Vivir Mi Vida: meaning and origin of Marc Anthony's jubilant salsa
Marc Anthony's 3.0 CD cover
Vivir Mi Vida is a life-asserting track by the American singer-songwriter Marc Anthony released on his 2013 album 3.0, heralding the artist's return to the salsa genre. The following year, the album won the Best Salsa Album at the Latin Grammy Awards, further cementing Marc Anthony's reputation as a top-selling tropical salsa artist of all time.
Both the lyrics and harmonic progression of Vivir Mi Vida derive from the famous song C'est la vie written by Khaled—the Algerian leading musician in the folk genre raï. Khaled's original track is composed of mixed lyrics in Algerian Darja Arabic and French that Marc Anthony has expertly adapted into Spanish.
The lyrics of Vivir Mi Vida (literally meaning "live my life") are filled with calls to dance, sing, and rejoice as well as beautiful poetic metaphors conveying the well-known spiritual concept of "living in the present moment" without worrying about anything.
Watch Vivir Mi Vida by Marc Anthony:
Compositionally, Vivir Mi Vida clearly follows the canons of tonal theory, namely the Aeolian mode also known as the natural minor. In the harmonic analysis of the song's chord chains, the scale degrees (denoted with Roman numerals) show the following progression in the key of C minor: Cm–A♭–E♭–B♭ or i–VI–III–VII.
Note that the Cm tonic triad is the only minor chord in this progression, and the rest of the chords belong to the relative Ionian mode which forms the overall major mood of the song. Curiously, Khaled's original track C'est la vie is accompanied by the same chord progression.
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