Friday, January 30, 2009

A Song Before Dying

As sung by the incomparable Celia Cruz:

(What a voice!)

Yo soy un hombre sincero
De donde crece la palma
Y antes de morirme quiero
Echar mis versos del alma
Guantanamera, guajira Guantanamera

Mi verso es de un verde claro
Y de un carmín encendido
Mi verso es un ciervo herido
Que busca en el monte amparo
Guantanamera, guajira Guantanamera

Cultivo una rosa blanca
En julio como en enero
Para el amigo sincero
Que me da su mano franca
Guantanamera, guajira Guantanamera

Y para el cruel que me arranca
El corazon con que vivo
Cardo ni ortiga cultivo
Cultivo la rosa blanca

Con los pobres de la tierra
Quiero yo mi suerte echar
El arroyo de la sierra
Me complace más que el mar
Guantanamera, guajira Guantanamera

I'm an honest man
From where the palm tree grows
And before dying I wish
To sing the song of my soul.

My verse is light green
And flaming red
My verse is a wounded stag
Seeking refuge on the mountain.

I grow a white rose
In July as in January
For the honest friend
Who offers an open hand.

And to the cruel one
who would tear my heart out,
Offer neither thistles nor nettles
But cultivate a white rose.

With the impoverished of the earth
I want to cast my lot.
The mountain brook
Gives me more pleasure than the sea

(adapted from verses by José Marti)

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