It's rare but occasionally an English-language song will feature foreign words in its lyrics. Even rarer is when one of these hits #1 in the Top 40 charts. To make our list, the song must include an entire chorus or two verses in another language, not just one or two words (No Livin la Vida Loca, and we need more than C'est la vie or Te Amo), and had to have reached the Billboard Top 100 or be from a Top-10 band.
Here are the best and most successful English language songs that use foreign lyrics in a substantial way.
1 - Teo Torriatte (Let Us Cling Together) by Queen from the album A Day At The Races. The Japanese chorus appears twice and tells a sweet story of staying together as the years go by. The ablum rocketed to #1.
2 - Rock Me Amadeus by Falco, sung in German with some English lyrics. The songs spent an eternity at the top of the charts. It may be the biggest non-English hit song ever.
3 - 99 Luftballons by Nena, an 80s smash, also in German, hit the US Top 10.
4 - Hold on Tight by ELO, the Electric Light Orchestra. Hit #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 and one chorus is in French.
5 - Der Komissar by After the Fire, a huge hit in the 80s, it had German lyrics even though the band is British. The song was written by Falco with Robert Pongo.
6 - Lady Marmalade by LaBelle (Patti LaBelle) in French: Voulez-Vous couchez avec moi, ce soir. translates to: Wanna hookup tonight? or in youthspeak, "you up?"
7 - Dragostea Din Tea by O-Zone - A nice dance bear and it's in Romanian. Also known as the Numa Numa song.
8 - La Isla Bonita by Madonna, a hint of Spanish from the material girl.
9 - Sadeness by Enigma is in Latin and French. It reached #1 in fourteen countries, peaking at #5 in the US. A big US and UK hit with not a single word in English.
10 - Redemption Song (No Kwazulu) by Manfred Mann's Earth Band from the Somewhere in Afrika album that charted in 1982. The Xhosa language is featured.
11 - Oye Como Va by Santana featured Spanish lyrics.
12 - Monster by Big Bang, is mostly in Korean with an English chorus. The kpop hit was big all over the world and even in the US and UK.
14 - Halloween II by the Misfits, entirely in Latin
15 - Minutes by the Stranglers features a verse in French.
16 - My Universe by Coldplay and BTS, sung partly in Korean
17 - Numbers by Kraftwerk, in German
18 - Bibea Bi Ye Ye by Ed Sheeran, in the Twi language spoken in Ghana.
19 - Mustapha by Queen, the chorus is entirely in Arabic. Also: Bohemian Rhapsody has a little bit of Arabic in the operatic parts.
20 - Run by BTS, half of the verses are in Korean.
Bonus Track: 21 - Cherry by Harry Styles features a series of French verses
There more songs with foreign words, but these were the biggest hits with the most substantial use of non-English.
Celine Dion's Incognito Album was entirely in French but crept onto the world Top 100.
There you go. Pop Rock songs with foreign words. Vámonos!