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Miguel Poveda

One Thing We Need to Understand About Letras | The Weekly Letra

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One Thing We Need to Understand About Letras | The Weekly Letra

Today I'm going to talk about how the same letra can (and definitely will be) interpreted in different ways by different singers. I'll also talk about why, as dancers, we need to pay attention to this. And finally, I'll share a tangos letra with you. (Oh, and at the end of the post I give you an activity to do from the comfort of your own home.)

How the same letra can vary

Depending upon who is singing, how they like to sing a given letra, and even how they are feeling at a given moment, one letra can be interpreted in many different ways.

Let's look at some examples:

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The things that happen in Cádiz | Viernes con una Letra

Here's an interpretation from Miguel Poveda of the popular Bulerías de Cádiz reflecting upon the current-day situation in Spain. Scroll down for an out-of-control amazing video of a live performance ¡que compás y gracia! with José Quevedo, Diego del Morao, El Londro, Luis Cantarote, and my (not real) boyfriend's real brother, Carlos Grilo.

Bulerías de Cai
¡Qué disparate!

Con el caray, caray, caray, 
éstas son las cosas que pasan en Cai,
que ni la hambre la vamos a sentir,
 
que mire usted que gracia tiene este país.

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An email from Becky...read it

Ok, so I told you that I might share some bulerías tesoros directly from the mouth of Ana María López with you today or tomorrow.  Well, it's not happening today because I just got this great email from Becky. Becky is a student.  She came on the Spain Tour.

Below you'll find an email that she sent to her husband.

She passed it along to me. and I asked her if I could post it.  She was sending it to me for me, but she very graciously agreed.

I read it as a series of snapshots showing how life has been going here in Jerez, which is why I wanted to share it with all of you. So, here you go, from Becky...

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Viernes con una Letra | Cantiñas

Cantiñas con abanico.  That is what we're doing in one of the workshops with Emilio this weekend.

And I am inspired beyond belief.

We're dancing to Miguel Poveda's Casa Pavón.  Here is the first letra...

Donde están los colegiales 
Plazoletilla del Rey
donde están los colegiales
al punto de la oración
unos entran y otros salen.
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Viernes con una Letra | Tientos de El Mellizo

Today a letra por tientos and an old video of Miguel Poveda.

If you know me, you know that I absolutely love tientos.  Someday I will tell you the story of Ricardo's refusal, after much begging, to teach me tientos, but not today. I have loved this palo from the first time I heard it.  And this tientos has perhaps my favorite estribillo of all time.  It is beyond beautiful.  Just read it then listen, and you'll know what I mean.  Oh, and Lamiae sang it for me on Sunday...That was wonderful.

Moraíto como un lirio
Antonio Sánchez Pecino

Mi cuerpecito lo tengo
moraíto como un lirio,
si Dios me diera la muerte
acababan mis martiritos

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No te he dao motivo | Viernes con una letra

Today un tientos entero. I pretty much begged Diana to learn this tientos from La Niña de los Peines (or the first part at least) so that I could dance to it. I told her about how it brought me to tears every time I listened to it. 

Yikes. 

That's what she thought.  

I remember singing it with her on the phone in the kitchen. And she got it. And I danced to it. And it felt wonderful.

No te he dao motivo

Porque yo no te he dao motivo
que yo no te he hecho daño
tú te fuiste de mi vera 
de mi verita te fuiste 
te apartaste tú de mi vera 
sin yo haberte dao motivo

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