This children’s song in Spanish, Barquito de papel, was written by Cuban composer and pianist Enriqueta Almanza in the 1940s. Its bright tune and hope for peace have made it a Cuban classic, and children sing it all over the Spanish-speaking world. The song is about a paper boat, and the wishes of a child to travel, make friends, and live in a world without war.
Singing songs, children learn and use Spanish vocabulary that they would not be able to produce on their own. The grammar in this song is fairly simple, but for many children learning Spanish, this song is the first time they use the words guerra (war) and paz (peace).
There are many versions of this song available. You can listen to a father sing it here: children’s song in Spanish Barquito de papel.
This is another version of the children’s song Barquito de papel.
This song is available on many collections of children’s music. I like the version on José-Luis Orozco’s album Lírica Infantil – Volume 2. That album has lots of other classics too, like the birthday song Las mañanitas, and the lullaby Duérmete mi niño.
You can also download the original version of the song sung by Consuelito Vidal.
This is a word-for-word translation for those who are learning Spanish. It is not a literary translation and I provide it for meaning only.
Barquito de papel, mi amigo fiel, / Little paper boat, my faithful friend,
llevame a navegar por el ancho mar. / carry me away over the wide sea.
Quiero conocer a niños de aquí y allá / I want to meet children from here and there
y a todos llevar mi flor de amistad. / and take them all my flower of friendship.
Abajo la guerra , arriba la paz / Down with war, up with peace.
Los niños queremos reir y cantar. / We children want to laugh and sing