A la Habana

July 2, 2015 11:54 PM

An ode to Havana in a mongrelized "guagancó" rhythm. It's badly sung in Spanish, and awkwardly played using congas, bongos and a batá. I've included my original lyrics in Spanish and an English translation.

A la Habana

Ya no sé si la recuerdo
como Euridice a Orfeo
entre vivos que parecen muertos.

Ya no sé si nací en la Habana
pero allá me espera un incendio
prefiero las llamas a cualquier entierro.

Que después me rieguen por Jesús María
y por El Prado de mis ensueños
dejando algo pa' la calle Obispo.

Entonces seré un polvo iluminado
por la luz de la Habana
contra el tronco de la Ceiba
cagándome en toda aduana.

Estaré en la risa de las Pioneras
en todas las aceras del Vedado
y en los derrumbes que provocan
los aguaceros.

To Havana

I don't know if I remember her
like Eurydice remembers Orpheus
among the living who resemble corpses.

I no longer know if I was born in Havana
but a great pyre awaits me there
give me flames over any burial.

Then they can scatter me over Jesús María*
and El Prado* of my delirium
leaving a bit leftover for Obispo* street.

Then I'll be dust made radiant
by Havana's light
on the great Ceiba's* trunk
having told the customs to fuck off.

And I'll be in the Pioneras' laughter
and on every Vedado* sidewallk
and in all the collapased things
that the rainstorms bring.

*Jesús María - Old Havana neighbourhood known for its musicians.
*Prado and Obispo - Havana streets
*Great Ceiba - A large silk-cotton tree in Havana's Fraternidad Park. The ceiba is the most sacred tree in the Afro-Cuban religion Regla de Osha-Ifá or santería
*Pioneras - Female members of the Cuban youth organization Organización de Pioneros José Martí.
*El Vedado - Havana neighbourhood

posted by abakua (6 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

posted by Secretariat at 1:37 PM on July 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

Cheers, gracias, Secretariat.
posted by abakua at 1:58 AM on July 5, 2015

Agreed, this is really nice!
posted by cortex at 7:03 AM on July 11, 2015

Really nice rhythms and evocative lyrics. Thanks for posting.
posted by Pfardentrott at 7:43 AM on July 11, 2015

These lyrics are sensational. What a treat to read.
posted by greenish at 8:32 AM on July 14, 2015

Again, many thanks for your warm comments. If only I were a real singer!
posted by abakua at 10:34 AM on July 17, 2015

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