What Is the Dreamy 'Narcos' Theme Song Really About?


Narcos' opening-credits sequence draws you in with galloping zebras and plenty of slo-mo cocaine clouds. But its most compelling aspect is "Tuyo," the smooth tango that plays over the montage.

If only you could decipher the song's lyrics! Unlike the rest of the binge-worthy Netflix show, the credits don't employ English subtitles, so the song can leave you a little bewildered. What is it saying? Who even sings it? Below, all you'll ever need to know about "Tuyo" -- including how to play it.

What do the lyrics mean?

Let's start with the title: "Tuyo" means yours in Spanish. Simple enough, right? Here's a rough translation of the rest of the song, based on interpretations from Decider and Medium:

I am the fire that burns your skin
I am the water that kills your thirst
Of the castle, I am the tower
The sword that guards the treasure
You, the air that I breathe
And the light of the moon on the sea
The throat that I long to wet
But I'm afraid I'll drown in love
And which desires will you give me?
Just to look is treasure enough
It will be yours, it will be yours.

Who sings it?

That would be Rodrigo Amarante, a Brazilian singer-songwriter who's been on the music scene since the late '90s. He got his start in the Rio de Janeiro-based band Los Hermanos, then joined Little Joy, which paired him with the Strokes' Fabrizio Moretti. He went solo in 2014 with the album Cavalo. You can hear a few tracks off that record via NPR's Tiny Desk Concert series. (Fun fact: the guitar Amarante plays there has a name, and it's Butter.)

Narcos producer José Padilha was familiar with Amarante's music because his cousin made a documentary about Amarante's band. But Amarante had also worked with Wagner Moura, who played Escobar on the show (RIP), on a Brazilian production of Hamlet. With recommendations from both Moura and Padilha, Amarante was a natural pick for the title music.

To write the song, Amarante turned to an unlikely inspiration: Escobar's mom. "I had this idea to write a song that was his mother's favorite when he was a kid, something that would influence his idea of the man that he would like to be," Amarante told Billboard. "I wanted to deliver something romantic and deceivingly generous but if you listen to the lyrics you see that there's a narcissistic point of view. The show is about cocaine and gangsters, so I could easily write a song that's heavy and nervous and Latin. But how would that expand the story?"

Who's covered it?

Amarante's song is short, simple, and requires only an acoustic guitar, so it's natural YouTube cover fodder. Here's Luísa Guedes, frontwoman of the Portuguese band Luísa & os Alquimistas, crooning it in a park:

Then there's Daniel C.K., who ends his take with a bonus low-budget explosion:

And for a super meta moment, check out the mariachi band that covered it onscreen in Season 1 of Narcos:

Can I play it?

You bet. Here's a tutorial for guitarists, and another for piano players. Good luck, and watch out for those Castaños brothers.

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Kristin Hunt is a freelance writer for Thrillist and would really like to see that Brazilian production of Hamlet. Follow her on Twitter @kristin_hunt.