Song of the Week: Maná’s ¿Dónde Jugarán Los Niños? combines powerful music with message — Listen and celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

Maná is on the North American leg of their México Lindo Y Querido tour, including dates in the US. Credit: Andy Kellen

By Saul Myhre, Alliance Intern from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities ’21

For me, there lies a mystical power in the Spanish language and Latin music which evokes potent emotion. Maná, the most successful Mexican rock band of all time, selling over 30 million records worldwide according to Genius, infuses this impassioned force with an environmental message in their song ¿Dónde Jugarán Los Niños?. The title translates to “Where Will the Children Play?” and tells the story of an old man who saw the world transform from paradise to peril. Will our children have a place to play if we continue to destroy the planet?

Behind an electric Latin-rock beat featuring high-flying guitar rhythms and masterful drumming from Alex González, the song begins with a child playing “Entre arboles y risas y alcatraces de color (Among trees, laughs and colored Calla lilies).” We then are thrust into the present, “La mar vomita rios de aceite sin cesar (the sea is vomiting rivers of oil incessantly),” a stark contrast from the child playing with a kite under a blue sky. Sustainability fuels art. Art amplifies sustainability messages. Maná exemplifies both sides and makes me cry cada vez.


¿Dónde Jugarán Los Niños?
By Maná

My grandfather says that he used to play as a child
among trees, laughs and coloured Calla lillies
he remembers a transparent river with no odour
teeming with fish which didn’t have any pain
My grandfather speaks of a very blue sky
in which he ran kites made by him
Time went by and the old man died
and today, after so much destruction I wonder
where the hell will those poor children play?
Oh oh oh, where will they play?
The world is decaying, there’s no more room
the earth is about to split it two
The sky has broken, a grey crying has broken out
the sea is vomiting rivers of oil incessantly
and today, after so much destruction I wonder
where the hell will those poor kids play?
oh oh oh, where will they play?
The world is breaking, there’s no more room

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