Samba Pa Ti (4:45)

Cover of Ultimate Santana

From Ultimate Santana and 215 other releases

“Samba Pa Ti”

“Samba Pa Ti” translated into English means “Samba for You”.


Carlos Santana told Mojo magazine November 2008 that he felt that this was his first recording when he was truly able to express himself. He explained: “I remember being alone one evening- until then when I heard my records it was like seeing myself in the mirror and there was no me there, only a lot of other guitarists’ faces: B.B., George Benson, Peter Green. That evening I heard Samba Pa Ti on the radio and I looked in the mirror and it was my face, my tone, my fingerprints, my identity, my uniqueness. Because when I recorded it I was thinking of nothing, it was just pure feeling. I have a suspicion it came from stuff bottled up inside me, that I didn’t know how to express or articulate. I get angry because, ‘Why can’t I say what I really mean?’ Then Samba Pa To comes out of me. And everybody understands it.”


This instrumental was covered by José Feliciano, who added lyrics. It is also one of the tracks featured in Nick Hornby’s book 31 Songs. It was used in the UK as the background music for TV ads for Marks and Spencer food in 2006. It was also featured as the ending song in the Cold Case episode “Dead Heat”, which aired November 8, 2009.

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