When Jesús Carmona was here he recommended that every student of flamenco improvise a little bit each day. In honor of that, here's a guided exercise in improvisation along with a video and examples of how a letra can vary.
First, the letra:
In the video example the singer interprets the same bulerías letra in two different ways, which makes it great to practice to.
Version One (5 minutes in)
Dime niña hermosa
quién te peina el pelo
RESPIRO (one compás break, 12 beats)
lo peina un estudiante
te lo riza un artillerooooo... de la artillería
que con gracia y salero
con gracia y salero
Sometimes you want to know a song to go along with the dance form you're studying in class. Other times you want to know the words to that particular flamenco song you like so much. And sometimes you long to know what those words mean.
I'd like to help you with that
Below you'll find a collection of letras (flamenco verses) organized by palo (flamenco form.)
After over four years of translating and posting flamenco songs, and not quite as many years of writing them out and turning them into things like this, there are quite a number of flamenco verses (and often accompanying videos) to be found around here.
I've learned a lot about Spanish, a bit about Caló, and much about flamenco through the process of doing these translations, very often getting help along the way. Some of the translations are better than others, and the letras rarely convey the same feeling in English as they do in their original form. Still the translations give a general idea of what the verse is about.
I find it nearly impossible to walk by a rosemary bush without touching it.
I love the smell it leaves on my fingers.
Romero traigo romero
que pá cuando vengas conmigo
que tú te lo ponga en tu pelo
Here I am at the 25th anniversary of the Festival Flamenco Internacional de Albuquerque. Seeing fabulous artists perform every night.
Taking classes from some of them, Pastora Galván and Olga Pericet.
And doing it with friends. The very best way to do it.
I've been wanting to tell you about it all week. I'll definitely tell you more later...
We've been working on jaleos in Pastora's class.
Here is one of the letras we're dancing to and a video of Pastora Galván dancing.