Songs From My Childhood

Latino Childhood Lullaby

Grandma Sings in Spanish

I remember my grandmother singing the Sana song to me. I had no idea what she was singing about. In fact, I thought it was a “nonsense song.” Until I asked a colleague at work one day.

In my mind, she is a proper Mexican. One who was born in Mexico and speaks Spanish fluently. She said it was a lullaby and translated the song to me. 

As I write this post I realize my grandmother sang this song to the tune of “Ring Around the Rosie.” Is there any wonder I don’t feel like a proper Mexican? Spanish words to an English tune. It’s also interesting this is the only song from my childhood in Spanish.

Subtle Assimilation

My mother’s favorite bedtime song was Oh My Darling Clementine. In the evening she read to me and sang this folk song.  I don’t recall my mother ever singing in Spanish unless it was contemporary music. If she had I probably would have asked her why. 

About the Author

Currently, Judi Bonilla is the Director of Program Innovation at Advocates For Aging. She is the first gerontologist to speak at South by Southwest. Judi has also spoken at the American Society on Aging and Certified Senior Advisors conferences. She also served as a fellow for Hispanics in Philanthropy and Senior Service America. Judi is the author of Freewheeling After Sixty a book for older drivers. In addition, you can find her at

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