You will find many expressive tunes in our general collection of sad songs. But sad Spanish music tends to be even more passionate in how it expresses emotion, especially songs about sadness and heartbreak.
So let’s explore some of the most popular, but saddest Spanish songs to help you through a difficult time.
“El Triste” by José José
Song Year: 1970
Released on a 1970 album of the same name, “El Triste” by the Mexican singer José José expresses the longing and sadness of losing someone you love. The title translates into English as “The Sad One,” and José José’s passionate voice stretches into the upper register, adding to the passion of the tune. The track hit the top of the Mexican music charts and is a cultural staple.
“No Te Apartes De Mí” by Vicentico
Song Year: 2012
Vicentico released the track “No Te Apartes De Mí” on a 2012 album Vicentico 5, and the music expresses the sadness and heartbreak of a relationship ending. The duet of a male and female voice complements the theme of an ending relationship, and the gentle guitar accompaniment will put you in a reflective mood.
“Amor Eterno” by Juan Gabriel
Song Year: 1984
From the 1984 album Sing to Juan Gabriel Volume 6, Juan Gabriel’s “Amor Eterno” is a deep song about the depth of true love. The title translates to “Eternal Love,” and it begins with the seriousness of a church-style choir singing a sad chorale. The lyrics reflect the love Gabriel felt for his mother after she passed away.
“Corre” by Jesse & Joy
Song Year: 2011
“Corre” is a pop song by the Mexican pop duo Jesse & Joy, and they released it on their 2011 album ¿Con Quién Se Queda El Perro?. The title translates to “Run” in English, and the lyrics and music are about a woman feeling sad emotions and wishing her partner would run away and leave her. The track also performed well on charts worldwide, and it won Song of the Year at the 2012 Latin Grammy Awards.
“Té Para Tres” by Soda Stereo
Song Year: 1990
Released on the 1990 album Canción Animal, Soda Stereo’s “Té Para Tres” includes yearning cello lines and other string instruments to help express the sadness of the lyrics. The title translates to English as “Tea for Three,” and the lyrics express the narrator’s sadness at realizing that his love has a love interest in another person.
“Mediterráneo” by Joan Manuel Serrat
Song Year: 1971
Joan Manuel Serrat put out the track “Mediterráneo” on his 1971 album of the same name, many consider this song and album a staple of Spanish folk music. The musical accompaniment and faster rhythms can mislead you, but the lyrics express sadness and heartbreak. Many other songs on this album were also successful, and the album is part of the Latin Grammy Hall of Fame.
“Ojalá” by Silvio Rodríguez
Song Year: 1978
From the 1978 album Al final de Este Viaje, Silvio Rodríguez’s track “Ojalá” has a sparse musical accompaniment of simple guitar, which helps support the sad story of the lyrics. With a mix of singing and narrative-style recitation, Rodríguez’s voice expresses the pain of losing love and wishes that he could forget that pain.
“Mi Viejo” by Vicente Fernandez
Song Year: 1990
Vicente Fernandez released the track “Mi Viejo” on the 1990 album Vicente le canta a América Latina, and the song features orchestral accompaniment to help with the expression of sadness and reflection. The title of the tune translates in English to “My Old Man,” and the lyrics reflect on the narrator watching his father grow old and the sad emotions that bring.
“Alfonsina Y El Mar” by Mercedes Sosa
Song Year: 1969
“Alfonsina Y El Mar” by Mercedes Sosa comes from the 1969 album Mujeres Argentinas, and the musical structure is a traditional dance from Argentina called a zamba. The slow tempo and irregular rhythms complement the sad lyrics which express grief about the poet Alfonsina Storni committing suicide.
“Creo En Ti” by Reik
Song Year: 2011
Next is the 2011 track “Creo En Ti” by Reik, which came out on the 2011 album Peligro. The song has a modern sound, with cleanly-produced vocals and expressive string accompaniment. The title translates in English to “I Believe in You,” and the high vocal register and passionate string sounds go along with lyrics about accepting death.
“Otro Día Más Sin Verte” by Jhon Secada
Song Year: 1992
Jhon Secada released the track “Otro Día Más Sin Verte” on his 1992 self-titled debut album. The English version of the song—with the title “Just Another Day”— performed well on multiple charts worldwide, including reaching the number five spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart in the US. You can hear Gloria Estefan sing background vocals in this tune.
“El Reloj Cucú” by Maná
Song Year: 1996
From the 1996 album Cuando Los Ángeles Lloran, Maná’s track “El Reloj Cucú” performed well on Billboard's Hot Latin Tracks chart in the US. The title translates to “The Cuckoo Clock,” and the lyrics are about the narrator mourning the loss of his father. The singing occurs as a duet which adds to the expression of sadness.
“Si Tú No Estás Aquí” by Rosana Arbelo
Song Year: 1996
Rosana Arbelo released the track “Si Tú No Estás Aquí” on her 1996 album Lunas Rotas, and you can also hear a cover of this song by the Mexican duo Sin Bandera. Arbelo’s version is particularly passionate with its solo guitar playing and singing. The title translates to “If You Are Not Here,” and the lyrics express sadness at the narrator imagining losing a loved one.
“Mi Problema” by Ismael Serrano and Natalia Lafourcade
Song Year: 2014
Next is the track “Mi Problema” by Ismael Serrano and Natalia Lafourcade and released on the 2014 album La Llamada. The duo sings this slow and expressive song as a duet, and their voices complement each other perfectly, and it will likely put you into a melancholy and reflective mood. The lyrics seem to express the mixed emotions of a complicated relationship.
“Dile Al Amor” by Aventura
Song Year: 2009
Aventura put out the track “Dile Al Amor” on the 2009 album The Last, and the track reached the number one spot on the Hot Latin Tracks chart. The title translates into English as “Tell to the Love,” and the lyrics center around the narrator giving up on love. The music is upbeat sounding, but the lyrics tell a different story.
“Si No Te Hubieras Ido” by Marco Antonio Solís
Song Year: 1999
Mexican singer Marco Antonio Solís wrote the track “Si No Te Hubieras Ido” in 1983, and many artists recorded it, including the Mexican-American singer Marisela. But this recording is from the 1998 album Trozos de Mi Alma, which led to the track becoming his signature song.
Besides reaching number four on Billboard’s Hot Latin Tracks, the movie Y Tu Mamá También also featured the tune.
“Tantas Veces” by Andrés Calamaro
Song Year: 2013
Next is Andrés Calamaro’s track “Tantas Veces,” released on the 2013 album Bohemio. The music is mid-tempo and includes upbeat percussion riffs, but it is Calamaro’s deep vocal sounds that communicate the sad emotions of the song. The title translates to “Many Times,” and the lyrics center around the narrator asking for forgiveness from his love.
“Mi Historia Entre Tus Dedos” by Gianluca Grignani
Song Year: 1995
From the 1995 album Destinazione Paradiso, Gianluca Grignani’s track “Mi Historia Entre Tus Dedos” expresses the sadness of a narrator wondering why someone is not loving him back. The music is mid-tempo and the instrumentation is not sad, but Grignani sings with deference as he expresses the sad lyrics about not understanding why love failed him.
“Mil Pedazos” by Cristina Y Los Subterraneos
Song Year: 1992
Cristina Y Los Subterraneos released the track “Mil Pedazos” in 1992, and the lyrics tell a story about a narrator who had their heart broken by a lover who unexpectedly revealed that they no longer loved the narrator. The mid-tempo music supports Cristina’s breathy and floating voice, and subtle guitar riffs gently complement the overall sad atmosphere of this tune.
“Imagíname Sin Ti” by Luis Fonsi
Song Year: 2000
Lui Fonsi released the track “Imagíname Sin Ti” on the 2000 album Eterno, and his expressive voice showcases soft/subtle singing as well as powerful loud vocals during the choruses. The background music is heavily produced with orchestral sounds, helping to express the sad lyrics about the narrator not being able to go on without his lover.
“Eterna Soledad” by Enanitos Verdes
Song Year: 1996
Released on the 1996 album Guerra Gaucha, the track “Eterna Soledad” by Enanitos Verdes is an Argentinian rock song that has passionate singing interspersed with softer reflective moments. The title translates to “Eternal Loneliness,” and as you can expect, the lyrics are about feeling sad and lonely, with intense and driving music supporting that emotion.
“Nadie es Eterno” by Antonio Aguilar
Song Year: 1993
Antonio Aguilar released the track “Nadie es Eterno” on the 1993 album Con Tambora, Vol. 6. The song takes on the sound of a traditional Mexican tune, with steady guitar accompaniment and vibrato-heavy trumpet playing. There are also strings in the background that help express the sad emotions of the song.
The lyrics reflect life and death and how nobody can live forever. The title translates to English as “Nobody Is Eternal.”
“Por Tu Maldito Amor” by Vicente Fernandez
Song Year: 1989
Next is another song by Vicente Fernandez, this time his painfully beautiful track “Por Tu Maldito Amor,” which translates into English as “By Your Damn Love.” The slow musical accompaniment includes guitar and orchestral strings, with interluding counter melodies of sad trumpet playing and heavy vibrato that add to the sadness.
The lyrics center around a woman who has broken the narrator’s heart and the complicated emotions he feels as he navigates this sad situation.
“Deja Vu” by Prince Royce and Shakira
Song Year: 2017
This track, “Deja Vu” by Prince Royce and Shakira, is a much more popular tune that likely needs less of an introduction for many folks. Released in 2017 on two separate albums, Five and El Dorado, this track has upbeat musical accompaniment and features a duet between Royce and Shakira. The lyrics are about falling into similar patterns of love and pain.
And in terms of success, the song performed well on many charts, including number four on Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs chart. The track also won Song of the Year at the Latin American Music Awards.
“El Perdedor” by Enrique Iglesias featuring Marco Antonio Solís
Song Year: 2013
Released as the second single from his 2013 album Sex and Love, “El Perdedor” by Enrique Iglesias is a passionate and reflective song that translates to English as “The Loser.” Featuring singing by Marco Antonio Solís, the lyrics tell a story about reflecting on past love affairs and the sad emotions that come to mind.
You might also recognize this tune as the opening theme to the telenovela Lo Que La Vida Me Robó in Mexico.
“Fuiste Tú” by Ricardo Arjona and Gaby Moreno
Song Year: 2012
Translated to English as “It Was You,” the track “Fuiste Tú” by Ricardo Arjona first appeared as a single from the 2012 album Independiente. The song has a slow tempo and background string playing to create a reflective mood. The vocal contributions by Gaby Moreno add to the passion of the tune, and the lyrics center around the painful emotions of a relationship coming to an end.
The track reached the top ten of Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs chart in America.
“Suelta Mi Mano” by Sin Bandera
Song Year: 2005
Released in 2005 on the album Mañana, “Suelta Mi Mano” by Sin Bandera blends genres of Latin pop and Tropipop into a passionate expression of letting someone go at the end of a relationship—the title means “Let Go of My Hand.” Bandera sings the vocals with harmony during the choruses, which help express the relationship difficulties and emotions.
Key changes towards the end of the tunemake the song even more emotional.
“Cruz de Madera” by Michael Salgado
Song Year: 1994
Next is “Cruz de Madera” by Michael Salgado, a song from the 1994 album of the same name. The opening bandonian playing and upbeat rhythms give this track the appearance of a happy tune, but the title translates to English as “The Wooden Cross,” and the lyrics are about the narrator planning their death and not wishing for anything too expensive or extravagant.
The message communicates the deep idea that death can be sad, but it can also be a celebration. The narrator wishes for a serenade when they die.
“Las Golondrinas” by Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán
Song Year: 1959
Next is “Las Golondrinas” by Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán, a tune that goes back many decades to the 1959 album El Mejor Mariachi del Mundo, Vol. II. You will immediately recognize the older sound and vocal technique, especially the heavy vibrato that expresses sad emotions beautifully.
The lyrics leave much to the imagination, but the overall theme centers around expressing sad emotions and the bittersweet feeling of reflecting on the past.
“Necesito Decirte” by Conjunto Primavera
Song Year: 1998
Conjunto Primavera released the track “Necesito Decirte” on the 1998 album Necesito Decirte, and this Mexican song is yet another passionate expression of lost love and the feeling that the narrator needs to communicate this pain to his former lover. The title translates to English as “I Need To Tell You,” and the mid-tempo takes the form of a sad ballad.
The lyrics center around expressing the feeling that the narrator cannot continue life without his love, and that even the smallest chance that she will return is worth holding onto.
“Dios Nunca Muere” written by Macedonio Alcalá
Song Year: 1868
This next track goes back to the 19th century and also changes the genre to Mexican classical music. Mexican composer and violinist Macedonio Alcalá wrote the song “Dios Nunca Muere” in 1868, and you can hear recent recordings by singers such as Pedro Infante and Javier Solís.
The music takes the form of a Mexican waltz, and the title translates to English as “God Never Dies.” The lyrics, added by Vicente Garrido Calderón in 1955, reflect on deep themes about life and death.
“Te Vas Angel Mio” by Cornelio Reyna
Song Year: 1995
Next is “Te Vas Angel Mio” by Cornelio Reyna, a charming song that uses sparse musical accompaniment of guitar and bandoneon. Released in 1995 15 Exitos, the simple musical texture and plain singing in harmony communicate emotions of losing love and making the decision to move on.
The title translates to English as “You're Leaving My Angel,” and the lyrics have competing emotions of yearning for past love while also moving on with life.
“Tragos Amargos” by Ramón Ayala Y Sus Bravos Del Norte
Song Year: 1980
Released in 1980 on an album by the same name, “Tragos Amargos” by Ramón Ayala and Sus Bravos Del Norte is yet another expression of pain and sadness over the narrator being left by someone he loved dearly. The title refers to a type of bitter liquor, which is serving as the narrator’s medicine while he waits and hopes that his lover will return.
The passionate singing and harmonies help to express the unbearable pain expressed in the lyrics.
“Cuando Un Amigo Se Va” by Alberto Cortez
Song Year: 1969
Alberto Cortez released the track “Cuando Un Amigo Se Va” on the 1969 album El compositor… el Cantante…, and the recording quality and singing style reflect that decade perfectly. Cortez sings with a mix of emotions, ranging from reflective sadness to passionate loud singing that borders on screaming out in anger.
The lyrics are about the pain of losing a friend and how you can never fill that hole, no matter how many new friends you might make.
“Vuelve” by Ricky Martin
Song Year: 1998
Franco De Vita wrote the track “Vuelve,” and Ricky Martin released it on his 1998 album by the same name. Musically, this song blends multiple styles, including gospel, rock, and Latin pop, and the structure of the tune takes on the form of a power ballad. Martin mixes softer reflective singing with passionate declarations of love, all of which sound particularly beautiful in Spanish.
Popular Sad Spanish Songs, Final Thoughts
So those were the best sad Spanish songs. As you can tell, the Spanish language has a unique way of expressing sadness and grief in music, and many of these songs will help you feel and understand your difficult emotions more deeply and healthily. And if you have an inkling for more Spanish music, check out this collection of the best Spanish songs ever, many of which are upbeat and fun!