I always thought of blogs as being narcissistic, business related, or as my sister's, a way of keeping in touch or memorializing.

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Wednesday, 13 July 2011

No Soy de Aqui - farewell, Facundo

No soy de aquí, ni soy de allá
no tengo edad, ni porvenir
y ser feliz es mi color
de identidad 

His most famous words will live on.

I'm not from here, I'm not from there
I have no age, no future
And being happy, is my colour
Of Identity

Poignant. Simple. True.

The news of his death just got to me this morning, but it happened a few days ago. I can't call myself a fan perse, because his music was part of the landscape. As much as the Popocatepetl or the Bullfighting arena. It was just there. Part of the general culture that surrounded my early years. His voice followed us North, along with my father's passion for music and his country, where Facundo Cabral was exiled from his native Argentina; Mexico lindo y querido.

"I love life so much because it cost me so much to enjoy it," he told The Associated Press in an interview in 2008.
"From the cradle to the grave is a school, so if what we call problems are lessons, we see life differently," he said.
(from the CBC report on his murder)

Cabral, writer, musician, exile, widow, survivor, wrote so clearly and simply that his words became part of the tapestry of life throughout Latin America and rippled outwards to the rest of the world. I never realized how much of the background music of my life was written by him until today, when I looked him up. So many voices took up his words, and his words are so easy to own.

No Soy de Aqui is about simple pleasures. About owning them, and loving them, and taking the time for them. To me, it is about making those little things the focus of our attention, so that we can find enjoyment in every moment that our fortune allows us to walk the Earth.

So much more poignant to me now than it was 8 months ago, it is a reminder to me, to enjoy what I have.

I've tried to find the lyrics to post here, but honestly, they change quite often, and every version is a little different, as are the videos and audio files I've found. It seems Cabral was fond of improvisation, and I had forgotten how he liked to talk before and during his songs. Searching through the videos of this song, I am moved by the peace this man exuded, and continues to exude. His body may have been killed, but his spirit and his voice will be heard for an eternity to come. Of that, I am certain.

This video is moving, because you can hear the whole theater sing along, and it is pretty recent.
This one, much older, shows the song as a duet performed by Cabral and Alberto Cortez.
Finally, the version I heard most often growing up, recorded by Alberto Cortez.

These seem to be the most commonly used lyrics:

Me gusta el sol, Alicia y las palomas,
el buen cigarro y la guitarra espanola
saltar paredes y abrir las ventanas,
y cuando llora una mujer.

Me gusta el vino tanto como las flores,
y los conejos, pero no los tractores / y los viejos pastores,
y el pan casero y la voz de Dolores,
y el mar mojándome los pies.

No soy de aquí..., ni soy de allá,
no tengo edad, ni porvenir,
y ser feliz es mi color de identidad.

Me gusta estar tirado siempre en la arena,
en bicicleta perseguir a Manuela,
o todo el tiempo para ver las estrellas,
con la María en el trigal.

No soy de aquí..., ni soy de allá,
no tengo edad, ni porvenir,
y ser feliz es mi color de identidad.

While this song has been translated into many languages, the internet has let me down; I couldn't find any. So here's my rough translation (brain...power...dissipating....):

I like the sun, Alice and doves
Cigarrettes and spanish guitar
Hopping fences and opening windows,
And when a woman cries

I like wine as much as I like flowers
And the rabbits, but not the tractors,
Homemade bread and Dolores' voice,
And the sea wetting my feet.

I'm not from here, I'm not from there
I have no age, no future
And being happy, is my colour
Of Identity

I like to throw myself on the sand,
And chasing Manuela on my bicycle,
Or taking time to look at the stars,
With Maria in the cornfield.
I'm not from here, I'm not from there
I have no age, no future
And being happy, is my colour
Of Identity

Everything sounds so much nicer in Spanish.


  1. Gracias! No conocía esta canción y me gusta muchísimo! And in one of the versions, 'le gusta las canciones en Frances!'.

  2. Un placer compartirlo! Et les chansons en Francais - elles sont si belles. Je les aime aussi.

  3. Andy, me provocas seria nostalgia con canciones en espanol.
    Te quiero,

  4. Cuqi, ya sabes que por eso mismo lo hago! xo