CUCURRUCUCÚ PALOMA by CAETANO VELOSO

Caetano Veloso is one of the great Brazilian singer-songwriters. Though he sings mainly in Portuguese, he also records frequently in English and Spanish. In fact, some of his most commercially successful recordings are those in Spanish, which are typically cover versions.

This is a Mexican song which was popularised by Pedro Infante in the mid-fifties when he sang it in the movie ‘Escuela De Vagabundos’ in Mariachi style (see below). Veloso sang this beautiful version in Pedro Almodovar’s film ‘Hable Con Ella’ (‘Talk to Her’) in 2002.

CUCURRUCUCÚ PALOMA

Dicen que por las noches
No más se le iba en puro llorar
Dicen que no comia
No mas se le iba en puro tomar
Juran que el mismo cielo
Se extremecia al oir su llanto
Como sufria por ella
Que hasta en su muerte 
La fue llamando

Ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, cantaba
Ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, gemia
Ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, cantaba
De pasión mortal moria

Que una paloma triste
Muy de mañana 
Le va a cantar
A la casita sola
Con las puertitas de par en par
Juran que esa paloma
No es otra cosa mas que su alma
Que todavia la espera
A que regrese la desdichada

Cucurrucucú, paloma
Cucurrucucú, no llores
Las piedras jamás, paloma
¿Que van a saber de amores?
CUCURRUCUCÚ PALOMA

They say that at night
He did nothing but cry
They say he didn't eat
He did nothing but drink
They swear that the heavens themselves
Trembled on hearing his weeping
How he suffered for her
That even in death
He went on calling for her

Ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, he sang
Ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, he groaned
Ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, he sang
He died from a deadly passion

That a sad dove
Very early in the morning 
Is going to sing to him 
In the lonely little house
With its little doors open wide
They swear that that dove
Is actually his soul
That is still waiting
For the ill fated (woman) to return

Coo coo ru coo coo, paloma (dove)
Coo coo roo coo coo, don't cry,
The stones never, paloma (dove)
What will they ever know of love?

Prog, Psych and Beyond from Spain, Argentina & Mexico (1970-79)

FrontTo celebrate the 200th post from Spanish Pop Lyrics, here is this blog’s second compilation, a sequel to the first which covered the years 1964-69.

All the songs are originals sung in Spanish. Mostly I would file them under progressive rock or psychedelia, but I have also thrown in a couple of blasts of blues rock and a few of the more progressive singer-songwriters from the period. It is split fairly evenly between bands from Spain and Argentina, but two groups from Mexico also make an appearance. Download

Almost all the songs have been featured on this blog (the couple which haven’t will appear in the near future). Anyway, you know where to look for the lyrics…

Back

EL CASCABEL by MARIACHI VARGAS DE TECALITLÁN

In Search of Rock and Roll Thrills in Mexico: Part 14

Finally it is time to end this much interrupted series about Mexico. It you want to see all the entries click on the tab ‘History of Rock in Mexico’.

Yes, I know this isn’t a rock song, but I can’t resist finishing with another Mariachi track. Written by Lorenzo Barcelata, this is one of the most famous songs to come out of Mexico. Another version was included on the discs sent out into space aboard the Voyager spacecraft.
A cascabel is a kind of little bell, a bit like a jingle bell, but this doesn’t seem to be a Christmas song. It is also a species of rattlesnake, so maybe you can imitate the sound of a rattlesnake with the bell. There is also another interpretation of what this song means, but I’ll leave that to your imagination…

EL CASCABEL

Yo tenía mi cascabel 
con una cinta morada
Y como era de oropel
se lo di a mi prenda amada
Pa' que jugara con él 
allá por la madrugada

Anoche por la ventana 
platicando con Leonor
Me pidió que le cantara
el cascabel por menor
y que no me dilatara 
me lo pedia de favor
Ay, como rezumba y suena
rezumba y va rezumbando
mi cascabel en la arena
THE LITTLE BELL

I had my little bell 
with a purple ribbon
And since it glittered
I gave it to my beloved darling
So she should could play with it
some time in the early morning

Last night by the window 
talking to Eleanor 
She asked me to sing to her
the little bell in a minor key
and that I did not delay
she asked me as a favour
Oh, how it buzzes and rings
It rings and resonates
My little bell in the sand
*

TABÚ, TABÚ by SOLA

In Search of Rock and Roll Thrills in Mexico: Part 13

Remember ¡Chicas!, the compilation of Spanish female singers which included the wonderful Los Que Vivimos? Volume two has recently been released, expanding the brief to include singers from outside Spain, and this is one of the highlights. Released in 1973, it combines a funky groove with striking anti-censorship lyrics.
Sola was a Mexican singer who released the “Un Muñeco de Madera” LP, but sadly there isn’t much information about her on the internet. However, this track was written by the Spaniard Manuel Alejandro, a songwriter who has worked with many artists, including Raphael and Jeanette, enjoying his biggest success with ballads.

.

TABÚ, TABÚ

ESTRIBILLO:
Tabú, tabú, tabú, tabú... 
Si quieres una vida larga, 
una vida larga, una vida larga... 
Si quieres una vida larga 
aunque sea falsa, aunque sea fea. 

No hables de las cosas 
que pasan en la tierra 
y olvida que hay miserias. 
No tires de la manta, 
no hagas problemas 
y agacha la cabeza... 

ESTRIBILLO

Olvídate del sexo 
y piensa que los niños 
los traen las cigüeñas. 
No hables del gobierno 
y piensa que esos hombres 
son ángeles de fresa...

ESTRIBILLO

No odies de la biblia 
no arañes las estrellas 
no mudes de la iglesia. 
Olvídate de Mao, 
olvídate de Castro 
y leéte la prensa...

Tabú, tabú, tabú, tabú...
TABOO, TABOO

CHORUS:
Taboo, taboo, taboo, taboo...
If you want a long life
A long life, a long life
If you want a long life
Even if it's false, even if it's ugly
 
Don’t talk about things 
that happen on earth,
forget that there is misery 
Don't let the cat out of the bag, 
don't make trouble 
and keep your head down

CHORUS

Forget about sex 
and believe that children 
are brought by the storks, 
Don’t talk about the government 
and believe that those guys 
are strawberry angels…

CHORUS

Don't hate the bible
Don't reach for the stars
Don’t move away from the Church
Forget about Mao 
Forget about Castro 
and read the press…

Taboo, taboo, taboo, taboo...
*

NO SE QUIÉN SOY by NÁHUATL

In Search of Rock and Roll Thrills in Mexico: Part 12

Náhautl were one of the few Mexican rock bands that sang in Spanish rather than English during the 1970s. Their style was hard rock, but I’ve chosen one of the quieter moments from their debut LP (1974). The simple Spanish lyrics are embedded in the video:

No sé quién soy, ni por qué este aqui

I don’t know who I am, or why I’m here

BORRACHITA by EMILY CRANZ

In Search of Rock and Roll Thrills in Mexico: Part 11

HOW TO BE A YÉ-YÉ GIRL: #5 Dance Provocatively next to a Swimming Pool (Optional)

This week I’ve decided to try and combine the two series I have been running i.e. yé-yé girls and Mexico.

The closest I’ve been able to find to a Mexican yé-yé girl is Emily Cranz, a singer, dancer and actress. Her dancing above is somewhat more provocative than that of her comparitively demure French counterparts (Brigitte Bardot excepted). The clip comes from the movie ‘Caballos en Acero’ (1967).

BORRACHITA 

Borrachita me voy 
para olvidarte,
te quiero mucho, 
también me quieres.

Borrachita me voy 
hasta la capital,
p'a servirle al patrón
que me mandó llamar anteayer.

Yo le dije que sí, 
ella que no
que habría de llorar, 
p'a qué volver.

Borrachita me voy 
hasta la capital,
p'a servirle al patrón
que me mandó llamar anteayer.

Yo le dije que sí, 
ella que no
que habría de llorar, 
p'a qué volver.
A LITTLE BIT DRUNK

I'm leaving a little bit drunk 
In order to forget you
I really love you, 
You love me too

I'm leaving a little bit drunk 
For the capital
To work for the boss
Who called for me the day before yesterday

I told him yes
She told him no
That there would have to be tears
Before a return

I'm leaving a little bit drunk 
For the capital
To work for the boss
Who called for me the day before yesterday

I told him yes
She told him no
That there would have to be tears
Before a return
*

METRO BALDERAS By EL TRI

In Search of Rock and Roll Thrills in Mexico: Part 10

El Tri are one of the most influential bands in Mexican Rock. They started way back in 1968 as Three Souls in My Mind. Initially (as the name suggests) they sang in English, as was fashionable in Mexico at that time. Gradually they switched to Spanish, and their success grew. In the early eighties their was a rift in the band and they split into two, with one faction taking the new name El Tri. This song appeared on their first album in 1984.

Metro Balderas was originally recorded by Rockdrigo, a singer-songwriter who died tragically young in the Mexico City earthquake of 1985. His original version is a Dylan-ish strum with substantially different lyrics.

El Tri turn the song into a blues rocker (the style they are best known for) transforming it into a joyfully dumb three chord rock stomp, name checking lots of Mexico City metro stations along the way. They also make the lyrics less romantic and more mean spirited. Notice how the singer pronounces ‘reputación’ with the stress on ‘puta’ (bitch or whore) – one of the more common swear words in Spanish.

METRO BALDERAS

Fue en la estación del metro Balderas 
donde quedó la huella de nuestro amor, 
allá en la estación del metro Balderas 
allí quedó embarrado mi corazón. 

Oye chofer llévame a donde quieras 
llévame a la Villa 
o a la San Simón 
llévame a Copilco 
o a Contreras 
pero no me lleves 
hacia el metro Balderas porque...

Allá en la estación del metro Balderas 
Ahí quedó embarrada mi reputación 
en la estación del metro Balderas 
ahí quedó la huella de nuestro amor 

Oye chofer llévame a donde quieras 
llévame a la Curva 
o a la Escandón 
llévame a Copilco 
o a Contreras
pero no me lleves 
hacia el metro Balderas porque...

En la estación del Metro Balderas
Una bola de gente se la llevó
Fue en la estación del Metro Balderas
Donde quedó embarrada mi reputación

En la estación del Metro Balderas
Ahi quedó la huella de nuestro amor
Fue en la estación del metro Balderas
Donde quedó embarrado mi corazón

En la estación del Metro Balderas
Una bola de gente se la llevó
Allá en la estación del Metro Balderas
Ahí fue donde ella se metió al talón
BALDERAS METRO STATION

It was at Balderas metro station
Where we left the last trace of our love
Over there at Balderas metro station
That's where my heart was left in the dirt

Hey driver take me anywhere
take me to La Villa (borough)
or to San Simon (bus station)
take me to Copilco (metro station)
or to (Magdalena) Contreras  (borough)
but don't take me
towards Balderas metro station because...

Over there at Balderas metro station
That's where my reputation was left in the dirt
It was at Balderas metro station
Where we left the last trace of our love

Hey driver take me anywhere
take me to La Curva (bar)
or Escandon (bus station)
take me to Copilco (metro station)
or to (Magdalena) Contreras  (borough)
but don't take me
towards Balderas metro station because...

In Balderas metro station
A crowd of people took her
It was at Balderas metro station
That's where my reputation was left in the dirt

In Balderas metro station
Where we left the last trace of our love
It was at Balderas metro station
That's where my heart was left in the dirt

In Balderas metro station
A crowd of people took her
Over there at Balderas metro station
That's where she started to be a whore
*

EL SON DE LA NEGRA BY MARIACHI VARGAS DE TECALITLÁN

In Search of Rock and Roll Thrills in Mexico: Part 9

While in Mexico it would perverse to not include a mariachi track on this blog. This is a classic of the genre performed by one of the best known ensembles. It was included recently in a great mariachi mix by the group Calexico which was played on 6music.

NB La Negra literally translates as ‘The Black Woman’ but in the context of the song (about a beautiful Mexican woman who was unusually dark skinned) I think ‘Dark Lady’ sounds better.

The silk shawl in the song is a gift that a man gives to a woman when he wants to marry her.

EL SON DE LA NEGRA

Negrita de mis pesares,
ojos de papel volando.
Negrita de mis pesares,
ojos de papel volando.
A todos diles que sí
pero no les digas cuándo.
Así me dijiste a mí
por eso vivo penando.

¿Cuándo me traes a mi negra?
Que la quiero ver aquí
con su rebozo de seda
que le traje de Tepic.
SONG OF THE DARK LADY

Dark little lady of my sorrows
Eyes fluttering like paper in the wind 
Dark little lady of my sorrows
Eyes fluttering like paper in the wind
Tell everyone yes
But don't tell them when
That's what you told me
That's why I live in suffering

When will you bring me my dark lady?
I want to see her here
With her silk shawl
That I brought her from Tepic (Western Mexico)
*

NO SOMOS MALOS by LOS DUG DUG’S

In Search of Rock and Roll Thrills in Mexico: Part 8

By the start of the seventies it had became cool for Mexican rock bands to sing in English, which has made it more difficult for me to find bands from that era to feature in this series. Los Dug Dug’s were partly responsible for this trend, being one of the first Mexican groups to sing in English. However, for their second album ‘Smog’ (1972) they flew in the face of fashion and reverted to Spanish lyrics. By this point the band were playing hard rock with some progressive elements, including some great flute on this track.

The Guardian’s Readers Recommend series recently included a selection of songs from Mexico and Central America:

http://www.theguardian.com/music/2015/may/07/readers-recommend-songs-of-mexico-and-central-america-results

.

NO SOMOS MALOS

Preguntan que de malo que hay
Y quiero yo, saber
¿Lo que hacemos está mal?
¿Puedo preguntar?

¿Tan malo es?
No, no puede ser
¿Tan malo es?
No somos malos
No puede ser

La gente dice que muy mal 
la juventud está
Acoso ellos un error
No más cometerán

Tan buenos son
No, no puede ser
Tan buenos son
Nadie es perfecto
No puede ser
 
Un, dos, tres, cuatro...
WE'RE NOT BAD

They ask about the bad things around
And I want to understand
Is what we do bad?
Can I ask?

How bad is it?
No, it can't be
How bad is it?
We're not bad
It can't be

People say how bad
Young people are
Maybe they have made a mistake
They won't make it again

They're so good
No, it can't be
They're so good
Nobody is perfect
It can't be

One, two, three, four...
*

NO HAY MAÑANA by LA COMUNA

In Search of Rock and Roll Thrills in Mexico: Part 7

In the previous post Los Ovnis gave their album the misleading title of ‘Hippies’. Here we have the real thing, the rare sound of hippies singing in Spanish.

La Comuna were part of the counterculture movement known as ‘La Onda’ (the wave). Their rather intellectual lineup included Alberto Blanco, who went on to become one of Mexico’s most acclaimed poets.
Despite being together for the entire first half of the seventies the group only recorded one four track EP. ‘No Hay Mañana’ from 1971 is the only song in Spanish, the other three songs being sung in English.
Due to their radical views La Comuna repeatedly refused to appear on the popular TV show ‘Siempre es Domingo’. Their record company was unimpressed by this and dropped them before they could record a whole album.

NB If someone is able to transcribe the spoken word section I will add it to the lyrics below.

NO HAY MAÑANA

No hay, no hay mañana (x3)

Hoy algo busco
Hoy algo sigo
Hoy es distinto
Pues estoy contigo

No hay, no hay mañana (x3)

Hoy que te tengo
Ya no te espero
Porque al hacerlo
Sé que te pierdo

No hay, no hay mañana (x3)

(Sección de palabra hablada)
THERE IS NO TOMORROW

There is no tomorrow (x3)

Today I'm searching for something
Today I'm following something
Today is different
As I am with you

There is no tomorrow (x3)

Today, now that I have you
I won't wait for you
Because when I do it
I know that I am losing you 

There is no tomorrow (x3)

(Spoken word section)