Canta y No Chilles

rat with serape and guitar

No languages were harmed in the naming of this picture. “Chillar” is to squeak, like an animal. It becomes “no chilles” in exactly the same way that “llorar” becomes “no llores”. Any resemblance to chili peppers is purely coincidental and of no interest to the rat.

Come to think of it, this is another example of the Ah-ha! song. My own experience went like this. Years ago I lived in a college town that had a summer exchange program with a university in Spain. The driver of the bus route that went by the college was a good friend, and my son was at the age when nothing can be more fun than riding a bus around and around. So we spent many Friday evenings on a bus with a lot of Spanish college students. One time a young man at the back of the bus was playing the guitar and singing to himself. Or so I thought, until he reached the end of the first verse and everyone chimed in:

Ay, ay, ay, ay
Canta y no llores!

The song is Mexican. But it traveled back across the Atlantic. If you’ve now got it running through your head, here’s fairly yummy version. Or, if you prefer, a gloriously hokey one.

Neither of these, of course, has any connection to

Ay, ay, ay, ay
Your brother’s in love with a gerbil

. . . or any of the other familial insults that form the refrain to the Limerick Song. But that is neither here nor there.


Postscript: About a year after originally putting up this page, I heard from someone living in Mexico. Turns out that in some areas, the expression “No chilles” really is used, presumably as a euphemism for “chi...” something else. Imagine that.