Here’s how Juan Luis Guerra summed up his frustration about gringos not understanding his “socially conscious lyrics.”
“I’d love to be more skilled in English, to get songs like ‘Ojalá que Llueva Café’ into English,” Mr. Guerra this week told The New York Times.
So… The New York Times, being The New York Times, volunteered the direct translation of some of Guerra’s most famous melodies, including the not-so-socially-conscious Burbujas de Amor:
Why didn’t I think of that before? Here are, thus, a few verses of some of my favorite songs (in English, of course, for the monolingual crowd)
1. The múcura is on the floor, mother I cannot deal with it!
2. I have neither a throne nor a queen, but I am still the King
3. Where will it go, fast and tired, the swallow that is now leaving this place?
4. That mole that you have, little sky of mine, next to the mouth…don’t give it to anyone because it’s mine
5. Say yes to everybody, but don’t tell them when… That is what you told me, and that is why I live in grief
I am offering five pesos (payable in 2010) to those of you who can guess the titles of the songs above.