1. Heading to Virginia tomorrow morning, thought I’d share a Song of the Day before going to bed. Today’s track is called “Y En Eso Llego Fidel” (That’s When Fidel Arrived”) by Cuban trovador (troubador) Carlos Puebla. Many people are familiar with the nueva trova sound, which is best represented in the music of Silvio Rodriguez, Pablo Milanes and Carlos Varela, but Puebla’s songs belong in its parent genre, the distinctly Cuban trova. Most music from this genre features traditional Cuban instruments and sounds more heavily than nueva trova, and as such has similarities with Cuban son. Trova’s popularity began to decline toward the end of the 1960s, when the nueva trova movement took off with very enthusiastic support from the Ministry of Culture, a popularity that continues unabated to this day.

    Carlos Puebla bench statue Cuba

    This song talks about 1950’s Cuba under Fulgencio Batista, when exploitation, oppression, and decadence flourished in Cuban society, and points out how these things came to an end upon Fidel Castro and his guerrillas’ victory on January 1st, 1959 in the now-infamous Cuban Revolution. Sure, it’s a bit propagandish, but still an awesome song dedicated to El Comandante. As always, the lyrics are translated to the best of my (and Google Translate)’s ability :-). Enjoy!

    SPANISH:

    Aquí pensaban seguir
    ganando el ciento por ciento
    con casas de apartamentos
    y echar al pueblo a sufrir

    Y seguir de modo cruel
    contra el pueblo conspirando
    para seguirlo explotando…
    y en eso llegó Fidel

    Se acabó la diversión,
    llegó el Comandante
    y mandó a parar (x2)

    Aquí pensaban seguir
    tragando y tragando tierra
    sin sospechar que en la Sierra
    se alumbraba el porvenir

    Y seguir de modo cruel
    la costumbre del delito
    hacer de Cuba un garito…
    y en eso llegó Fidel

    Se acabó la diversión,
    llegó el Comandante
    y mandó a parar (x2)

    Aquí pensaban seguir
    diciendo que los ratreros,
    forajidos bandoleros
    asolaban al país

    Y seguir de modo cruel
    con la infamia por escudo
    difamando a los barbudos…
    y en eso legó Fidel

    Se acabó la diversión,
    llegó el Comandante
    y mandó a parar (x2)

    Aquí pensaban seguir
    jugando a la democracia
    y el pueblo que en su desgracia
    se acabara de morir

    Y seguir de modo cruel
    sin cuidarse ni la forma
    con el robo como norma…
    y en eso llegó Fidel

    Se acabó la diversión,
    llegó el Comandante
    y mandó a parar (x2)

    ENGLISH:

    Here they thought to continue
    charging us too much
    in their apartment complexes,
    and to toss the people to the dogs

    And to continue in a cruel way
    conspiring against the people
    to keep exploiting them,
    and that’s when Fidel arrived

    He ended their games
    the commander arrived
    and made them stop (x2)

    Here they thought to continue
    swallowing up land,
    without suspecting that in the Sierra
    the light of the future shined

    And to continue in a cruel way
    their habit of crime,
    to make Cuba a gambling den,
    and that’s when Fidel arrived

    He ended their games
    the commander arrived
    and made them stop (x2)

    Here they thought to continue
    saying that they were thugs,
    bandits and outlaws
    ravaging the country

    And to continue in a cruel way
    with their infamy as a shield
    slandering the bearded ones
    and that’s when Fidel arrived

    He ended their games
    the commander arrived
    and made them stop (x2)

    Here they thought to continue
    playing games with democracy,
    and the people in their misery
    would end up dying

    And to continue in a cruel way,
    without caring how,
    in their usual theft,
    and that’s when Fidel arrived

    He ended their games
    the commander arrived
    and made them stop (x2)

     
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