15 Best Cinco De Mayo Songs

Mexico and the United States celebrate Cinco de Mayo every year. But this celebration isn’t complete without Cinco de Mayo songs. So, what are the best Cinco de Mayo songs that you need in your playlist?

The 15 best Cinco de Mayo songs are the following:

  1. Suavemente by Elvis Crespo
  2. Tu Sonrisa by Elvis Crespo
  3. La Vida Es Un Carnaval by Celia Cruz
  4. Quimbara by Celia Cruz
  5. Guantanamera by Celia Cruz
  6. Oye Como Va by Tito Puente
  7. Danza Kuduro by Don Omar
  8. Bailando by Enrique Iglesias
  9. Vivir Mi Vida by Marc Anthony
  10. Gasolina by Daddy Yankee
  11. Despacito by Luis Fonsi
  12. Como La Flor by Selena
  13. Obsesion by Aventura
  14. El Rey by Vicente Fernandez
  15. Tragos Armagos by Ramon Ayala

Read on to learn more about these famous Cinco de Mayo songs.

Best Cinco De Mayo Songs

cinco de mayo songs

Traditional Cinco de Mayo songs form part of various music genres such as salsa, merengue, mariachi, and Latin. These music styles range from strolling stringed instruments of mariachi bands to the fast, upbeat music that people love to dance to.

Let’s talk about each of these fun songs played during Cinco de Mayo celebrations:

1. Suavemente by Elvis Crespo

Suavemente is a single that forms part of the Suavemente album of Puerto Rican musician Elvis Crespo. The single debuted on the Hot Latin Tracks in April 1998 at number 15. Then, it jumped to number 6 a few weeks later. The following month, the single impressively became number 1 wherein it stayed there at the top for over a month.

The song is wonderfully seductive, upbeat, positive and is one of the best Cinco De Mayo songs. It was so popular that the German group Scooter made a cover in 2005.

2. Tu Sonrisa by Elvis Crespo

Another song from Elvis Crespo, Tu Sonrisa, also forms part of the album Suavemente. Several radio stations across the United States in July 1998 released this song. Eventually, Tu Sonrisa debuted at number 21 on the Hot Latin Tracks chart. During this time, Crespo’s Suavemente was at number 5.

A week after its debut, Tu Sonrisa jumped to number 10. It then jumped to number 5 in its third week on the Hot Latin Tracks chart then peaked at number 1 in the sixth week. On the Tropical / Salsa Songs chart, the song peaked at number one too.

3. La Vida Es Un Carnaval by Celia Cruz

Next on our list of the best Cinco De Mayo songs is La Vida Es Un Carnaval by Celia Cruz. La Vida es Un Carnaval, which means “life is a carnival,” is a song written by Victor Daniel. Then, Cuban musician, Celia Cruz, performed it. It forms part of Mi Vida Es Cantar, an album released by Cruz in 1998.

This song is one of the many popular songs of Cruz. But La Vida Es Un Carnaval is one of her best releases as it won the Tropical Song of the Year award during the 2003 Lo Nuestro Awards ceremony.

Films like Antwone Fisher and Amores Perros featured La Vida Es Un Carnaval in 2002 and 2000, respectively.

4. Quimbara by Celia Cruz

Another song from Celia Cruz, Quimbara is also a great song to play during Cinco De Mayo celebrations. This is a duet with Dominican performer Johnny Pacheco which forms part of their album Celia & Johnny, released in 1974.

In 2013, it was number 15 in the U.S. Tropical Digital Songs chart. Whereas, in 2010. It was at number 25 in the same Billboard chart.

During the 2013 American Music Awards, Hollywood performer Jennifer Lopez performed this song as tribute to Cruz.

5. Guantanamera by Celia Cruz

best cinco de mayo songs

When people hear the name of Celia Cruz, the song Guantanamera commonly comes to mind. However, Cruz was not the original performer of this song. In fact, Guantanamera was first popularized by Cuban singer and songwriter Joseito Fernandez in 1928. Several performers have covered this song and Cruz was one of them.

6. Oye Como Va by Tito Puente

Probably most Americans, if not all, are familiar with this song by Tito Puente in 1962. The first time it achieved worldwide popularity was in 1970 when it was covered by the Mexican-American rock group Santana. It formed part of Santana’s album Abraxas.

Oye Como Va is such a popular song up until now. For that it has been inducted into the Latin Grammy Hall of Fame in 2001 as well as in the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2002. Impressively, this song has been a symbol of transnationality, hybridity, and interconnectedness of Latin music in the United States.

7. Danza Kuduro by Don Omar

Another highly recommended Cinco De Mayo song is Danza Kuduro by Don Omar. Danza Kuduro forms part of the album Meet the Orphans released by Puerto Rican reggaeton singer Don Omar wherein it featured Portuguese-French reggaeton Lucenzo. It is also the lead single of the album Machete VI, released in August 2010.

It was once the number one song on the Hot Latin Songs chart. In 2011, the film Fast Five featured the remake of this song.

8. Bailando by Enrique Iglesias

Spanish singer and songwriter Enrique Iglesias performed Bailando. It forms part of his tenth solo album called Sex and Love released in 2014. On the Billboard Hot Latin Songs chart, Bailando stayed at number one for an impressive 41 weeks.

Bailando has a great rhythm. It is a great party song and, at the same time, there is something sensual to it. It is one of the best Cinco De Mayo songs you can play.

9. Vivir Mi Vida by Marc Anthony

Vivir Mi Vida is a song performed by Marc Anthony which forms part of his eleventh album called 3.0, released in July 2013. This song is a Spanish cover of the Khaled song titled C’est la vie that was released in April 2013.

This song is just one of the popular songs in the 3.0 album. After its release, the album became so popular that it won the Best Salsa Album award during the 2014 Latin Grammy Awards. It was also nominated for Album of the Year award.

10. Gasolina by Daddy Yankee

Gasolina is one fun song performed by Puerto Rican singer, rapper, and songwriter Daddy Yankee. He wrote this song with Puerto Rican rapper Eddie Avila for Daddy Yankee’s album called Barrio Fino, released in 2004.

This song became a hit in 2005 and even climbed to number 10 in the Billboard charts. Gasolina is the very first reggaeton music to be nominated for the Record of the Year award of the Latin Grammy Awards.

In 2015, Gasolina impressively climbed to number 9 in the 50 Greatest Latin Songs of All Time category of the Billboard charts. It also formed part of the 12 Best Dancehall & Reggaeton Choruses of the 21st Century category of the Billboard charts, in which it peaked at number 8.

11. Despacito by Luis Fonsi

traditional cinco de mayo songs

Despacito is a song performed by Puerto Rican singer Luis Fonsi. This song features Puerto Rican rapper Daddy Yankee and forms part of the studio album Vida, released in 2019.

The single was initially released in January 2017. In April 2017, a remix version was released featuring Canadian singer Justin Bieber. This version greatly helped improve the song’s chart performance in the United States and across the globe. Despacito is one of the best Cinco De Mayo songs, and everyone will sing along to it.

12. Como La Flor by Selena

Como La Flor means “like a flower.” This is the title of one of the most popular songs performed by the late American singer Selena. It forms part of her third studio album titled Entre a Mi Mundo, released in 1992. This song was remixed by the Selena y Los Dinos band in 1995 as part of the album titled Dreaming of You.

Its popularity led to its inclusion to the Hot Latin Tracks category of the Billboard charts which peaked at number 6. On the Regional Mexican Songs category of the Billboard charts, it peaked at number 9 in 1992.

13. Obsesion by Aventura

Obsesion is a popular song performed by the Dominican-American bachata band known as the Aventura. Their lead female vocalist is Judy Santos. It formed part of their album titled We Broke the Rules, released in 2002.

This song stayed at the number one spot on the French Singles Chart for an impressive seven weeks in 2014. It sold almost 600,000 units in France and was recognized as the 19th best-selling single of the 21st century in France.

Obsesion was written by Romeo Santos. It talks about a man’s affection over a woman to the point of obsession. But, as the song points out, the emotion is not at all love but a mere obsession.

14. El Rey by Vicente Fernandez

Another one of the best Cinco De Mayo songs is El Rey by Vicente Fernandez. The song El Rey was originally performed by Mexican singer and songwriter Jose Alfredo Jimenez. It has been recorded by several artists, one of which was Mexican performer Vicente Fernandez. The version released by Fernandez was one of the most popular one, if not the most popular of all.

El Rey was a very popular song that it rightly deserved to receive the Latin Grammy Hall of Fame Award. On the Record World chart, El Rey peaked as the number 1 song in Mexico in 1974.

15. Tragos Armagos by Ramon Ayala

Tragos Armagos is a song performed by Mexican singer and songwriter Ramon Ayala. There is no Cinco de Mayo celebration that does not play this song. This is such a classic song that people of the older generation do not only love to listen to. But they also love to sing along with it too over bottles of beer.

Released by Martzcom Music LLC and Freddie Records, it is one Cinco de Mayo song that nevers goes out of style.

Best Traditional Cinco De Mayo Songs

So, what are the best Cinco de Mayo songs? The 15 best Cinco de Mayo songs include the following:

  1. Suavemente by Elvis Crespo
  2. Tu Sonrisa by Elvis Crespo
  3. La Vida Es Un Carnaval by Celia Cruz
  4. Quimbara by Celia Cruz
  5. Guantanamera by Celia Cruz
  6. Oye Como Va by Tito Puente
  7. Danza Kuduro by Don Omar
  8. Bailando by Enrique Iglesias
  9. Vivir Mi Vida by Marc Anthony
  10. Gasolina by Daddy Yankee
  11. Despacito by Luis Fonsi
  12. Como La Flor by Selena
  13. Obsesion by Aventura
  14. El Rey by Vicente Fernandez
  15. Tragos Armagos by Ramon Ayala

If this list of songs is not enough for you, you can include other songs such as Ahora Quien by Marc Anthony, Las Mananitas by Vicente Fernandez, Propuesta Indecente by Romeo Santos, Bidi Bidi Bom Bom by Selena, and Amor Prohibido by Selena.

Traditional Cinco de Mayo music features various music genres which include salsa, merengue, mariachi, and Latin. Such music styles include strolling stringed instruments of mariachi bands and fast, upbeat music that people enjoy dancing to.

Mexican songs and dances play a large role in the celebration of Cinco de Mayo. Indeed, Cinco de Mayo is an excellent way to celebrate Mexican culture. It helps Mexican and Americans, especially the young ones, be familiar with their Mexican cultural background.

Although Cinco de Mayo is celebrated only in the United States and Mexico, it is a celebration known worldwide. In fact, even other countries enjoy watching Cinco de Mayo celebrations featured in the news and in social media. Indeed, Cinco de Mayo celebrations, specifically the playing of Cinco de Mayo songs, promote positivity all over the world.