Here is an observation activity to help you understand bulerías more deeply along with a letra and a video from the Peña la Bulería caseta during the Feria de Jerez.
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soleá por bulerías
When we were in Jerez we spent a lot of time at Tabanco El Pasaje watching flamenco. You can see shows there just about every afternoon and night. Below you can see a video of Juan Loreto dancing soleá por bulerías.
Soleá por Bulerías
Qué pena tengo en el alma
se murió la madre mía
cuando se anunciaba el alba
What sorrow I feel in my soul
my mother died
when dawn came
Last week we were blown away by Jesús Carmona here in Portland. He gave workshops and put on a last-minute show, Ensayo de Una Vida, which he created and debuted right here in town! I'll tell you more about that later. For now, here's a letra and a video of Jesús dancing at Corral de la Moreria. (Below the video you can see some pictures from our workshops last week.)
No quiero que hables con nadie
Sólo con tu confesor
con tu padre
con tu madre
Today a letra por tangos (or soleá, or bulerías, or soleá por bulerías...) followed by but another must-watch video,
Cuando me eches de menos
tú tienes que venir a buscarme
como un caballo sin freno
When you miss me
you'll have to come looking for me
like a horse with no brakes
Watch and listen to David Palomar sing it below along with Rafael Rodríguez on guitar. (I promise you'll be glad you did.)
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.
Todo es de color...
Accompanied by Farruquito, sitting at a dining room table. (You can hear it at about 3 minutes.)
And so, today's letra
It's actually an entire song, and it's kind of long, and you definitely don't want to miss the video of Lole and Manuel performing it live which you'll find (along with the translation) as you scroll down in the post...
Todo es de Color
Todo es de color
Todo el mundo cuenta sus penas
pidiendo la comprensión,
quien cuenta sus alegrías
no comprende al que sufrió
Quite awhile ago I published this letra. It was fall not spring when I posted it, and at that time I was preparing to embark on the VERY FIRST FlamencoTour to Jerez. Now as I get ready for the sixth (yes sixth!) tour, I'm re-posting it because:
#1: I've been admiring the daffodils blossoming all over Portland,
#2: It needed a picture. It never got a picture.
Yo vengo vendiendo flores
las tuyas son amarillas
las mías de míl colores
I'll get to the translation in a moment,
But first let's talk about words
The same letra, different words. I love this about flamenco.
Melinda brought me a little book of letras from Spain. In it I came across an abbreviated version of the first letra written below. When I researched it online, I found some additional letras in a version by Juan Cantero.
Here you go:
Bulerías por Soleá
Me las paso sin dormir
las horitas de la noche
pensando si tú me quieres
como yo te quiero a ti
Today was the last bulerias class for everyone on the Spain Tour, my exotic pets.
And tomorrow is the final class with Mercedes.
Then on Sunday everyone leaves. I am feeling pretty sad about that. Thank goodness Katie is staying...
But back to bulerías class.
Today was a celebratory day. Just about everyone got cerveza. Yes, beer. When Ani is in a good mood and really likes what you do she gives you beer. I didn't get any beer.
The same letra, different words. I love this about flamenco. I don't mean completely different words, though there's that as well. But I'm talking right now about one letra and how each singer may vary the words slightly...sometimes changing the sentido, sometimes not.
Cristo sang it like this
Ando vendiendo flores
las tuyas son amarillas
y las mías de míl colores
Of course, he repeated lines and added in some ques and stuff...
Then I've heard others sing the letra this way:
In honor of more bulerías starting in May...
José Soto Barea
Me pongo a comer y no como
me acuerdo de tus acciones
y con la comida me ahogo
I go to eat, and I don't eat
I remember what you did,
And I choke on my food