Mariposa Traicionera: meaning and flamenco roots of Maná's top hit
Mariposa Traicionera by Maná
Mariposa Traicionera is one of the best-known tracks by Maná, a multi-awarded Mexican quartet whose flexible style organically combines a wide variety of genres including pop-rock, Latin, and reggae. In 2003, the song became their first number-one hit in the US by topping major Latin charts for six months.
The song title can be translated from Spanish as "treacherous butterfly," while deeply poetic lyrics paint an image of the jealousy-induced romantic suffering experienced by a man who fell in love with a cheating woman—a social butterfly always flying between flowers.
The unambiguous and perhaps overly explicit music video for Mariposa Traicionera was filmed at a raunchy nightclub in Buenos Aires and has been censored in most Latin American countries. On this occasion, drummer Alex González later stated, "We pushed the boundaries with that video (...) but we were just showing another reality."
Watch Mariposa Traicionera by Maná:
The chord progressions used in Mariposa Traicionera reveal a simple yet skilful application of the classical theory canons, which largely explains the song's outstanding success. The verses follow the key of F minor and show the chord chain typical of flamenco music: Fm–Eb–Db–Ab. This musical turnaround can be considered a variation of the so-called Andalusian cadence that forms the core of many flamenco styles. In the choruses, the key masterfully switches to F major, thereby creating a powerful contrast and emphasizing the emotional polarity conveyed in the lyrics.
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