A coletilla is a short ending that the singer tags onto a letra.  The singer often repeats it like a little chorus (estribillo). Here's a common one por alegrías:

Una coletilla por alegrías

Que me lo tienes que dar
el tacón de la bota
que para taconear*

You have to give me
the heel of your boot
to make music with my feet

You can hear María la Sabina sing it here:

*Taconear in flamenco means 'to do footwork,' but that translation didn't feel right poetically.

I considered translating it as 'to make noise with my heels,' but that didn't feel right either. I then considered 'stamp my heels,' but heels don't really stamp. Perhaps 'stamp my feet' I thought, or 'stomp my feet,'  but those just gave the impression that the person was angry!


I then tried 'click my heels,' but that just left me thinking of Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz.

Which is why in the end, I chose to go with 'to make music with my feet.'

I'm not in love with that translation, but it felt better than the rest. Translating taconear in a way that flowed with the song was definitely not easy. . . You can leave your thoughts about it and any other comments here.


If you're looking to learn more about flamenco and want to do some reading today, here's a good introduction to flamenco. (It's a bit long, but organized to enable you to scroll through and read the parts that interest you.)

Summer (& Spring) Flamenco Tours

School teachers have been asking me for a summer Flamenco Tour for quite some time, and it's finally happening! For the very first (and possibly only) time, I'm offering a Summer Flamenco Tour in 2016. (There will also be a Spring Flamenco Tour.) Whether you're a beginning or experienced flamenco dancer, whether you’ve been to Spain before or not, if you have a desire to travel AND dance flamenco, the Flamenco Tour may be just the thing for you. Find out more here.

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EDIT: I was cleaning up the blog after having transferred servers, and I discovered that I had published this here long ago.