Latinos have a special way of loving. And no—I'm not trading in that tired 'Latin lover' stereotype. I mean culturally we have a way of giving ourselves over to our loves that's romantic, vulnerable and complete. It makes our passions run deep and our break ups all the more epic.
Nothing reflects this better than our love songs. They're indulgent, poetic and intense. Whether Valentines Day makes you want to cry tears of joy or sadness, one of these gems will get you there.
Marc Anthony and La India: "Vivir lo nuestro"
This duet, sung by two Puerto Rican power houses, cannot only be belted but also danced, making it in our opinion the perfect love song.
Defiant, soaring and rhythmic, its 'you and me against the world' lyrics make you believe anything is possible as long as you do it with your lover. Definitely a honeymoon phase song, but one that will always remind you of what makes love so delicious.
Juan Gabriel: Querida
The great Chavela Vargas once said that solitude is the only thing everybody experiences, but in order to experience it they must be alone to do it. In "Querida," Juan Gabriel starts quietly lamenting his love's absence and builds on his despair until he's pleading for her to return.
This supplication was the drunk text before we texted, the phone message we know will go unanswered, the email that will never be replied to. But it's also the last stage of heartbreak and the song that promised that the sun will once again rise on your heart.
Luis Miguel: La Media Vuelta
Luis Miguel may have been a musical child prodigy, but it wasn't until he threw himself into the world of ROMANCES, his amazing album, that he became a legend. His deep love of stunning Mexican boleros — paired with his bad lover boy confidence — makes us believe him when he says 'Go, see if you find better, if you do, I'll head out. But until then, you are mine.'
I think you'd be hard pressed to find a woman that wouldn't happily say 'Not looking for anything better, stay put, sweet meat.'
Beny More: Como Fue
This is an oldie but a definite goodie. The tenderness of this ballad captures the mystery of falling in love. It connects the invisible dots creating a map to the unknowable ways of the heart. Beny's genius interpretation of the lyrics though are what make this ballad float. Sung as remembrance and celebration, the sweetest of observations are made in the anticipatory exhale of an intimate kiss. You know, the kind that lingers.
Alejandro Sanz: Corazón Partido
I don't know who broke Alejandro Sanz's heart — but she's an idiot. In this Spanish rock ballad, Sanz asks all the rhetorical questions we feel when our heart has been shattered and we're faced with the reality of the end of a relationship.
Who's going to fill me with illusions? Who will bring me spring days in January? Who will bring down the moon so we can play with it?
The answer? Me, Alejandro. All of those things, I will do them all and I will never break your heart. Call me…
Wherever you're at this Valentine's Day, take it for what it is. Whether it's wonderful or awful, remember this: It's all temporary, which ultimately makes it divine. Happy Valentine's Day!