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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Manolo García, The Poet of Spanish Music

If I had a dollar for every unit of how much I love Manolo García, my husband and I would never have to worry again about money. My family would be set forever. Several universities and millions of hungry people would love Manolo García as much as I do, and the cycle would continue. Yes, Manolo García is the key to world peace and full bellies.

He's primarily a musician, with an illustrious career on the Spanish pop scene. I love his melodies and his voice, and of course, that mysterious alchemy when he was making music with Quimi Portet. But the writer in me really appreciates his surrealist, lyrical, lyrics. They come from a beautiful place of pure inspiration. They either make no sense at all or they make perfect sense. Below is the song that makes the most sense of all.

"Rosa de Alejandría" Nunca el tiempo es perdido (2000)


Rosa de Alejandría, rosa amarilla,
Alejarme quiero. Adentrarme en el silencio.

Alejarme quiero
De esta vida que yo vivo sin convencimiento.
Y adentrarme en el tiempo de las luces,
Barros vivos encendidos por la mano
Del misterioso alfarero.

Alejarme quiero. Adentrarme en el silencio.
Caminar sereno. Abandonar esta senda.

Alejarme quiero.
Anidar en los atrojes
Con las golondrinas de azuladas plumas.
Convertirme en caja de medir fanegas,
Arrobas, celemines: ser trigo en las eras,
Nunca polvo en las aceras.

Rosa de Alejandría, rosa amarilla.
Hoy has de ser mi guía, la luz que brilla.
Faro de mediodía, rosa sencilla.
Rosa de Alejandría, rosa amarilla.

Con las flores de un campo encendido
Como un San Francisco entre jarales vivos
De lagartos, vivo.
De quimeras me alimento,
Con simplezas me contento.

Mozas de risueño gesto en calma me encuentran
Como a un Góngora perfecto,
Perviviendo lejos del bullicio,
Con mi rosa amarilla, con mi rosa de los precipicios.

Alejarme quiero. Adentrarme en el silencio,
Alejarme quiero. Abandonar esta senda.
Alejarme quiero.

Rosa de Alejandría, rosa amarilla.
Hoy has de ser mi guía, rumbo entre islas.
Faro de mediodía, rosa sencilla.
Rosa de Alejandría, rosa amarilla...



And my humble trot:


Rose of Alexandria, yellow rose. 
I want to get away. To go deeply into silence. 


I want to get away
from this life I live unconvinced,
and delve into the pulsing lights
raw clay jars lit by the hand of the mysterious potter. 


I want to get away. Go deep into silence. 
Walk calmly. Abandon this path.


I want to get away.
Make a nest in the eaves
with the blue-feathered swallows.
Become a measuring cup for bushels, liters, gallons,
be wheat on the threshing floor,
never dust on the pavement. 


Rose of Alexandria, yellow rose.
Today you must be my guide, the shining light.
Midday lighthouse, simple rose
Rose of Alexandria, yellow rose.


With the flowers of a flaming field
like a Saint Frances [of Assisi], I live among the thickets
crawling with lizards. 
I feed on chimeras
and content myself with simple things.


Maidens with smiling faces find me at peace,
like a perfect Góngora [Spanish poet from Córdoba of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, complex imagery, revolutionized the Baroque style, longing for the peace of the countryside]
surviving far from the hubbub. 
With my yellow rose, with my rose from the precipices. 


I want to get away. Go deep into silence. 
I want to get away. Abandon this path. 
I want to get away.


Rose of Alexandria, yellow rose.
Today you must be my guide, path between islands. 


Midday lighthouse, simple rose.
Rose of Alexandria, yellow rose.


His more recent work has been a lots less Angst-ridden, but no less beautiful. Manolo García is a huge influence to me, if only because I try to tap into that mystical place of creation he so clearly accesses with his words and look for the most beautiful images, the ones that would make him proud. You can see my attempts at this in Dusk Before Dawn


Also he's a very nice person and loves living creatures. But that's a matter for a different blog!