I am in Sevilla where the bells of the catederál keep ringing and the birds keep singing.  That was not meant to rhyme, it just did.  In Jerez there were lots of birds but not so many bells. And speaking of Jerez, last Saturday we went to hear José Carpio, "El Mijita," sing at a new little bar called Zoniquete.  I mean it when I say that the place was small.

It was verdaderamente íntimo.

We were on our way home from dinner.  Still on a high after our private show with Mercedes, Santiago Lara, and David Lagos earlier that evening.  Everyone was sleepy from the classes, the shows, from everything.  We could have gone home.  And some did.  But Cherie, Frieda, Stefani, and I decided to stop by the bar to see if anything was happening yet.

It was only 10:00, and there was nothing going on.  Except that the performers were there.  So we got something to drink and waited.  The show was supposedly set to start at 10:30.  Of course we knew it wouldn't start until well after.  Still, I figured I'd ask when the singing would begin.

Cuando llega la gente.

"When people get here."


Anyway, we hung out and were happy to have seats.  As I mentioned, the place was small.

Eventually people came.  People we knew like Carmen and Ani and Jaime.  And people we didn't.

I'm so glad we stayed.

... To hear the cante.  To see Carmen and Ani dance bulerías.  To see the little five year old girl sing and dance outside.  To meet and talk to Rafael Lorente.  I'll tell you more about him later.  To be in Jerez and experience flamenco.

Here is one of the fandangos José sang:

So beautiful.

Lo que dura una palmera
debería de durar una madre
lo que dura una palmera
para que no le faltara al hombre
una mujer que lo quisiera
y que lo llamara por su nombre.

A mother should live
as long as a palm tree does
as long as a palm tree does
so that a man is never without
a woman who loves him
and who calls him by his name.

Here is El Mijita singing it.  The video is set to start where he sings this letra, but you can scroll back to hear his full fandangos.

You can hear another version of it here.

As you know, translating challenges me mucho.  And this letra was especially difficult.  I wasn't sure of how to convey the sentido in English, how to respect the poetry.  If you come up with a different interpretation, please share. And, of course, I’d love to hear your thoughts and reflections.  Let me know in the comments.