Lyrics and music by Joan Manuel Serrat
Translation by Coby Lubliner

Mis amigos son unos atorrantes,
se exhiben sin pudor, beben a morro,
se pasan las consignas por el forro,
y se mofan de cuestiones importantes.

Mis amigos son unos sinvergüenzas,
que palpan a las damas el trasero,
hacen en los lavabos agujeros,
y les echan a patadas de las fiestas.

Mis amigos son unos desahogados,
que orinan en mitad de la vereda,
contestan sin que nadie les pregunte,
y juegan a los chinos sin moneda.

Mi santa madre me lo decía:
Cuídate mucho, Juanito, de las malas compañías.
Por eso es que a mis amigos
los mido con vara rasa.
Los tengo muy escogidos,
son lo mejor de cada casa.

Mis amigos son unos malhechores,
convictos de atrapar sueños al vuelo,
que aplauden cuando el sol se trepa al cielo
y me abren su corazón como las flores.

Mis amigos son sueños imprevistos,
que buscan sus piedras filosofales,
rondando por sórdidos arrabales,
donde bajan los dioses sin ser vistos.

Mis amigos son gente cumplidora
que acuden cuando saben que yo espero.
Si les roza la muerte, disimulan,
que pa’ ellos la amistad es lo primero.

My old friends are just lazy good-for-nothings.
They drink straight from the bottle, they’re quite shameless,
They cheat at cards but act as if they’re blameless,
And important matters only get them laughing.

My old friends are incorrigible hearties.
They feel up ladies’ butts as they go sneaking,
They make small holes in toilet doors for peeking,
And they end up all the time kicked out from parties.

My old friends are folks who care about nothing,
Who think that sidewalks are just fine for pissing.
They answer questions that nobody’s asked them,
And they play for money, though their own is missing.

My sainted mother was always saying:
Johnny, be careful, with bad company you should not be playing.
And that’s why I always measure
My friends with the utmost care.
Each one of them is a treasure,
Each one of them unique and rare.

My old friends are delinquent evildoers,
Their crime is that they catch dreams on the fly and
They clap when the sun climbs up to the sky, and
They open up their hearts to me like flowers.

My old friends are like dreams you don’t see coming,
Whose quest for the philosopher’s stone’s unending.
Through seedy parts of town you see them wending,
Where the gods come down unseen when they go slumming.

My old friends are folks that I can rely on,
Who come to me when they know that they’re needed.
If death should brush them, they’ll pretend it’s nothing,
For by nothing is for them friendship exceeded.

Translation © 2004 by Jacob Lubliner

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