Feliz Navidad (song)

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"Feliz Navidad"
Single by José Feliciano
from the album Feliz Navidad
Released1970
Recorded1970
GenreLatin pop, holiday
LabelRCA
Writer(s)José Feliciano
Music sample
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"Feliz Navidad"
Single by José Feliciano
from the album Feliz Navidad
Released1970
Recorded1970
GenreLatin pop, holiday
LabelRCA
Writer(s)José Feliciano
Music sample
Sorry, your browser either has JavaScript disabled or does not have any supported player.
You can download the clip or download a player to play the clip in your browser.
For other uses, see Feliz Navidad (disambiguation)

"Feliz Navidad" is a Christmas song written in 1970 by the Puerto Rican singer-songwriter José Feliciano.[1] With its simple Spanish chorus (the traditional Christmas/New Year greeting, "Feliz Navidad, próspero año y felicidad" meaning "Merry Christmas, a prosperous year and happiness") and equally simple English verse "I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas from the bottom of my heart", it has become a classic Christmas pop song in the United States, throughout the Spanish-speaking world and internationally.

Feliciano's version of "Feliz Navidad" (in which he plays both an acoustic guitar and a Puerto Rican cuatro) is one of the most downloaded and aired Christmas songs in the United States and Canada. The addition of the horns as a final touch was the idea of producer Rick Jarrard. It was also recognized by ASCAP as one of the top 25 most played and recorded Christmas songs around the world.[2]

Covers[edit]

The song has been covered numerous times and adapted to various languages and released as remixes. Well-known covers include those by Boney M, Michael Bublé featuring Thalía, Glee Cast, Il Volo featuring Belinda, Clay Walker, Billy T. James and Indonesia female group 7icons.

Parody and controversy

In December 2009 a parody of Feliz Navidad entitled "The Illegal Alien Christmas Song" was created by radio producers Matt Fox and A.J. Rice and posted on the website for Human Events, a Washington-based conservative weekly publication. The parody, sung in English, played on the stereotype of Latino immigrants as heavy drinkers and that undocumented immigrants were going to "spread bubonic plague".

Feliciano released a statement on December 23 on his official website:

"This song has always been a bridge to the cultures that are so dear to me, never as a vehicle for a political platform of racism and hate. It's disgusting and my only wish that my song and I are distanced from the whole affair as soon as possible."[3]

In a statement to the Associated Press the same day, Jed Babbin, Human Events' site editor, apologized for "any offense that Mr. Feliciano may have taken from this parody" and removed it from the site.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jose Feliciano, "Feliz Navidad" Retrieved October 14, 2011
  2. ^ "ASCAP Tallies THE Top 25 Christmas Songs". Retrieved December 21, 2013. 
  3. ^ Jose Feliciano Official Site - OFFICIAL STATEMENT. Josefeliciano.com. Retrieved on 2012-05-12.
  4. ^ "Human Events Removes Racist Song, Apologizes to José Feliciano". Retrieved December 29, 2012.