Song 4: Lagrimas Negras

SONG: Lagrimas Negras

ARTIST: Trio Matamoros

YEAR: 1928

Listen to it here:


Lagrimas negras (Black Tears) was written in 1930 by Miguel Matamoros and is categorized as Bolero-son.  Miguel and his group Trio Matamoros recorded the song the following year in 1931, when Miguel was on his way home from Santo Domingo and heard a woman crying.  He initially recorded it as a tango, but the version was seen as the vanguard of a new genre – bolero-son.  The lyrics are typical broken-hearted fare – if you leave me, my true love, I will die.  


Trio Matamoros was a cuban trio of composers and singers who performed extensively around latin America and Europe.  There is not a ton of information on them, but it is noted several times that they are seen as the pioneering artists of the genre known as ‘son’- a type of Latin-African music to come from the eastern Cuban highlands in the 19th century.  Also known as son-Cubano, it is the building blocks of more modern music genres/dancing, including American Rumba and Salsa.


Historical/fun/personal info about the artist. Have we heard/heard of them before? Where did we first hear this song? 


This is the kind of song I expect to hear strolling down the street when I finally make it to Havana.  The original version is fine, but I found myself very fond of the version recorded by Cuban legend Celia Cruz.  It’s a nice song – nor life changing or earth shattering, but a pleasant listen.


 This song grew on me bit by bit with every listen. There have been a trillion covers of this song, and like lots of latin music, I felt like maybe I’d heard it before. But I always think it’s cool how latin singers have this great ability to change the feel of the music with subtle changes in tone and vibrato. I also think it’s interesting how timeless this sounds (aside from recording quality). This is not life altering, but it’s nice. It’s a nice song. 

Average mark out of 10:

Holly: 7/10

Kelly: 7/10

Other notable versions of this song:

Cuban master Celia Cruz’s version:

Listen with us!

Link to 1,001 Songs to Hear Before You Die spotify playlist:

Published by Kelly

What I like: Music, travel, coffee, beer, makeup and photography! My gear: Canon EOS 60D and 18-200mm lens. Where call home: Vancouver, BC, Canada Photography Experience: Very amateurish.

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