I am hearing Ada singing right now. And Ellie doing palmas. I am seeing Margot dancing. This is all happening in my mind.

And I am smiling.

They are my nieces.

Between Christmas and New Year's Eve the four of us found moments of time here and there to prepare for our show.

I guess it has become an annual thing, putting on a family flamenco show for my sister's birthday. Except for last year when I stayed in Portland for the holidays.

I could go on and on about the show, and about how happy it makes me feel to share flamenco with my family, but

I'll just tell you about how it pertains to today's letra

You see, Margot danced the rumba below with abanico. It was something that she learned in her flamenco class with Rocío. Margot taught me her version as I was instructed to sing and accompany with palmas, along with my two other nieces.

Her version was a variation of the words below from the popular Cuban songBilongo, (La Negra Tomasa) which I discovered was originally written by Guillermo Rodríguez Fiffe.

And so, a rumba, as we continue with this month's Ida y Vuelta series.

(Part of) Bilongo (La Negra Tomasa)

Estoy tan enamorao
de la negra Tomasa
que cuando sale de casa
qué triste me pongo

I am so in love with Tomasa,
the dark woman 
and when she leaves her house
how sad I become

Hear Estrella Morente singing it below:

By the way, you can view the lyrics to the full song here. I did not include the full song or meaning because there is a lot going on, more than I felt comfortable getting into here today, and it is one of those songs that loses a lot in English...

Oh, and here's part of the variation that Margot had us sing:

Estoy tan enamorao de su amor y de su gracia que cuando sale de casa no sé lo que a mi pasa

¡Ay! ¡Ay! ¡Ay camará, camará!

I'm so in love with her love and her grace that when she leaves home I don't know what happens to me

Oh! Oh! Oh! Comrade! Comrade!

Thank you, Al Criado, for helping me with the word, 'camará.' Al (a fabulous bass player if you don't already know) informed me that it is a colloquialism of the word "camarada," (comrade).

The Ida y Vuelta Series & Some other things you might like