Feliz Navidad is one of the most festive, joyful songs that has become a Christmas Holiday classic around the world. Christmas won’t be complete without hearing “Feliz Navidad” emanating from homes and cars, or, better still, from a live performance with a mariachi band.
What to know more about the song? Dive in as we unpack.
How the Inspiration Came
Feciliano wanted to write a song that will create a bond with all people with its positive message and bilingual lyrics.
A producer urged him to write a Christmas song as part of his holiday album. Feliciano said he recorded the song while he was homesick during Christmas, missing his nuclear family in New York City as he sat in a studio in Los Angeles. Memories of eating traditional Puerto Rican foods, drinking rum, caroling, and celebrating Christmas with his brothers.
The Christmas scene made him feel lonely. He started humming some notes. Within minutes, he came up with Feliz Navidad. He sang, played the guitar and cuatro (a traditional 10-stringed instrument).
What do the lyrics of Feliz Navidad mean?
It is a simple song with nineteen words in total, both English and Spanish combined. It goes for about three minutes. Though simplistic it still maintains its charm. It’s an iconic song just like happy birthday, which everyone can sing. Just six words are in Spanish, the remaining thirteen words are in English.
A song like this
Feliz Navidad x3
Prospero ano y Felicidad
Feliz Navida x3
Prospero ano Felicidad
I wanna wish you a merry Christmas x3
They take it again from the top.
The Spanish part ‘Feliz Navida, Prospero ano y Felicidad’’ means merry Christmas, prosperous year, and happiness.
‘Feliz Navidad’s’ popularity
Feliz Navidad is one of the most-played Christmas songs in the world. The song is among Feliciano’s self-titled holiday albums in 1970, which he renamed to Feliz Navidad.
The song was not a hit at that moment, but people got used to it. Then after a year, it caught a big hit. After then, the song was listed on the Billboard Hot 100 for the year many times. It was also used in movies like The Grinch and Tv shows like All in the family and Glee. Feliz Navidad became a favorite holiday song for listeners around the world. Feliciano and mariachis have performed the song in nearly 90 countries.
7 versions of ‘Feliz Navidad’ you never knew existed
People love Jose Feliciano’s music but ‘tis the season when the incessant strains of this song can drive you mad. The song is three minutes long, but I wouldn’t know: I only listen for as long as it takes to reach the end.
And I get plenty of chances every year to listen to “Feliz Navidad” which makes Billboard magazine’s top 10 list of most-played holiday songs. And that’s been going on since 1970. Dozens of other music artists have recorded the song. Here is a listener guide to Feliz Navidad:
- Los Straitjackets: This luchador mask-wearing mariachi band goes instrumental with twangy guitars instead of vocals.
- Jon Secada sang his cover, removing Feliz from the song.
- Celine Dion: we haven’t always been neighborly.
- Michael Buble does a duet with Mexican singer Thalia Ack.
- The Wiggles: it goes for the Australian children’s band.
- It Dies Today: another band that did a cover no one heard.
- Los Huracanes del Norte turned the song into a fine cumbia, which was the best of the bunch.
The problem is you will never hear any of these versions in stores or radio stations. Whatever the reason may be, Feliciano’s original copy is the only thing you will hear.
Things you don’t know about the songwriter
Feliciano was born in 1945 in Lares, Puerto Rico. He was born blind and remains so. His family migrated to Spanish Harlem when he was five-year-old. His love for music began in New York and he crafted his skill on the guitar.
Feliciano was born in 1945 in Lares, Puerto Rico, and has been blind since birth. He was five when he and his family migrated to Spanish Harlem, and it was in New York City that he developed his love for music and crafted his skills on the guitar.
Feliciano became exceptionally, and internationally sensational in the 1960s, especially in Latin America. He recorded some covers like The Mamas & the Papas, California Dreamin, and Benito de Jesus, La Copa Rota, and added his sound of blues, folk, soul, and Latin. He has performed for different crowds all over the world. Won multiple Grammy awards and recorded over 60 albums.
Chart performance of Feliz Navidad
The ‘Feliz Navidad’ 1970 recording, which he used for both the acoustic guitar and a Puerto Rican cuatro. The song is one of the most downloaded and aired Christmas songs in Canada and the United States.
Sales of Feliz Navidad on November 25, 2016, reached 808,000 digital track downloads, and according to Nielsen SoundScan, it’s placed as number eight for all-time best-selling Christmas digital singles in SoundScan history. It also ranked in the top 25 most played and recorded Christmas songs in the world by ASCAP.
The first original version of the Feliz Navidad did not enter any of the US Billboard music charts until after two and a half decades when it was produced. It first reached the Adult Contemporary chart, on January 3, 1998, ranking 8. Ranking no. 70 the following week on the Radio songs chart. The song re-entered the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart at a new peak of no. 12 2 years later.
What better way to enjoy this season than listening to a mariachi play Feliz Navidad for your Christmas holiday parties?
Feliz Navidad with mariachi will make this Christmas an unforgettable experience. Get the best mariachi band in Arizona for your Christmas parties. We’ll be happy to play Feliz Navidad for you and your guests.