Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sights and Sounds of Colombia

During the Fiesta in October, the streets were crowded with people, dogs,
horses, motos, cars, trucks and music was coming from everywhere.
It has taken me awhile to track down this popular singer and the song I was hearing everywhere, even back when I first arrived in Colombia. During the 2010 Christmas season, this song was blaring from every radio, whether in a car, casa or attached to some camposino's mochilla (sack).

I actually got sick of hearing it last year, but when it was played again this year, it was like finding an old friend. And this year, because I am working on learning Spanish, I did a translation of the song called "Gracias."

Basically it's about a man who has fallen hopelessly in love and how he values the object of his affection. But one line jumped out at me. He sings, "After God and my mother, I live for you." I am sure that is why even the church supports this artist. Anyhow, putting aside various people's perspective on the Almighty, this lively song also features the typical Colombiana fast-paced rhythm with what sounds like a 'Tiple' guitarist accompanying the singer. I will go into that particular musical form in another post, but have a listen to this very popular song and the 'cantinero,' and see if your feet don't start moving all on their own.
The chorus (roughly translated) means:
thanks for making me correct so many errors
thanks for painting my life with beautiful colors
thanks for sowing in the soul new illusions
thanks for making me write more than thousand songs.

It turns out this young man is indeed quite a prolific songwriter. I welcome a more correct version from any linguist out there!

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