Spanish Rock in the Seventies Part 2: Rock Family Trees

I don’t know if a Spanish version of ‘Rock Family Trees’ exists, but if there does this will be an interesting page. Nuevos Horizontes have featured previously on this blog, with their great single ‘El Afinador De Cítaras’ from 1969 (written by Vainica Doble). However, by the early seventies the hits had dried up and their female vocalist left the group. Carrying on as ‘The Spanish Mamas & Papas’ was no longer an option…

Meanwhile the promising quartet Solera, who we have seen previously with ‘Linda Prima’, released their debut album in 1973. However the group then split up when both Rodrigo García and José Guzman moved on to form Cánovas, Rodrigo, Adolfo y Guzmán. Usually known as CRAG, this ‘supergroup’ enjoyed success with the single ‘Señora Azul’ (another track you can find on Spanish Pop Lyrics). But what about the talented brothers José and Manuel Martín who had been left behind?

In 1974 Nuevos Horizontes and the the Martín brothers joined forces to record ‘Telaraña’ (‘Spider’s Web’). The two halves worked well together and although the album wasn’t a hit it is now considered a classic of Spanish rock. Like CRAG and Solera they combined strong songs with adventurous arrangement. ‘Se Me Escapó Una Ilusion’ is a rich ballad, epic enough to have been included on at least one prog rock compilation.


Ya amanece otra vez,
Parece que ella hace un rato anochecer,
El alba me sorprendió,
Su rayos hilo de cera me incendió,
Un pensamiento de ayer,
La imagen que no olvidé
De la araña que su enredo me tejió 
Unos sinsabores y el recuerdo de un antiguo amor.

Se me escapó una ilusión,
Que brilla fuerte en mi mente como un sol,
Se me escapó una ilusión,
Y nos quedamos sin noche y sin amor
Hiciste tu libertad, 
Tu pudiste (?) aceptar,
Pues, vencido ante el destino
Liberé las mil cadenas que
Oprimían tus viajeros pies.

Se me escapó una ilusión,
Pues, puedo aún recobrar la para mí,
Se me escapó una ilusión,
Quizás tú quieras guardarla para ti,
Yo te prometo luchar con armas que me darás
Con tus besos, con tu vida y con tu amor
Y viviremos hasta siempre o hasta sabe en Dios.

Now that it is dawn again,
It seems like she went dark just a while ago,
The dawn surprised me,
Its rays, threads of wax, set me alight
A thought of yesterday,
The image I haven't forgotten
Of the spider that wove a tangled web around me
Of troubles and the memory of an old love.

The dream slipped away from me
That shone so strongly in my mind like a sun,
The dream slipped away from me
And we are left without night and without love
You took your freedom, 
You could accept,
Well, defeated by fate
I released the thousand chains that
Were oppressing your travelling feet. 

The dream slipped away from me
Well, I can still recover it for myself
The dream slipped away from me
Perhaps you want to keep it for yourself,
I promise to fight with weapons that you'll give me
With your kisses, your life and your love
And we will live forever, or until God knows when.


Spanish Rock in the Seventies: Prologue

Here is Vainica Doble’s Christmas single from 1972, which is also going to act as a prologue to a new series about Spain in the seventies. Gloria Van Aerssen died in October this year, her musical partner Carmen Santonja having died 15 years earlier.

Vainica Doble were two women in the male dominated rock world, moreover they were both pushing forty by the time their recording career started to take off in the early seventies. They always followed their own unique vision, and they are exactly the kind of eccentric misfits who will feature heavily in the new series which will start properly in the new year.

NB The Latin chorus translates as ‘Glory to God in the highest’.


Hosana, Hosana;
Gloria in excelsis deo

Vamos a Belén 
y veamos lo sucedido
que el señor nos quiere hacer saber.

Iban unos mozos 
y encontraron a María, José y al niño, 
recostado en un pesebre.

Viéndolo conocieron la revelación 
que les había sido hecha,
referente a aquel niño.


Todos los que lo oyeron 
se admiraron de lo que decían los pastores,
pero María conservaba todas estas palabras,
meditándolas en su corazón.

Y regresaron los pastores alabando a Dios
por todo lo que habían oído y visto,
según les había sido anunciado.


Hosanna, Hosanna;
Gloria in excelsis Deo 

Let's go to Bethlehem 
And we will see the event
That the Lord would have us know

They were some young people 
And they found Mary, Joseph and the child
Lying in a manger

Seeing it they experienced the revelation 
That had been made for them
Concerning this child 


All those who heard it 
Admired what the shepherds said
But Mary kept all these words
Thinking about them in her heart

And the shepherds returned, praising God
For all they had heard and seen
As it had been revealed to them


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…



Part 5: Psychedelic Pop and the End of the Sixties

We round up our look at the sixties with a track from the end of the decade by Spain’s answer to the Mamas and Papas – Nuevos Horizontes. This was their first single, a top ten hit in 1969. It was written for them by Vainica Doble, the female duo who would go on to become one of the most interesting Spanish groups of the seventies. The duo wrote some pretty strange and psychedelic sounding songs, but because they had a background in kid’s TV, the censors must have assumed it was just innocent childish fun – and maybe it was!

Here is some more info about Vainica Doble:



¿Sois acaso el afinador de cítaras?
Calle del Álamo, número 27 - E 
¿Vive aquí acaso el afinador de cítaras?
No, señor (x3)

No señor, soy un humilde pintor 
voy en busca de un color 
que se fue de mi taller 
Dígale si se lo encuentra usted 
que no puedo trabajar sin el 
¡Ay, señor! el color se llama azul 
lo guardaba en un baúl 
pero un día se escapo 
Y ha quedado a medio terminar 
el retrato de mi tía Pilar 


No señor, soy un fracasado actor 
voy buscando un director 
que me dé un buen papel 
Dígale si acaso le ve usted 
que soy alto, guapo y hablo inglés 
Puedo hacer de vaquero o de galán 
indio, espía o capitán 
de valiente o de traidor 
De playboy galante estoy mejor 
porque soy moreno y seductor 

(pero cambia a ‘Sí, señor’) 

Sí señor, yo soy el afinador 
que de puerta en puerta va 
soy el rey del diapasón 
Sé afinar lo mismo un clavecín 
que un trombón un arpa o un violín 
Ahora ya nunca más afinaré 
y lo siento, sí señor, 
porque se ha perdido el "Do" 
Dígale si se lo encuentra usted 
que lo esperan 
"Mi", "Fa", "Sol", "La", "Si" y el "Re" 

¿Sois acaso el afinador de cítaras?
¿Vive aquí acaso?
¿Vive aquí acaso el afinador de cítaras?
¿Vive aquí acaso? 
Calle del Álamo, número 27

Are you the zither tuner by any chance?
Alamo street, number 27 – E
Does the zither tuner live here by any chance?
No, sir (x3)

No sir, I’m a humble painter
I'm looking for a colour
that disappeared from my workshop
Tell him if you find him
that I can’t work without him
Oh, sir! The colour is called blue
I kept him in a trunk
but one day he escaped
And it’s been left half finished
the portrait of my Aunt Pilar


No sir, I'm a failed actor
I'm looking for a director
Who will give me a good part
Tell him, if you should see him
That I'm tall, handsome and speak English
I can be a cowboy or a ladies’ man
Indian, spy or captain
brave or traitor
But I’m better at gallant playboys
because I’m dark and charming

(but change to ‘Yes, sir’)

Yes sir, I am the tuner
who works from door to door
I'm the king of the tuning fork
I also know how to tune the spinet
the trombone, the harp and the violin
Now I will never tune again
I’m sorry sir 
because the "Do" has got lost
Tell him if you find him
that they’re waiting for him
"Mi", "Fa", "Sol", "La", "Si" and "Re"

Are you the zither tuner by any chance?
Does he live here by any chance?
Does the zither tuner live here by any chance?
Does he live here by any chance?
Alamo street, number 27
Chorus / Estribillo:
Am – Am – D – D
D5 – D5 – F – E  
F – F – Am – Am 
D – F – Am (x3) 

Verse / Estrofa:
C – G – Am – E 
E – A – F# – B


Vainica Doble were two thirty-something women whose psychedelic pop releases must have raised a few eyebrows at the time. This track featured on their debut LP in 1971. They also wrote songs for other groups, notably Nuevos Horizontes.

If you want to know more there’s a lot of info here:

Also, the song was #91 in a Rolling Stone list of the greatest Spanish pop songs:

UPDATE (Oct 2015): RIP Gloria Van Aerssen (Carmen Santonja died in 2000).



Caramelo de limón (ah-ah-ah-ah)
El sol de mi país

Caramelo de limón, el sol de mi país
Sol de mi país
Cielo blanquecino y gris,
Palomita de anís (ah…)
Mermelada de ciruela,
El mar que en sueños vi (ah…)
Que al romper las olas
Se convierte en chantillí (ah…)

Caramelo de limón, el sol de mi país
Sol de mi país,
Viento norte viento triste,
Un arco iris sin fin (ah…)
Bosques de castaños,
Los que siempre yo soñé
Que eran marron glacé
Nubes escarchadas,
Ventisqueros de cristal,
Marismas de niebla y sal.

Caramelo de limón, el sol de mi país.

Lemon drop (ah-ah-ah-ah)
My country’s sun,

Lemon drop, my country’s sun,
My country's sun,
Sky whitish and gray
Aniseed liquor with water (ah…)
Plum jam,
The sea I saw in dreams (ah…)
Breaking waves
That turn into whipped cream (ah…)

Lemon drop, my country’s sun,
My country's sun,
Sad north wind,
A rainbow without end.
Chestnut trees,
Those I always dreamt about
That were brown glacé
Frosty clouds,
Glass glaciers
Misty salt marshes. 

Lemon drop, my country’s sun,
E (with riff and descending scale)
Chorus / Estribillo:
E – F# – B – F# – Am – E – F#
Verse / Estrofa:
A – Bm – G – D – C – A
Bm – G – D – C – A
Bm – G – D – C