El Rey

Songfacts®:

  • George Strait sings this Mexican folk song completely in Spanish. The Mariachi standard is played frequently on radio stations across Mexico and in Border States. Strait said in publicity materials: "I've loved Mariachi music for years, and although I'm not fluent in Spanish, I've been trying to get better. 'El Rey' has been a favorite song of mine for years, and I request it every chance I get. So I decided to give it a shot. What a blast that was. I had a version by the great Vicente Fernandez. I played it for the guys, and we worked it out. I think it turned out great, and I hope the real Mariachis like it. That will be the real test."
  • Mexican singer-songwriter José Alfredo Jiménez wrote the song and originally recorded it. Jiménez was a constant presence on the music charts of Mexico from his 1950 breakthrough hit "Yo," until his death from hepatitis in 1973.

Comments: 3

  • Rachel from UsaHere's a translation I made -- It's not a literal word-for-word version, but I wanted to keep as much of the spirit of the original as I could.

    Yeah, I know that I’m a roamer,
    And I’ll probably die a loner,
    But I still know you will cry.

    Chorus: And cry, and cry
    And cry, and cry.

    Well, you say that you don’t need me,
    And that you’ll never grieve me,
    But I’m still saying goodbye.

    Might be rich or might need money,
    But I do what I want, honey,
    And my own word’s the one I obey.

    Well, I don’t have a castle or queen,
    And there’s no one who knows what I mean,
    But that’s why I’ll always be king.

    A simple stone upon the road
    Taught me just to bear my load
    And be who I’m supposed to be.

    Chorus: A rolling stone,
    A rolling stone.

    I once met an aging trucker,
    Who said being first is for suckers,
    You just have to get there in style.
  • William from San Antonio, Tx"El Rey" is translated as "The King". A much fitted name.
  • Garrett from Phenix City, AlI have to say that when I first heard that George Strait had a song in Spanish, I was very shocked and a little skeptical about how it would sound, because he does not sound like someone you'd hear doing a song in Spanish. Then when I heard it, I was even more shocked that he could actually do it, and how successfully he pulled it off. I am a big fan of Strait's music. I am pretty fluent in Spanish, not as much as I would like to be, but I know it well enough that I can pick up on the pronunciation of the accent and tell if someone's pronouncing the words right. That is why I was skeptical at first about Strait's covering this song. Then I heard it and man it's great. Anybody who hasn't heard it should give it a listen. It is a whole different side of George you wouldn't expect.
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