Sunday, November 27, 2016

Music on My Mind



"Guantanamera", The Sandpipers. The lyrics, of course, are culled from various poems by José Martí, arguably the greatest Cuban poet. This version skips the third verse, which is the first stanza of what is actually the most famous poem, and a gem worth recording in its own right:

Cultivo una rosa blanca
(Versos sencillos XXXIX)
by José Martí


Cultivo una rosa blanca
en junio como enero
para el amigo sincero
que me da su mano franca.

Y para el cruel que me arranca
el corazón con que vivo,
cardo ni ortiga cultivo;
cultivo la rosa blanca.

My rough translation:

I grow a white rose
in June and January alike
for the sincere friend
who gives me his open hand.

And for the cruel one who rips out
the heart with which I live,
neither thistle nor nettle do I grow;
I grow the white rose.

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