Here's How the Song "Bidi Bidi Bom Bom" Actually Came About

Netflix just released part two of their hit TV show Selena: The Series, and there’s one thing I think we’re all aware of by now: the Tejano singer’s hits have lived on in a major way for fans, long after her passing. Selena was famous for writing songs about love, from first-love jitters to the romantic moments between partners, Romeo and Juliet-style. Her hit songs “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom” is a perfect example of this.

(Do yourself a favor and hit play on the song so you can get in the zone to read the rest of this story.)

Sure, you might think with its catchy melody and hip-swaying beat that the song is all about the pitter patter of the heart when your crush walks by (as the singer herself told Don Francisco on Sábado Gigante the year before she died), but there’s actually a lot more to the origins of the Selena classic. And, weirdly, the song’s beginnings had nothing to do with crushes. Like at all.

Funnily enough, the tune came about during a sound check with Selena, her bass-playing brother, A.B. Quintanilla, and guitarist husband Chris Pérez. Former backup vocalist Pete Astudillo told Univision in 2017 that at some point during the session, she began creating lyrics to a repeated tune, eventually titling the interlude “Itty Bitty Bubble.” It became a little song about… a fish. Yes, you read it right.

You can actually hear Selena sing it in between sets during a Selena y los Dinos concert in Corpus Christi back in 1993. And if you don’t mind me saying, it’s actually… pretty good?

Okay. So maybe it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to write a song about an aquatic creature. But A.B. did think his sister had sparked a great idea, and he helped her work on creating what is now one of her most iconic songs. “I thought man, we gotta record this song,” he told Buzzfeed News back in 2015 of the song’s origins. “And the rest is history.”

The duo spent some time fine-tuning the lyrics, and eventually “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom” became the sixth track on Selena’s 1994 album Amor Prohibido. And as to be expected, the song immediately became a hit, quickly reaching the top of the Billboard Latin Charts.

Listen to “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom” now, and when you do, say thanks to the dear fish for gifting us with arguably one of the best Latin songs to ever exist.

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