We all have “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom” stuck in our heads after yesterday’s masterful Google Doodle dedicated to Selena, the original queen of everything (no last name required). But as you’re singing the addictive chorus around the house today, try to swap “bidi bidi bom bom” for “itty bitty bubbles.”
Nuria Net over at Univision reminds us that the original lyrics of the song were in English and featured Selena singing about tiny bubbles and fish swimming in the sea. Rare footage from a 1993 Corpus Christi show gives us a taste of what the hit may have sounded like if it hadn’t been rewritten to detail a lovestruck lady’s pounding heart.
Back in 2015, Texas Monthly took a deep-dive into the classic track as part of their “Secret History of Texas Music” series and revealed that the song went through a few iterations during the writing process: “One afternoon during a sound check, while bassist A. B. Quintanilla (Selena’s older brother and bandleader) jammed with guitarist Chris Pérez (Selena’s husband), Selena joined in, singing made-up phrases like ‘itty bitty bubbles.’ Over the next few sound checks, she and the band returned to the nascent tune. Backup singer Pete Astudillo remembers Selena singing, ‘If I was a fish, under the sea, I would swim, swim, swim to you.’”
The band realized they had a hit. A.B. eventually asked Astudillo to help write new lyrics, and the song as we know it now was born. Astudillo also co-wrote “Amor Prohibido,” “La Carcacha, “Qué Creias,” and “Como la Flor.”
Although “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom” didn’t come out until 1994, it was used in yesterday’s Google Doodle honoring the 28th anniversary of Selena’s first studio album. Her sister Suzette Quintanilla collaborated with Google to release the animated clip chronicling the singer’s life and career. A full story of how the piece was made is over at Billboard.