Burro
By: Beck Hansen, John King, Mike Simpson

Written by: Beck Hansen, John King, Mike Simpson

Version Of: Jack-ass

This Version:
 
Lyrics:
Viajo / I travel
sin rumbo fijo / without a fixed course
En mis botas viejas / in my old boots
Cabos sueltos enlazan / loose ends tie
A mi cabeza / to my head

Si pensabas / if you were planning
ir al lugar / to go to the place
Donde los paganos van / where the pagans go
Pongalo junto / put it together
Invitacion extra a / a strange invitation

Despierto / I wake up
alguien arrastra / someone drags [or carries away]
mis huesos / my bones
Nosotros / we
ascendemos en la tarde / rise in the afternoon [or early evening]

Y recuerdo / and I remember
tu sonrisa / your smile
Con el viento salvaje / with the wild wind
Hay algo vacio / there is something empty
Cuando empieza / when it begins

Viajo / I travel
sin rumbo fijo / without a fixed course
En mis botas viejas / in my old boots
Cabos sueltos enlazan / loose ends tie
A mi cabeza / to my head

Si pensabas / if you were planning
ir al lugar / to go to the place
Donde los paganos van / where the pagans go
Pongalo junto / put it together,
Invitacion extra a / a strange invitation
 
The Song:

"Burro" is "Jack-ass," redone mariachi-style. When Beck does stuff like this, he goes all out! In this case, he brought in a mariachi band, Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cana (from a local Mexican restaurant) and resang all the lyrics in Spanish! Beck commented on the vocals, noting that he "tried to sing it straight, but I got carried away. I ended up sounding like Mario Lanza."

If anyone can pull this kind of thing off, it's Beck, who grew up as the only white kid (along with his brother) in a predominantly Mexican neighborhood of Los Angeles (gueros).

Despite that, I remember one report that said Beck doesn't really know Spanish all that well, and had his brother, Channing, help in the translating. That could be a rumor I'm remembering wrong, I'm not sure. Anyway, to complete the family affair, Beck's dad David Campbell came on board to arrange the mariachi band's performance. The whole thing is very charming, and pretty fun.

 
Live:

Played live 18 times:
Earliest known live version: May 5, 2000
Latest known live version: November 27, 2002

"Burro" has actually been played live a few times, complete with Spanish lyrics. The first performance took place during the homecoming Los Angeles concert of the Midnite Vultures tour, which was, appropriately enough, on Cinco de Mayo (May 5 2000). Mexican rock group, Cafe Tacuba, was Beck's opening act, and they returned during Beck's set to assist him on "Burro." The song was also played in the same manner the following night.

They did return to "Burro" one other time on the tour, most appropriately in Spain on July 21 2000.

For the acoustic tour of August 2002, Beck sort of played "Burro" a number of times. That is, sometimes he began it as "Jack-ass" and finished as "Burro," or vice versa. Or neither, in Seattle, it was all-Spanish. The next night in Portland, it had both English and Spanish and was, as he introduced it, the "funky bilingual version." Sometimes there might even just be one line in Spanish. Beck does what he pleases. :-)