that let him love her, essentially. Someone please correct me if I’m wrong.

Furthermore, the sound of the song reminds me of some of the American 80s’ with the acoustic guitar. The acoustic guitar really adds to the nostalgic feel. I wonder how much influence the American and English music had on the Spanish music scene, or were the American and English more so inspired by them? This goes for all the genres, not just the one of this particular song. Hopefully throughout this blog, some connections and patterns will arise…

New Spanish words I learned from this!:

  • acostarse – to lie down
  • asomar a la ventana – to stick your head out the window; asomar in general is to peek
  • cabellos – is a synonym to “pelo”; means hair. (haha, at first I thought it meant horse, like caballo; so I was translating the line as “your golden horses seem like the sun” and I’m like this can’t be right, que extrano haha. O.o)
  • cabeza de vueltas persiguiendote – head turns following you

Overall, Nacha Pop ❤ Feel free to post comments, opinions, interpretations, in English or Espanol! 🙂