Monday, November 14, 2011

The Three Tenors Sing "Cielito Lindo" (My Favorite Spanish Song)

I'm taking my first semester of Spanish at the local community college here in Hollister, and enjoying it very much.  Learning a foreign language has always been easy to me for some reason, and I am getting a solid A in the class. (That's me in the sombrero - it's a Photoshop.) I know we as conservatives often attach negative feelings to many things Spanish, Mexican or Hispanic, because of the influx of illegal immigrants, the gangs and the drugs.  However, Hispanic culture is often rich and beautiful and we should not be blind to those qualities.

A song I have loved since childhood is the Spanish song from Mexico, "Cielito Lindo."  Per Wikipedia,
"Cielito lindo" is a popular Ranchera song from Mexico, written in 1882 by Quirino Mendoza y Cortés (c. 1859–1957).[1] It is roughly translated as "Lovely Sweet One". Although the word "cielo" means sky or heaven, it is also a term of endearment comparable to sweetheart or honey. "Cielito" can thus be translated as "sweetie"; "lindo" means cute, lovely or pretty. Sometimes the song is known by words from the refrain, "Canta y no llores". ["sing and don't cry"]

Commonly played by mariachi bands, it has been recorded by many artists in the original Spanish or in English and other languages using the melody of the song. In recent decades it has come to be widely known as a theme song for Mexicans, particularly at international events, like the FIFA World Cup.
When I was a kid I didn't know the words so would just sing, "Ay, ay, ay, ay!  Oh my sombrero!"  That's all I knew and it was wrong.  The refrain is quite famous.  It goes:
Ay, ay, ay, ay,
Canta y no llores,  [Sing and don't cry]
Porque cantando se alegran, [Because singing gladdens,]
Cielito lindo, los corazones. [My dear, our hearts.]
The full words and translation of this great song can be found here.

Finally, here singing a shortened version of the song are the "Three Tenors" [the Spanish singers Plácido Domingo and José Carreras and the Italian singer Luciano Pavarotti]:



A longer version, with a lovely children's choir, can be viewed here.

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