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Bachata Lyrics:

Whether you deeply love bachata dance or you are just getting into it, one thing that you will soon start noticing are the bachata lyrics themselves. Bachata lyrics vary drastically in terms of who is singing and how racy or sweet the phrasing is, but with a little bit of information into the background the genre itself, you will find that bachata lyrics have has a sensible evolution that reflects the times. Much as the steps have evolved and mutated depending on where the dance was being performed and by whom, you can see that bachata lyrics are part of a continually growing tradition.

Bachata began in the 1960s in the Dominican Republic, a time of vast political strife and public unease. Originally, bachata was derived from bolero, an older, upper class genre of guitar music, but from these refined beginnings, bachata was quickly transformed into something a lot more accessible and a great deal more bawdy over time. When classifying bachata lyrics, many people believe that it has to involve love to be truly bachata. While this argument goes back and forth, it can easily be seen that the definition of bachata is a broad one, and that the music and lyrics that fall under its umbrella encompass a wide range of topics.

In the early sixties, bachata lyrics were strongly influenced by the romantic bolero tradition. Like bolero, bachata from this time period was played on two guitars, a bass and accompanied by maracas. The bachata lyrics at this time were quite dependent on heavy bolero influence, and many of the songs were even updated versions of popular bolero hits. Sung in formal Spanish, the bachata lyrics of this time were romantic and sweet. One of the main things that distinguishes bolero from bachata is speed and even at this point, despite the clean, romantic lyrics, bachata was quickly turning into its own entity. The speed with which bachata music is played and bachata lyrics are sung differentiates it easily from its predecessor.

By the 1970s, bachata lyrics had acquired a gritty, urban edge to it and came to be known as cabaret bachata. Cabaret bachata lyrics were reflective of the people who sang it, and the subjects turned from wealthy pining girls and their problems to issues like poverty and urban despair. In the Dominican Republic, the phrase cabaret brings to mind the red light district and it is no wonder that so many of the songs from this era reflect on unfaithful lovers and broken hearts.

During the 1980s, bachata had begun is spread through Latin America, and it acquired a more slyly sarcastic feel. The bachata lyrics of this time were rife with innuendo and double entendres and while the lyrics themselves were quite innocent, the way they were sung was definitely not. They were quite sophisticated, a far cry from the innocent bachata lyrics of less than two decades ago, and it could be seen that this genre of music would only keep growing. At this point bachata also reached a more mainstream audience and was reined back in a bit to cater to their new listeners. Elements of jazz and blues were added in some cases and it was here that Juan Luis Guerra, with his breakthrough album Bachata Rosa, would bring bachata to international attention.

From the late 1980s to the 1990s, bachata lyrics were influenced by a wild mix of styles and sounds, leading music fans to dub this era "frontier bachata." Frontier bachata lyrics revolved around a whole new sounds produced by synthesizers and electric guitars and leading the way were Luis Vargas and Anthony Santos, who both were influenced a great deal by the music they heard in the West. This period also reflects a swing back to some of the tender sentiments expressed by early bolero-inspired bachata; the lyrics could be downright romantic while still retaining their urban sensibility.

Today's bachata lyrics are quite different from the original music that was referred to as bachata forty years ago. New York, the capital of bachata in North America saw many influences like R&V, rap and hip hop influence this dance form and some say that there is no unifying themes for the lyrics themselves anymore. With bands like Aventura producing extremely captivating fusions of disparate dance and music sources, it can be seen that the traditional bachata lyrics have evolved and changed a great deal.