You know, every day at the Colombia Travel Blog we have someone ask us: ‘What song should I play on Valentines Day (or El Dia del Amor y La Amistad) when I’m trying to woo a Colombian?’ (full disclosure: no-one has ever asked that). Well, we send them a song or two and undoubtedly, with the power of music, we send cupid’s arrow darting through the hearts of a lovestricken couple.
Since people ask us so often (see: never), we figured why not make a special Friday playlist of romantic Colombian songs? Even if you just travel to Colombia briefly, you should be sure to master these songs in order to master the heart of your beloved Colombian/a.
As Shakespeare once said: ‘If music be the food of love, play on’.
5. (Unknown) – Noches de Cartagena
Oh, this old song? It’s just an old favourite of mine I play from time to time. Nothing special. Oh, you recognise it but it sounds different? It was more popular as a salsa, but I actually prefer this version. I feel it’s more authentic, you know? You can really feel this guy’s love for Cartagena and the woman in the song. You almost feel transported to the city itself. Really great stuff. You like it? Here, have some more wine.
You suave little monkey, you.
4. Joe Arroyo – Sabre Olvidar
Thought you’d get away from salsa, did you? Think again my friend. Think about where you are and the one thing that Colombians love even more than arepas. Yup, salsa. And if there’s one man than embodies everything good about Colombian salsa, it’s El Joe. Although it’s about lost love, this one’s still good for Valentines Day since it’s sentimental and you can (or will have to) dance to impress you soon-to-be-once-you-play-this-list Colombian Valentine.
3. Toto La Momposina – Yo Me Llamo Cumbia
No list would be complete without an appearance from Toto La Momposina, and nor would any list be right without ‘Yo Soy La Cumbia’. An ode to Colombia, if you play this one you’ll have your Colombian dreamboat wrapped around your little finger. As a bonus for you, it’s a really good song. Everyone’s a winner.
2. Carlos Vives – La Cartera
Absolutely essential. Carlos Vives is the stuff of legend in Colombia. Taking influence from all kinds of traditional Colombian music, he embodies what Colombian pop should sound like. Another one that might get your valentina up on their feet in order for a dance, but hey, you’re in Colombia, did you expect anything different?! Time to bring out the Aguadiente.
1. Diomedes Diaz – Oye Bonita
We’re not suggesting you get them drunk as a tactic, but if you do happen to sip too many Aguardientes or drink that second bottle of wine, this song is where you go. Heed my advice. There’s nothing a tipsy Colombian loves more than vallenato, and this song is perfect to maintain the romantic mood. This, my friend, is your pièce de résistance.
All else fails, of course, just crank up the reggaeton and you’re on to a winner.