“Salsa pa’tu lechón”: the 50th anniversary of the most emblematic theme of Dominican Christmas

For 50 years, the musical flavor of Christmas has been the emblematic merengue “Salsa pa´ tu lechón”, a composition by the journalist and writer Mundito Espinal and popularized by Johnny Ventura (both now deceased).

Composed and recorded in 1971, the merengue was included in the album “I bring my sauce… for your piglet”, presented in 1972, year in which the theme really became an event during Christmas of that year.

“That song, Johnny, from Salsa pa’tu lechón, I think neither you nor I thought it was going to hit like that,” Mundito told Johnny in an interview on his program “De todo un poco,” which was broadcast on Telesystem.

Johnny’s response that time: “Not really, we did it as a theme to enjoy at Christmas, but we didn’t think it was going to stay for so many years and so long and the truth is that every year it becomes a hit.”

However, when the LP was recorded, they told their protagonists, the song they were most interested in was not “Salsa pa´ tu lechón”, but “Nochebuena otra vez”, also composition of Mundito.

Both believed that it was “Nochebuena otra vez” the theme of Christmas at that time, but the one that really caught on was “Salsa pa’ tu lechón” and over time, until today’s sun, it became the anthem of the Dominican Christmas.

The album “I bring my sauce… for your piglet” also includes other Christmas tracks, including “Llegó Navidad”, “Alegrías Navidad”, “Fiesta Navidad” and “Cantares de Navidad”.

Almost all of the cuts in the production continue to sound good every year, but not with the intensity of “Salsa pa tu lechón”.

There are several more songs, among them one that Luisito Martí sang: “Consejos de Navidad”, which reads: “On Christmas Eve, don’t go crazy, you can do everything, but little by little…”.

record company did not want

Johnny remembered in life that he was the one who asked Mundito to write Christmas songs for him.

“I had to fight with Mateo San Martin to record that album because he didn’t want to, he said that the investment for the record was too much for ten or fifteen days that Christmas lasted. And I told him: – but it’s ten or fifteen days every year”, Johnny explained. Then he added: In the end, between fights, he allowed me to record it. I spoke with Mundito and we began to analyze the most significant things about Christmas. The names and titles of the songs were coming out ”.

Before the reign of “Salsa pa´ tu lechón” the song “El martinicueño”, which Luis Alberti had done singing Pipi Franco, was one of the songs that most identified the Christmas season.

“When you heard that merenguito, you already began to feel Christmas, precisely until we did Salsa pa’tu lechón, which remained the Dominican Christmas anthem,” Johnny said in the interview with Mundito.

From there came other songs and groups such as El Conjunto Quisqueya that expanded that Dominican Christmas discography.

For Johnny Ventura, Christmas was “such a joyous and special season that artists and record companies deserved to pay a little attention to maintain that tradition, although with the variations that occur in life itself, which is dialectical. .. the Christmas themes should appear”.