Cielito Lindo is a popular Mexican song derived from a 19th century Spanish folk song. It is roughly translated as “Pretty Little Sweetie,” but most English music titles use “Beautiful Heaven.” Although the word cielo means “sky” or “heaven”, it is also used as a term of endearment similar to the American sweetheart or honey. Cielito, the diminutive, would then be translated as “sweetie”; lindo means “cute” or “pretty”.
Commonly played by mariachi bands, the song is often named the “Ay, Ay, Ay, Ay song” after the famous chorus.
It has become a unofficial symbol of Mexico, especially in Mexican expatriate communities around the world or for Mexicans attending international events such as the Olympic Games or the FIFA World Cup.
This arrangement moves around enough that it is on the early side of intermediate (but not early intermediate). It is a traditional choice for Cinco de Mayo festivals or any other time when you need to evoke a Mexican atmosphere.
Key: C Major
Mood: happy, festive
Pedagogy: fingering, staccato, parallel sixths, 1st and 2nd endings