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Havana (no rap version) (Camila Cabello)

This is a Latin-style song recorded by Cuban-American singer Camila Cabello featuring guest vocals from American rapper Young Thug released in August 2017. This song was the second single, but its success eclypsed all the other songs in the album, reaching the top 10, or even the top 1, in many countries of the world.

The original music video is very long, with a dramatized piece at the beginning. You can watch it here.

Camila has also released a Spanglish version you can watch here.

Hey

Havana, ooh na-na (ay)
Half of my heart is in Havana, ooh-na-na (ay, ay)
He took me back to East Atlanta, na-na-na
Oh, but my heart is in Havana (ay)
There's somethin' 'bout his manners (uh huh)
E-Ey (uh)

He didn't walk up with that "how you doin'?" (uh)
(When he came in the room)
He said there's a lot of girls I can do with (uh)
(But I can't without you)
I knew him forever in a minute (hey)
(That summer night in June)
And papa says he's got malo in him (uh)
He got me feelin' like

Ooh-ooh-ooh, I knew it when I met him
I loved him when I left him
Got me feelin' like
Ooh-ooh-ooh, and then I had to tell him
I had to go, oh na-na-na-na-na

Havana, ooh na-na (ay, ay)
Half of my heart is in Havana, ooh-na-na (ay, ay)
He took me back to East Atlanta, na-na-na
Oh, but my heart is in Havana (ay)
My heart is in Havana (ay)

I knew I was there when I read the signs
(Welcome to La Yuma)
I knew it was him when he hugged from behind
(He kissed me every time)
He's put in work, but it's in the streets
(He said, girl, can you ride?)
This is the part that my daddy told me
He got me feelin' like

Oooh, I knew it when I met him
I loved him when I left him
Got me feelin' like
Oooh, and then I had to tell him
I had to go, oh na-na-na-na

Havana, ooh na-na (ay, ay)
Half of my heart is in Havana, ooh-na-na (ayy, ayy)
He took me back to East Atlanta, na-na-na
All of my heart is in Havana
My heart is in Havana



Take me back to my Havana, ooh-na-na
Half of my heart is in Havana, ooh-na-na, yeah
He took me back to East Atlanta, ooh-na-na
Oh, My heart is in Havana
My heart is in Havana
Havana, ooh-nana

Oh no, yeah

Oh no, no, no, take me back
Havana, ohh-na-na





HAVANA= /həvænə/ Cuba's capital city. Camila's birthplace.

EAST ATLANTA= East Atlanta is a neighborhood on the east side of Atlanta, Georgia, United States. The name East Atlanta Village primarily refers to the neighborhood's commercial district. In many parts of America NT is pronounced N, so Atlanta becomes /ətlænə/, thus rhyming with Havana.

'BOUT= About.

HIS MANNERS= The way he behaves.

WALK UP= Walk up to a person, approach a person.

HOW YOU DOING= (an informal greeting) Hello, what's up, how are you.

I CAN DO WITH= I can manage, I can handle, I can accept (implied meaning: I can have an affair with many womens). This expression, though, makes full sense in connection with the "do without" in the next line, establishing an opposition of "the other girls" (disposable) and "you" (indispensable).

I CAN'T (DO) WITHOUT YOU= I can't be without you, I need you, I can't live without you.

I KNEW HIM FOREVER IN A MINUTE= A minute was enough to have that feeling of "I feel like I've known your forever", like she felt very comfortable and at home with him.

PAPA (in this case, a Spanish word)= Father, papa, daddy.

HE'S GOT MALO IN HIM= He is a bad boy; he's got the devil inside (MALO is a Spanish word meaning "bad" or "bad boy")

HUGGED= To hug is to embrace, to put your arms around another person as a loving gesture.

HE'S PUT IN WORK= He has made an effort, he tried hard.

IT'S IN THE STREETS= Everybody knows it, it is public knowledge. So he tried to make me believe he was a nice guy, but everybody knows he's a bad guy.

CAN YOU RIDE?= This apparently means "can you drive a car?", but TO RIDE also has sexual connotations, so that's why she then says "this is the part that my daddy told me" (her father probably said: be careful, all guys are only thinking of one thing)

"'Havana' is an idea that I had for a song title; a lot of my songs are more dark and emotional. [This is] more summer, upbeat, it's very wind-your-waist tempo, if that makes sense. It's really cool, I did it with Pharrell, it's like a story of me falling in love with this bad boy from Havana." (Camila explaining to Wonderland magazine).

This song very probably has two or even three layers of meaning.

On the one hand, the song is paying tribute to Camila's home city in Cuba, Havana, so when she says that her heart is in Havana it is also because she very much misses the place, her home.

On the other hand, this is the story of a summer love. A girl goes to Havanna and she meets a boy there. A bad boy, the kind of men many women love but fathers warn about. So her father, naturally, is against that relationship. She knows she should be away from him but she falls in love with him. Finally, her father presses and she leaves the boy, though she loves him, and goes back to Atlanta, with her father... but her heart is in Havana with her love.

Also, quite probably, there is a political subtext here. Camila was born and raised in Havana but she and her family had to migrate to Florida fleeing the Communist regime on the island. That boy she felt in love with the moment she met is a metaphor for Cuba. Her father separates her from him (takes her away from Cuba) because that "boy" has "malo in him" (the evil dictatorship) so she shouldn't be with him. She went away from Cuba (from the "man" she loved) but she is still in love with her home country, so her heart is in Havana.

 
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