You've now learned what a cuplé por bulerías is, you've seen the transformation of popular song to cuplé, and today I want to show you one more example. It's Adela la Chaqueta's interpretation of Voy a Perder La Cabeza Por Tu Amor. (I know you'll enjoy her opening and closing dance moves, and if dancing is your thing, stick around because the next two posts will have plenty of that.)
Voy a Perder La Cabeza Por Tu Amor
Manuel Alejandro (music) /Ana Magdalena (lyrics)
Voy a perder la cabeza por tu amor
porque tú eres agua, porque yo soy fuego
y no nos comprendemos.
In the first installment of the flamenco cuplé series I'll explain what a cuplé is and show you a video example. But let's begin by looking at this one that Ani sang one day during bulerías class on the Flamenco Tour to Jerez. It was so pretty, so I asked her to tell me the words:
¿Quién se ha llevao mi amor?
¿Quién me ha dejao sin nada?
¿Quién se ha llevao todo el sol
que entraba por mi ventana?
Last week I wrote about some challenges I experienced while dancing bulerías and eight lessons I learned in the process. I'm not about to let those lessons go to waste, so I'm holding myself accountable by reporting back to you: Below I share one simple way I've been actively applying those lessons. It's something you too can do, today, to improve your bulerías. (You'll also find a letra at the end of the post.)
So as you know, I learned that I needed to practice more and listen more. One thing I've been doing that addresses both at the same time is to squeeze them in while driving in the car.
I want to share a story with you about how I messed up dancing bulerías last weekend, how it left me feeling not so happy about my dancing, eight important lessons about flamenco (and life) I learned in the process, and how those lessons served me when I applied them to a sticky situation in my life.
So last weekend I took a workshop with Alfonso Cid. He shared bunches of bulerías letras with us (you'll find one below) and gave a very informative introduction to flamenco, with a focus on cante. He had us all singing and doing palmas and even got some of us up dancing.
Toward the end of the workshop someone asked Alfonso to address how to dance bulerías por fiesta, how to dance to the cante. (As you know, this is one of my favorite things.)
Yay! (and Olé).
Some people got up to dance, mess up or not mess up, and learn along the way.
I was one of those people.
And here is what I learned:
I just returned home from Jerez, and naturally, I'm missing bulerías.
I have a letra to share with you today. It's one that David Lagos sang during our private show there, but before I do, I want to tell you a quick story.
It's one that Julie, a student on the Flamenco Tour, shared with me just before she departed Jerez.
On her last morning there, Julie took a final stroll around the city before she caught her train to Granada. On her way back to the apartments she found herself behind an older couple walking down the street. T
I'm in Jerez.
One by one the Flamenco Tour students are arriving. It's so exciting.
Tonight we get to know each other at the opening night tapas reception. Then we'll go to the Peña los Cernícalos to watch Ana María López's Fin de Curso. Tomorrow we begin our workshop with Mercedes Ruíz. The next day we start our bulerías class . . .
And so, a letra por bulerías.
Below find another tangos from La Niña de los Peines followed by a recording and a palmas activity for you.
A mi madre abandoné
por tu querer solamente
Ahora me veo solita
sin madre y sin tu querer
I abandoned my mother
just for your love
Now I am alone
without a mother and without your love
Todo el mundo le pide a Dios
la salud y la libertad
y yo le pido la muerte
no me la quiere mandar
The whole world asks God
for health and freedom
And I ask for death
He doesn't want to send it to me
I've been getting in the mood for the upcoming Flamenco Retreat at the Oregon Coast this weekend by listening to lots and lots of tangos and dancing all around the house. (More on that below.)
Here's a letra for you to enjoy:
Si quieres que te quiera
son monedas que alegran
a los corazones
A letra por soleá.
See how Israel Galván interprets it in the video that follows.
Los pajaritos y yo
nos levantamos a un tiempo,
ellos le cantan al alba,
y yo alegro mis sentimientos
The birds and I
we wake together
They sing to the dawn,
and I feel good
Last week I published a colombianas letra from Perspectivas.
The first part is here. Below find the third part, the estribillo.
No me digas más
deja que esta noche
pueda dormir yo.
Here is another colombianas letra that I got from Mercedes. It was sung in her show Perspectivas.
Cansados de tanto llorar
mis ojos se van durmiendo,
Querer a quien no me quiere
es un loco pensamiento,
¡Pobrecitos mis quereres,
mala vida están viviendo!
You already know about the two main settings for flamenco.
Today I want to discuss the five main elements of flamenco,
I’ve chosen to share one video and discuss the five main elements of flamenco within it.
Let’s take a closer look:
I originally published this here within the letra, Moraito Como un Lirio by Antonio Sánchez Pecino.
Today I wanted to highlight this estribillo:
Libre quiero ser
Como el pájaro que canta,
Primita, al amanecer
I want to be free
like the bird that sings,
You can see it in the video that follows...
Today I want to share a bulerías dancing tip with you along with a letra.
Let's start with the tip
When I'm in Jerez on the Flamenco Tours, Ani offers all kinds of quick and dirty tips.
Calidad antes que cantidad.
Quality before quantity
Sometimes it's so enticing. We're exposed to a bunch of cool steps. We can't stand to leave any of them out, so we try to squeeze them all into one pataita.
And things get sloppy.
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.)
No te acuerdas cuando entonces
bajabas descalza a abrirme
y ahora tú no me conoces
You don't remember when
you would come down barefoot to let me in
and now you don't even know me
Spanish painter, Ignacio Tovar says this verse talks about passionate relationships that become cold with the passing of time. I came across . . .
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:
Cuanto más hondo es un pozo
más fresquita sale el agua
cuanto más hablo contigo
más dulces son tus palabras
The deeper the well
the fresher the water
the more I talk to you
the sweeter your words
Most likely there is at least one person in your life you feel this way about. (I can think of many, my nieces, my sister, my sweetheart, just about all of my friends...) Why not share today's letra with one of your beloveds?
Yesterday I received an email from a reader, Max Herzog, a guitarist based in San Diego, who came across today's letra on my blog. (I originally posted it about four years ago. I struggled with the translation then, and I'm still struggling with it today.) Max had some great insights along with a smoother translation which I wanted to share with you. You'll find his translation below (with just a couple of small changes from me).
Los ojos como las moras
y los dientes de marfil
y tu boca es una fuente
donde una noche bebí
agua con ansias de muerte