Learn Spanish Through Poetry & Music [4 Videos]: Sing the Songs of Garcia Lorca At The Top Of Your Lungs Over And Over Again!

Last Updated on November 10, 2021 by Kunthida

If you are passionate about literature and poetry (or music!) you can really use these passions to learn Spanish through poetry & the works of famous writers.

In this post, we offer you even more: combine the pleasure that literature offers with the fun that music offers and learn Spanish by singing the songs of the famous Spanish poet Garcia Lorca.

You will find below some great songs written by him with parallel text, Spanish and English, to follow:

Learn Spanish Through Poetry: De Los Cuatro Muleros

De los cuatro muleros, de los cuatro muleros,
Of the four muleteers, of the four muleteers,
De los cuatro muleros, mamita mía,
Of the four muleteers, oh mommy,
Que van al agua, que van al agua.
Going to the water, going to the water.

El de la mula torda, el de la mula torda,
The one on the grey mule, the one on the grey mule,
El de la mula torda, mamita mía,
The one on the grey mule, oh mommy,
Me roba el alma, me roba el alma.
Is stealing my soul, is stealing my soul.

De los cuatro muleros, de los cuatro muleros,
Of the four muleteers, of the four muleteers,
De los cuatro muleros, mamita mía,
Of the four muleteers, oh mommy,
Que van al río, que van al río.
Going to the field, going to the river…

El de la mula torda, el de la mula torda,
The one on the grey mule, the one on the grey mule,
El de la mula torda, mamita mía,
The one on the grey mule, oh mommy,
Es mi marío, es mi marío.
Is my husband, is my husband.

De los cuatro muleros, de los cuatro muleros,
Of the four muleteers, of the four muleteers,
De los cuatro muleros, mamita mía,
Of the four muleteers, oh mommy,
Que van al campo, que van al campo.
Going to the field, going to the field…

El de la mula torda, el de la mula torda,
The one on the grey mule, the one on the grey mule,
El de la mula torda, mamita mía,
The one on the grey mule, oh mommy,
Moreno y alto, moreno y alto.
Dark and tall, dark and tall.

A qué buscas la lumbre, a qué buscas la lumbre,
Why do you look for fire, why do you look for fire,
A qué buscas la lumbre, mamita mía,
Why do you look for fire, oh mommy,
La calle arriba, la calle arriba…
Up the street, up the street…

Si de tu cara sale, si de tu cara sale,
If out of your face come, if out of your face come,
Si de tu cara sale, mamita mía,
If out of your face com, oh mommy,
La brasa viva, la brasa viva?
The lively embers, the lively embers?

This song is very easy and can help you to learn several Spanish words thanks to the many anaphoras it contains. The “anaphora” is the repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of successive clauses. It’s a classic rhetorical device in poems and songs.

The word “Torda” is horse-speak for a range of colorings from white to grey. So, in the song, “la mula torda” has been translated with “gray”. However, a more appropriate translation should be “the dapple-gray mule”.

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Learn Spanish Through Poetry: Pequeño Vals Vienés – Little Viennese Waltz

This beautiful song was first released on the album “Poet in New York”. It is a tribute to Garcia Lorca by the famous Canadian songwriter Leonard Cohen. The song is a free translation into English of the poem “Pequeño vals vienés” by Lorca himself that was first published in the book “Poeta en Nueva York”.

This famous song was included in Ana Belén’s second album dedicated to the poet from Granada: “Lorquiana, poemas de Lorca” (1998), where important names of the Hispanic music sang twelve poems of Federico.

Ana Belén interprets it with great taste, in a beautiful version, during a gala of Televisión Española for New Year’s Eve 98.

A true classic already covered by other artists and in different styles, as is the case of the Granada singer Enrique Morente, who recorded this song a few years before Ana Belén, through a great flamenco version highly recommended. Click here to listen…

En Viena hay diez muchachas, un hombro donde solloza la muerte
In Vienna, there are ten girls, a shoulder where death sobs,
y un bosque de palomas disecadas, hay un fragmento de la mañana.
and a forest of dried pigeons, there is a fragment of the morning.
En el museo de la escarcha hay un salón con mil ventanas.
Inside the museum of frost there is a hall with one thousand windows.

¡Ay, ay, ay, ay! Toma este vals, este vals, este vals con la boca cerrada.
Ay, ay, ay, ay! Take this waltz, this waltz this close-mouthed waltz.

Te quiero, te quiero, te quiero, con la butaca y el libro muerto,
I love you, I love you, I love you with the armchair and the dead book,
en el oscuro desván del lirio, por el melancólico pasillo,
in the obscure attic of the lily, down the melancholic hallway,
en nuestra cama de la luna y en la danza que sueña la tortuga.
in our bed made of moon and in the dance that the turtle dreams.

¡Ay, ay, ay, ay! Toma este vals, este vals, este vals de quebrada cintura.
Ay, ay, ay, ay! Take this broken-waisted waltz.

Este vals, este vals, este vals, este vals de sí,
This waltz, this waltz, this waltz, this waltz of yes,
de muerte y de coñac que moja su cola en el mar.
of death and of cognac that soaks its tail in the sea.

En Viena hay cuatro espejos donde juegan tu boca y los ecos.
In Vienna, there are four mirrors in which your mouth and the echoes play.
Hay una muerte para piano que pinta de azul a los muchachos.
There is a death for piano that paints the little boys blue.
Hay mendigos por los tejados. Hay frescas guirnaldas de llanto.
There are beggars on the roof. There are fresh garlands of tears.

Ay, ay, ay, ay! Toma este vals, este vals, este vals,
Ay, ay, ay, ay! Take this waltz, this waltz
este vals que se muere en mis brazos.
this waltz that dies in my arms.

Porque te quiero, te quiero, amor mío, en el desván donde juegan los niños,
For I love you, I love you, my love, in the loft where the children are playing,
soñando viejas luces de Hungría por los rumores de la tarde tibia,
dreaming of old Hungarian lights, through the murmurs of the warm evening,
viendo ovejas y lirios de nieve por el silencio oscuro de tu frente.
seeing snowy sheep and lilies through the dark silence of your forehead.

¡Ay, ay, ay, ay! Toma este vals, este vals, este vals del “Te quiero siempre”.
Oh! Oh, oh, oh! Take this waltz, this waltz, this waltz of the “I love you forever”.

Este vals, este vals, este vals, este vals de sí,
This waltz, this waltz, this waltz, this waltz of yes,
de muerte y de coñac que moja su cola en el mar.
of death and of cognac that soaks its tail in the sea.

Este vals, este vals, este vals, este vals de sí,
This waltz, this waltz, this waltz, this waltz of yes,
de muerte y de coñac que moja su cola en el mar.
of death and of cognac that soaks its tail in the sea.

Click here to read a comparison between this song and the original poem of Garcia Lorca.

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Learn Spanish Through Poetry: La Tarara

Here’s another quite simple song with a short text that will help you to learn the Spanish language a little at a time, but with fun! By learning and singing Spanish songs you have the chance for a full immersion in the Spanish culture… 

In this case, you also have the opportunity to combine various cultural fields into one fun time of learning.

If you think about it, in fact, this song brings together poetry, music, Spanish literature, Spanish folklore, and, of course, the Spanish language.

This easy song was traditionally sung by Spanish children while dancing in a circle. The oldest known version is from the nineteenth century and the words vary from region to region.

La Tarara tells a captivating story about a free-spirited girl absorbed in joyous singing and dancing. The people around her relax after a day of work. They are eating, talking, and laughing. The girl’s joy is infectious to everyone… Read more…

Lleva mi Tarara un vestido verde
Does my Tarara wear a green dress
lleno de volantes y de cascabeles.
full of flyers and rattles.

Chorus

La Tarara si, la Tarara no,
The Tarara yes, the Tarara no,
la Tarara, niña, que la he visto yo.
the Tarara, child, I’ve seen her.
Ay, Tarara, sí, ay, Tarara, no,
Oh, Tarara, yes, oh, Tarara, no,
ay, Tarara, niña de mi corazón.
Oh, Tarara, child of my heart.

Luce mi Tarara su cola de seda
My Tarara wears her silk tail
sobre las retamas y la hierbabuena. – Chorus
about the retamas and the peppermint.

Ay Tarara loca, mueve tu cintura
Ay Tarara loca, move your waist
para los muchachos de las aceitunas. – Chorus
for the olive boys.

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Learn Spanish Through Poetry of Garcia Lorca: The Spanish Myth Of The Toreador – The Latin Fatalism!

The following song is about Salvador Sánchez Povedano, alias “Paquiro, Frascuelo”, a famous Spanish bullfighter of the 19th century.

“El Chinitas’ or Café de Chinitas” was a small theater or singing cafe that began in the mid-nineteenth century in the Spanish city of Malaga (Andalusia) between 1857 and 1937.

The name comes from a dramatic actor named Chinitas, and its popularity is attributed to the poem that García Lorca wrote in 1931.

However, there’s another version about the origin of this name: it could be derived from the small pebbles (chinitas) that covered its patio floor.

En el café de Chinitas dijo Paquiro a su hermano:
In the Chinitas’ café Paquiro says to his brother
”Soy más valiente que tú,más torero y más gitano”.
“I’m more valiant than you,more a bullfighter and more a gypsy”

En el café de Chinitas dijo Paquiro a Frascuelo:
In the Chinitas’ café Paquiro says to Frascuelo:
«Soy más valiente que tú,más gitano y más torero».
“I’m more valiant than you,more a gypsy and more a bullfighter…”

Sacó Paquiro el relóy dijo de esta manera:
Paquiro pulled his watch out and said in this manner:
«Este toro ha de morirantes de las cuatro y media».
“This bull has to die before four-thirty.”

Al dar las cuatro en la calle se salieron del café
When it was four o’clock in the street they left the café
y era Paquiro en la calle, un torero de cartel…
and there was Paquiro in the street, a very famous bullfighter.

Speak Spanish Fluently 2020 – The Ultimate Spanish Learning Method

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Learn Spanish Through Poetry: Gigliola Negri Sings Garcia Lorca

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