When you come from a long line of strong Latinas, it makes it difficult to be vulnerable. The women in my family grew up with a different option to empower themselves. Music was at the center of our lives, bringing joy during happy times and soothing the pain in the tumultuous moments experienced.
Saturdays filled our home with frenetic energy. My mom would wake up early to round the troops for weekend chores. We spent the day working, organizing, cleaning, and getting the house in order. Nightfall seemed to come quickly, and everyone tried to find their own activity.
The females in the house curated the evening’s playlist in preparation for our weekly karaoke sing-along. It was our way of letting off steam, getting over the latest heartbreak and disappointment, or inspiring transformation. The songs were tailored to create an empowering mood during a time women had not quite been liberated of the roles imposed in relationships — one of a martyr.
If you are familiar with Selena, Ana Gabriel, Manoella Torres, La Dama de Hierro – Marisela, India, Amanda Miguel, Rocio Jurado, and the incomparable Rocio Durcal, you understand the vibe and symbolism of the musical era.
The interpreters of the ballads of this time were revolutionaries, Latina divas expressing the emotions of women at home limited by their circumstances. These artists felt every sentiment of their songs, empowering women everywhere to free themselves of the pain of love and the men in their lives.
Don’t be daunted by the Spanish language or intensity of the songs. Get in on the theatrics behind the women’s performance. Check out this playlist, sure to help channel your inner Señora or bring back fond memories of a time with your mother, sisters, or girlfriends when it was encouraged to live heartbreak out loud!
- “Amor Prohibido” Selena
- “Ya Te Olvide” Rocio Durcal
- “Que Te Perdone Tu Señora” Manoella Torres
- “Mi Problema” Marisela
- “Tu Dama de Hierro Marisela
- “El Cigarillo” Ana Gabriel
- “La Maldita Primera” Yuri
- “Se Nos Rompio El Amor” Rocio Jurado
- “Si Una Vez” Selena
- “Ese Hombre” India
The journey women face requires patience, strength, and creative thinking, as we navigate the endless challenges in front of us. Every unique story demands a different set of skills to manage the troubled waters that come up to our shores.
Acquiring the right equilibrium to confront life’s difficulties is never easy, but there are outlets to use when it all becomes too much, such as this playlist.
The songwriters credited with telling the stories of millions of women were ahead of their time. Let’s continue to enjoy the art of ballads that help unchain women from the shackles of toxic love.