</noinclude> "Si Una Vez" ("If Once") is a song by American singer Selena, released as the fifth single from her album Amor Prohibido (1994). It was written and produced by Pete Astudillo, A.B. Quintanilla III and Bebu Silvetti. The song had first been intended for Astudillo's debut album, but was later given to Selena to record, and released in the United States for Tejano and rhythmic contemporary stations. With progressive cumbia (Colombian music) and experimental music that incorporates both Mariachi and Ranchera's, the single quickly climbed to number four on Billboard's Latin Regional Mexican Airplay chart.

According to Billboard, "Si Una Vez" is one of Selena's signature songs. It won the BMI Pop Music Award in 1994 for "Song of The Year", and became the second song, after "No Me Queda Más", to be written out-of-emotions from Selena's band Los Dinos. Selena promoted "Si Una Vez" during her Amor Prohibido Tour, performing it at every venue. It was given mostly positive reviews. The song has been covered by many artists, with the most notable example being by Manny Manuel, whose version peaked at number-one on the US Latin Tropical Airplay on Billboard.

Writing and inspiration Edit

"Si Una Vez" was first written by Pete Astudillo, who was dumped by his girlfriend. Astudillo, out of emotions, began writing down his feelings towards the break-up.[1] The following day, Astudillo began rearranging the letter he had written and instantly was inspired to re-write it into a song, with the help of A.B. Quintanilla, Selena's brother and producer.[1] While the song was written from a man's point-of-view and was initially written for Astudillo's debut album, Quintanilla convinced Astudillo to allow Selena to record the song for her album.[1] Quintanilla III said in an interview that he really liked the song because of its message and different styles of music, which helped the song "fit in" for Selena's album.[2] He also felt that the song would help Amor Prohibido to become a well-known album, for its choice of progressive cumbias.[2] The song was then produced by Bebu Silvetti and remixed by Brain "Red" Moore at Q-Productions in Corpus Christi, Texas.

The song was the second "out of emotions" song from Selena's band Los Dinos, after, "No Me Queda Más" (Template:Lang-en), which was written by Ricky Vela. The song was based on how Vela fell in love with Selena's sister, Suzette Quintanilla, though found out she had a husband.[1][2]

Composition Edit

A.B. Quintanilla III, while being interviewed for Selena's collection: 20 Years of Music, stated that "Si Una Vez" was an experimental music and helped boost "Amor Prohibido" as a progressive cumbia album, with its Mariachi Cumbia rhythms.[2] Ricky Vela, who also was interviewed, revealed that the band wanted to performed with the Guitarrón guitar, instead of the traditional guitars that they had used for the other songs in the album.[2] Vela also confessed of using a Mariachi trumpet, with a moderate Cumbia-beat, while stating that "Si Una Vez" was one of his favorite songs on the album.[2]

The song starts off with the pitch of La Dièse, which is the eleventh semitone of the solfege, and progress to a B-flat, the eleventh semitone of the Western chromatic scale, before changing back to the pitch of La Dièse. Music notations, Dm, which is a minor chord on D, transfers to Gm. Selena's Mariachi-yells has a basic sequence of C♯-F-B flat in its chord progression. "Si Una Vez" ends with dominant seventh chord simultaneously with minor chord, Dm. Selena's vocal spans two octaves. "Si Una Vez" was composed in a moderate beat tempo with 87 beats per minute.[3]

Background and lyric content Edit

"Si Una Vez", one of the first songs composed for Selena's fifth studio album Amor Prohibido (1994), it incorporates Mariachi and Ranchera music. Selena promoted the song during her Amor Prohibido Tour, she included the song in every venue. The first performance of the song was during Selena's half-hour spot on the Johnny Canales Show in mid-1994. Her final performance was on March 14, 1995 during the Calle Ocho Festival in Miami, Florida, which attracted over 100,000 fans.[4] During the February 26, 1995 Houston Astrodome concert, Selena danced with her hands to the solo melody notes of "Si Una Vez", which became one of her signature dance moves.[5] The concert had became Selena's final televised concert. In 1997, Jennifer Lopez played the role as "Selena" in the biopic film Selena.[6] Lopez mimic Selena's dance moves and hand gestures, during the near-end of the film. The single was released several days before the murder of Selena, which jeopardize any further development of a music video.[1]

"Si Una Vez" is a mid-tempo cumbia song mixed with ranchera and Mexican cumbia.[7] It drew influences from progressive rock and experimental.[7] According to the sheet music published at by EMI Music Publishing, the song is composed in the key of D minor with a time signature in common time, and with a moderate groove of 91 beats per minute. The music is largely based on instrumentations such as the violin and guitar.[7]

The lyrics describes a women feeling regretful of loving a man who does not know what love is. She tells him that she regrets ever being with him and that she will never fall for him again. "Si Una Vez", became a dominate-female favorite song, which helped boost women empowerment, self-pride, and dignity towards a recent break-up.

Critical reception and chart performance Edit

According to Billboard, "Si Una Vez", "Amor Prohibido" and "Como La Flor", are Selena's signature songs.[8] Nathan Cone, from the Texas Public Radio, said "the song "resonates best" with South Texas".[9] Entertainment Weekly editor David Browne stated, "At least half of Amor Prohibido showcases her conjunto side: "Si Una Vez", which, with its mariachi horns and Selena's own full-throated warbling, recalls Lydia Mendoza, conjunto's leading lady."[10] Good Housekeeping told subscribers that "Si Una Vez is an admirable and convincing song you have to listen to when dealing with jerks!".[11] Terra named "Si Una Vez" as one of Selena's "most famous works" along with her other singles "El Chico Del Apartamento 512", "Amor Prohibido" and "Fotos y Recuerdos".[12]

Peaking at number-four on Billboard Regional Mexican Songs chart in 1994, the single stood in the music chart for nearly twenty-three weeks.[13] After Selena's death, the song took in more extensive airplay throughout the United States, in Spanish-speaking radio stations.[14]

Track listing Edit

U.S. Promo Single (1995)
  1. "Si Una Vez" - 2:50
U.S. Promo Single (1996)
  1. "Si Una Vez" - 2:50
  2. "El Chico Del Apartamento 512" - 3:28
Mexico Promo Single (1995)
  1. "Si Una Vez" - 2:50

Credits and personnel Edit


Charts Edit

Chart (1995) Peak
U.S. Latin Regional Mexican Airplay (Billboard)[13] 4

Awards Edit

Year Awards ceremony Award Results
1994 BMI Pop Music Awards Song of The Year[16] Won

Certifications Edit

Country Provider Certifications
(sales thresholds)
Argentina[17] CAPIF Gold 50,000+

Release history Edit

Country Date Format
United States March 21, 1994 Latin Pop, Tejano and rhythmic radios
Mexico CD single
September 24, 2002 Digital download
Japan[19] March 14, 1994
United Kingdom[21]

Covers Edit

In 2010, Girl in a Coma, a Rock band that covered "Si Una Vez" were interviewed by Brown Paper Tickets about their choice to cover Selena's "Si Una Vez" song. They stated "Si Una Vez is one of our favorite Selena songs, her music was on constantly in our household. She was doing something very important for our culture and something new. We felt the original version song already had a hidden punk quality."[22] The band were later asked to perform their version of the song during the Tejano Music Awards in July 2010, as being part of the Selena homage.[23] They also performed the song during their tour in Texas.[9] In early 2010, Selena's brother, A.B. Quintanilla III's band Kumbia All-Starz covered "Si Una Vez" during their live tour for La Vida De Un Genio (2010) in Bolivia.[24] The song was sung by J.R. Gómez, the lead vocalist of the group.[24]

Artist Album Year
Leila Lissette Para Nosotros Dos 1995[25]
Angelica Y La Tribu Selena vs. Bukis 1995[26]
Richard Clay Balada Para Selena 1995[27]
Grupo Tijuana Canta Como: Selena 2002[28]
Emerson Ensamble Latin Dancing 2002[29]
Angel Meléndez Angel Meléndez & the 911 Mambo 2004[30]
Alicia Villarreal Selena ¡VIVE! 2005[31]
Zurisaddai Juarbe Nuevas Voces De América 2005[32]
Myriam Una Mujer 2005[33]
Banda El Grullo Lo Mejor De Selena Con Banda 2005[34]
Rocío Banquells N/A 2006[35]
Ivy Queen Flashback 2006[36]
Jorge Rodriguez Lopez La Camisa Negra 2006[37]
Karina Perfume de Mujer 2006[38]
Lopez Latino Latin Fiesta 2006[39]
Celeste Dibujarte Una Sonrisa 2006[40]
Jacqueline Grace Jacqueline Grace 2007[41]
Dareyes De La Sierra En La Mira 2007[42]
Mld Latino Mega Hits Vol. 2 2007[43]
Mauricio Morais Inspiracoes 2008[44]
Nuevas Voces Latinas Exitos 2008[45]
The Latin Music All Stars Latin Moods 2008[46]
Johnny Quintina y Grupo Superbailongo 12 Best of Latin Hits 2008[47]
Manny Manuel RMM 20th Anniversary Collection 2008[48]
Carolina Molina La Princesa Mexicana 2009[49]
Los Pakines Si Una Vez 2009[50]
Marcel Rinde N/A 2009[51]
Reynaldo Me Falta Todo 2010[52]
Talina Eres Todo Para Mi 2010[53]
Girl In A Coma Adventures In Coverland 2010[54]
Reyes De Cancion Remembering Selena: Un Homenaje 2011[55]
The Latin Salsa Boys Latinos Con Sabor Vol.7 2011[56]
Kumbia All-Starz N/A 2011[24]

Manny Manuel version Edit

In 1994, Puerto Rican merengue musician Manny Manuel covered the song on his debut album, El Rey de Corazones.[57] The cover was the second single released from the album in 1995. Manuel's version was his first song to reach number-one on the Latin Tropical Airplay charts.[58] The song was later included as part of RMM Record's tribute to Selena, RMM Familia Recordando a Selena in 2008.[59]

Chart performance Edit

The track peaked at #18 on Hot Latin Tracks and #1 on the Latin Tropical Airplay.

Chart (1995) Peak
U.S. Hot Latin Tracks (Billboard) [58] 18
U.S. Latin Tropical Airplay (Billboard) [58] 1

See also Edit

References Edit


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Ruiz, Geraldo (1995). Selena: The Last Song. Warner Pub Service/El Diario Books. p. 256. ISBN 9781887599016. Retrieved 8 May 2011. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 EMI Telvisia (1995) Selena - Amor Prohibido (Liner Notes) EMI Records.
  3. "Si Una Vez". ¡Puro Tejano! (¡La Seria Pura!). Hal Leonard Corporation. 2003. ISBN 978-0634054457. Retrieved 30 June 2011. 
  4. Patoski, Joe Nick (1995). Selena: Como La Flor. Little Brown and Company. p. 154. ISBN 0316693782. 
  5. Top Trece Selena Moments (in English). Tr3s. No. 4, season 1. 60 minutes in.
  6. Lima, OJ (1997). "Etc. Etc. Etc.". Vibe magazine 4 (8): 164.'s+voice#v=onepage&q&f=false. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Quintanilla-Perez, Selena; Astudillo, Pete. (1994). "Amor Prohibido: Music Sheet" (Musicnotes). EMI Music Publishing. MN021093 (Product Number). 
  8. L.C. (2002). "Reviews and Previews - Spanish". Billboard (Prometheus Global Media) 114 (42): 100. Retrieved 8 May 2011. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 Nathan Cone. "Girl in a Coma "On The Record" About Their Influences". Texas Public Radio. Retrieved 23 April 2011. 
  10. David Browne (1995). "Selena: Crossover Dreams". Entertainment Weekly (Time Warner).,,297162,00.html. Retrieved 23 April 2011. 
  11. Cara Daniels (1995). "The Family of Murdered Music Star: Selena". Good Housekeeping (Hearst Corporation) 221 (6): 145. Retrieved 24 April 2011. 
  12. "Lidia Avila es la nueva cara de Selena en musical mexicano" (in Spanish). Terra Networks. 19 January 2006. Retrieved 5 August 2011. 
  13. 13.0 13.1 "Si Una Vez peak #4 on Billboard charts". Retrieved 23 April 2011. 
  14. Selena Remembered. John Lanner and Edward James Olmos. Q-Productions. N/A, Corpus Christi. 1997. 127 minutes in. "Her Life... Her Music... Her Dream"
  15. "Album Credits". Barnes & Noble. 2010-08-23. Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  16. "Billboard Latin Awards". Billboard (Prometheus Global Media) 108 (20): 124. 1996. Retrieved 23 April 2011. 
  17. Ruiz, Geraldo (1995). Selena: The Last Song. Warner Pub Service/El Diario Books. p. 256. ISBN 9781887599016. Retrieved 9 May 2011. 
  18. ""Si Una Vez MP3 Downloads" on" (in French). Retrieved 24 April 2011. 
  19. ""Si Una Vez MP3 Downloads" on" (in Japanese). Retrieved 24 April 2011. 
  20. ""Si Una Vez MP3 Downloads" on" (in German). Retrieved 24 April 2011. 
  21. ""Si Una Vez MP3 Downloads" on". Retrieved 24 April 2011. 
  22. "Interviewing Girl In A Coma". Brown Paper Tickets. 19 October 2010. Retrieved 24 April 2011. 
  23. "Girl in a Coma live Tejano Music Awards 2010". 12 July 2010. Retrieved 23 April 2011. 
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 "Selena's brother A.B. Quintanilla III's band Kumbia All-Starz covers "Si Una Vez"". La Musica Del Mundo. 13 March 2011. Retrieved 9 July 2011. 
  25. "Si Una Vez by Leila Lissette". Retrieved 9 July 2011. 
  26. "Si Una Vez by Angelica Y La Tribu". Retrieved 9 July 2011. 
  27. "Si Una Vez by Richard Clay". Retrieved 9 July 2011. 
  28. "Si Una Vez by Grupo Tijuana". Retrieved 23 April 2011. 
  29. "Si Una Vez by Emerson Ensamble". Retrieved 24 April 2011. 
  30. "Si Una Vez by Angel Meléndez". Retrieved 9 July 2011. 
  31. "Selena VIVE with Bonus DVD". Retrieved 24 April 2011. 
  32. "Si Una Vez by Zurisaddai Juarbe". Retrieved 24 April 2011. 
  33. "Si Una Vez by Myriam". Retrieved 23 April 2011. 
  34. "Si Una Vez by Banda El Grullo". Retrieved 24 April 2011. 
  35. "Dicen adiós a su sueño Gustavo y Jacqueline" (in Spanish). El 01 May 2006. Retrieved 05 August 2011. 
  36. "Si Una Vez by Ivy Queen". Retrieved 23 April 2011. 
  37. "Si Una Vez by Jorge Rodriguez Lopez". Retrieved 23 April 2011. 
  38. "Si Una Vez by Karina". Retrieved 9 July 2011. 
  39. "Si Una Vez by Lopez". Retrieved 24 April 2011. 
  40. "Si Una Vez by Celeste". Retrieved 24 April 2011. 
  41. "Si Una Vez by Jacqueline Grace". Retrieved 23 April 2011. 
  42. "Si Una Vez by Dareyes De La Sierra". Retrieved 24 April 2011. 
  43. "Si Una Vez by Mld". Retrieved 24 April 2011. 
  44. "Si Una Vez by Mauricio Morais". Retrieved 23 April 2011. 
  45. "Si Una Vez by Nuevas Voces". Retrieved 24 April 2011. 
  46. "Si Una Vez by The Latin Music All Stars". Retrieved 24 April 2011. 
  47. "Si Una Vez by Johnny Quintina y Grupo Superbailongo". Retrieved 24 April 2011. 
  48. "Si Una Vez by Manny Manuel". Retrieved 24 April 2011. 
  49. "Si Una Vez by Carolina Molina". Retrieved 24 April 2011. 
  50. "Si Una Vez by Peruvian band "Los Pakines"". Retrieved 9 July 2011. 
  51. "Marcel rinde homenaje a Selena" (in Spanish). 11 November 2009. Retrieved 05 August 2011. 
  52. "Si Una Vez by Reynaldo". Retrieved 24 April 2011. 
  53. "Si Una Vez by Talina". Retrieved 24 April 2011. 
  54. "Si Una Vez by Girl In A Coma". Retrieved 24 April 2011. 
  55. "Si Una Vez by Reyes De Cancion". Retrieved 23 April 2011. 
  56. "Si Una Vez by The Latin Salsa Boys". Retrieved 24 April 2011. 
  57. "El Rey De Corazones Audio CD". Retrieved 24 April 2011. 
  58. 58.0 58.1 58.2 "Manny Manuel > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles". 
  59. "Recordando a Selena Audio CD". Retrieved 24 April 2011. 

External links Edit

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