Song of the Day #1,646: ‘Candela’ – Buena Vista Social Club

buena_vista_social_clubI’ve never entirely understood the controversies that surrounded the Buena Vista Social Club, made popular by both a Wim Wenders documentary and an album produced by Ry Cooder.

Something about using nostalgia for Cuba’s golden era to line the pockets of the Castro regime. Or an American taking credit for “discovering” Cuban musicians who had been famous internationally for decades. I’ve even read some criticism that Cooder’s guitar style didn’t mesh well with the rest of the band on some recordings.

I don’t know about any of that. I just know that this album is beautiful from start to finish. It has a wonderful, transporting sound and it’s the first record that helped me understand the appeal of “world music” (this and the City of God soundtrack are the only examples you’ll find in my music collection).

Puso un baile un jutaaa, para una gran diversiaan.
De timbalero un rataan, que alegraba el
Campo un daaa.
Un gato tambiaan venaaa, elegante y placentero,
‘Buenas noches, compañero’
Siempre dijo asaa el timbal
‘Para alguien aquaa poder tocar,
Para descansar un poco’.
Saliaa el rataan medio loco,
‘tambiaan voy a descansar’.
Y el gato en su buen bailar, bailaba un
Danzaan liviano.
El rataan se subiaa al guano, y dice
Bien placentero:
Y ahora si quieren bailar, baasquense
Otro timbalero!

Ay candela, candela, candela, me quemaa aaa.

Oye, Faustino Orama’ y sus compañeros,
Necesito que me apaguen el fuego.
Margarita llama pronto a los bomberos para
Que vengan a apagar el fuego.
Oye, si estaas perdida llama a los siete ceros,
Y asi vendraan maas pronto los bomberos.
Ay candela, candela, candela, me quemo aaa,
Mama Aaaay!


3 thoughts on “Song of the Day #1,646: ‘Candela’ – Buena Vista Social Club

  1. Dana says:

    I was not aware of any controversy surrounding this band, but then again, my only exposure to them is through my inherited iTunes collection and your blog.

    Today’s song is quite good, but to my American ear, it doesn’t sound markedly distinct or better than any other music of this genre.

  2. Amy says:

    I understand why there is concern when the American capitalistic society finds a way to profit off of something that exists organically in another culture. However, I agree that someone (finally) putting something firmly on the American radar that wasn’t there beforehand doesn’t indicate that the “something” has been exploited or stolen from the original culture.

    Certainly Paul Simon had his share of critics when he made Graceland. While I understand that criticism, I mostly am just glad to have the music brought to my attention. When an artist such as Simon or Wenders or Cooder explores another culture’s music with pure intent, I can’t imagine how the result can be anything other than equally pure.

    That’s what I hear when I listen to today’s SOTD, and I love it.

  3. peg says:

    I love this album and this music and hope to hear lots of it when we visit Cuba 🙂

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