Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Cucurrucucu Paloma



I am posting this Spanish song. You may recall hearing it for the first time in Pedro Almodovar's film "Hable Con Ella" (Talk to Her). The voice singing that song is Cataeno Veloso, for whom I have had my one and only, big celebrity crush. I don't know how I came to know his voice, but it is tender and alive and extraordinary. I am posting this concert performance of his with this wonderful string arrangement by the cellist and musical director, Jaques Morelenbaum.

At the moment in the film when the song is sung, the character realizes he has lost his only real love. The song, appropriately, recounts the story of a man who dies from the pain of the loss of someone he loved. It is lushly romantic and very unAmerican. What I love about Cataeno Veloso is his ability, especially in this performance, to walk a line between restraint and manipulation. His voice is just so touching and perfect. For me, it is the restraint that makes the song so wildly beautiful.

In Spanish the lyrics by Tomás Méndez are:

Dicen que por las noches no más se le iba en puro llorar.
Dicen que no comía, no más se le iba en puro tomar.
Juran que el mismo cielo se estremecía al oír su llanto.
Cómo sufría por ella, que hasta en su muerte la fue llamando!

Ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, cantaba.
Ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, gemía.
Ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, cantaba.
De pasión mortal moría.

Que una paloma triste muy de mañana le va a cantar
A la casita sola con sus puertitas de par en par.
Juran que esa paloma no es otra cosa más que su alma,
Que él todavía la espera a que regrese, la desdichada.

Cucurrucucú, paloma,
Wucurrucucú, no llores.
Las piedras jamás, paloma,
Qué van a saber de amores?

Cucurrucucú, cucurrucucú,
Wucurrucucú, paloma,
Ya no le llores.

In English these lyrics transalate into:

They say that at night he didn’t do anything but cry.
They say that he didn’t eat and didn’t do anything but drink.
They swear that heaven shuddered when it heard his cry,
How he suffered for her, calling out to her even as he died.

Ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, he sang.
Ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, he wept.
Ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, he sang.
As he died of mortal passion.

That a sad dove came that morning to sing to him,
To the small house with its windows open wide.
They swear that the dove is nothing less than his soul,
That is still waiting for her to come back, her, the unfortunate.

Cucurrucucú, dove,
Cucurrucucú, don’t cry.
The stones never do, dove,
What do they know of love?

Cucurrucucú, cucurrucucú,
Cucurrucucú, you don’t cry any more.

2 comments:

your mama said...

you are the only person I know who knows of Cataeno Veloso! excellent! I first heard him while listening to The World on NPR.

jamm said...

...I thought I was alone in my appreciation, TOO. But how could that be?. He is just too fine. I think it is just the narrowness of the North American music world. He is close to god in South America. You have superb taste.