Garcia Lorca’s “Unfaithful Wife,” plus GarageBand

I’ve been working on new song, by me and Lorca,

I’m posting another song here, to tide you over. Click the title to play NATURE (WILL FIND YOU OUT).

UPDATE: The song was “Unfaithful Wife (La Casada Infiel)” and I sang it in alternating Spanish/English. I posted a preview, but since I don’t have permission from the Lorca estate yet, I’ve taken it down and will wait until I have permission (fingers crossed here) and a music player (still working on that) to put it up again. Next, I started working on some other works by Garcia Lorca, starting with THE BIG ONE: “Sonambulist Ballad (Romance Sonambula).” This activity has really energized me.

So, here’s what happened. Bryan Ferry came to me in a dream. Knocked on the door, looking impeccable as usual, smoking a cigarette, which I insisted he extinguish. He said, “So I hear you’ve been obsessed with Lorca again. I’m here to help.” I said, “Yes, of course, I’ve been a Lorca fan ever since my freshman English teacher in high school had me read ‘Somnambulist Ballad’ in UIL competition. I suspect it was planting some kind of program in my brain that would blossom later, after I was sophisticated enough to understand it.” Bryan said, “I heard that, bro. But you’re recording his poem ‘Unfaithful Wife,’ and as you know, that’s where I live, dude. Unrequited love and all that.” Yes, Bryan, you know I’ve always been a huge, huge fan, and you probably never heard of it, but in my extreme Bryan Ferry period, I had a band called Secret Six. But never mind that. Yes, I am recording that poem, in a Spanglish version. But sorry to tell you you may have wasted a trip, unless you dropped by for some Scotch Whisky.” The disappointed look on Bryan’s face was heartbreaking, like a sink hole in Avalon. “Listen, Bryan,” I said, “I think I’ve got it covered. Just let me know if I need to crank the bass down a notch. I have a tendency to overdo that.” He said, “Sure, bro. Comprendo.”

Here’s my version of the lyrics. I cut a few lines and a couple of them are not strict translations of the original. All rights to the work of Federico Garcia Lorca, the greatest poet of the 20th century, are administered by Fundación Federico García Lorca.

La casada infiel (The Unfaithful Wife)

By  Federico Garcia Lorca

Y que yo me la llevé al río

creyendo que era mozuela,

pero tenía marido.

So I took her to the river

thinking she was virgin,

but it seems she had a husband.

Fué la noche de Santiago

& it was just one of those things

they turn down the lanterns

& the crickets fire up their orchestras.

En las últimas esquinas

I touched her sleeping breasts,

They awoke for me de pronto

Like a bouquet of roses

The starch in her petticoat

sang a song in my ears

como una pieza de seda

rasgada por diez cuchillos.

Pasadas las zarzamoras,

los juncos y los espinos,

under her mane of hair

I made a bed for us in the sand

Yo me quité la corbata.

She took off her skirt.

I, my belt with the revolver.

She removed four petticoats.

Ni nardo ni cah-rah--lahs

tienen el cutis tan fino,

not even the moon above us

shines any brighter

her thighs tried to escape me

como peces sorprendidos,

one was made of fire

one was made of ice

Aquella noche corrí

el mejor de los caminos,

mounted on a pearl white pony

without bridle, without stirrups.

No quiero decir, por hombre,

The things that she said to me

The light of the morning after

me hace ser muy comedido.

with dirty kisses and sand

I took her from the river

Con el aire se batían

las espadas de los lirios.

Perhaps you disapprove of me

But this is the way of the gypsy.

I bought her a sewing basket

made of straw-colored satin,

And I could never love her

Because she had a husband

But she told me she was a virgin

When I took her to the river.

y no quise enamorarme

porque teniendo marido

me dijo que era mozuela

cuando la llevaba del río.

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