Selected Lyric Translations


América


por José Luis Perales

Me hueles a merengue y a bolero,
a caña y a café.
Me hueles a corrido y a charango,
carnabalito y miel.
Me hueles a maracas y a guitarra,
a gaucho solitario y a sabana,
a piel morena y sal.
Me hueles a canela y a bananas
querida siempre y siempre maltratada
soñando libertad.

América, América.
Me hueles a guayaba, a cordillera helada,
a tierra verde y lluvia tropical.
Me hueles a pradera y a eterna primavera.
Me hueles a futuro y libertad. (2x)

Me hueles a tabaco y a manises,
a dátiles y a ron.
Me hueles a emigrantes que se fueron
cantando una canción.
Me hueles a torrente y a quebrada,
a sangre campesina derramada
para tu libertad.
Me hueles a mujer enamorada
querida siempre y siempre abandonada
soñando frente al mar.

América, América.
Me hueles a guayaba, a cordillera helada,
a tierra verde y lluvia tropical.
Me hueles a pradera y a eterna primavera.
Me hueles a futuro y libertad. (3x)


Translation: America

by José Luis Perales
Translated by Robin Bensinger

You are scented of merengue and bolero,
of sugar cane and coffee.
You are scented of bullfights and charango,
of little carnivals and honey.
You are scented of maracas and guitars,
of solitary gauchos and savannahs,
of brown skin and salt.
You are scented of cinammon and bananas
always beloved and always mistreated
dreaming of liberty.

America, America.
You are scented of guava and frozen mountain ranges,
of green earth and tropical rain.
You are scented of prairies and eternal spring.
You are scented of future and liberty. (2x)

You are scented of tobacco and manises,
of dates and rum.
You are scented of emigrants who have left
singing a song.
You are scented of torrential rains and earthquakes,
of countrymen's blood shed
for your liberty.
You are scented of a woman in love
always beloved and always abandoned
dreaming by the sea.

America, America.
You are scented of guava and frozen mountain ranges,
of green earth and tropical rain.
You are scented of prairies and eternal spring.
You are scented of future and liberty. (2x)
****************************************************
El Hombre y La Sirena

por José Luis Perales

Era blanca la casa y azul el cielo
era blanca la aldea de arena y cal
era negro y profundo el Mediterráneo
cuando aquel marinero se hizo a la mar.

Dicen en el pueblo que soñaba con sirenas
que lo enamoraban cuando había luna llena
que bajaba hasta la playa como un novio enamorado
y buscaba entre la arena caracolas
y cantaba una canción desesperada
esperando la llegada de su amor.

Dicen que era fuerte como el mástil de un velero,
su sonrisa blanca y su pelo negro, negro,
que jugaba con los niños al "pillao" y al escondite
y vagaba como un lobo por el puerto
y cantaba una canción desesperada
esperando la llegada de su amor.

Se ha quedado en silencio la casa blanca,
lo recuerdan sentado mirando al mar
esperando una noche de luna llena
preparando su barca para zarpar.

Dicen que le vieron caminando por la arena
que se fue desnudo persiguiendo a su sirena
que llevaba entre las manos caracolas y corales
y en su pecho un corazón enamorado
que zarpó para buscarla entre las olas
y a la casa blanca nunca regresó.

Dicen que era fuerte como el mástil de un velero,
su sonrisa blanca y su pelo negro, negro,
que jugaba con los niños al "pillao" y al escondite
y vagaba como un lobo por el puerto
y cantaba una canción desesperada
esperando la llegada de su amor.

Dicen en el pueblo que soñaba con sirenas
que lo enamoraban cuando había luna llena
que bajaba hasta la playa como un novio enamorado
y buscaba entre la arena caracolas.


***********************************************
The Man and the Mermaid

by José Luis Perales
Translated by Robin Bensinger

White was the house and blue was the sky
White was the town of sand and lime
Black and deep was the Mediterranean
when that sailor went out to sea.

They say in the town that he dreamed of mermaids
who fell in love with him when the moon was full
that he would go down to the beach like a groom in love
and look for seashells in the sand
and sing a desperate song
awaiting the arrival of his love.

They say he was as strong as the mast of a ship,
with his white smile and his black, black hair,
he who played catch and hide-and-seek with the children
and wandered like a wolf along the harbour
singing a desperate song
and awaiting the arrival of his love.

It had remained in silence, that white house,
they remember him sitting, watching the sea
waiting for a night with a full moon
preparing his boat to set sail.

They say that they saw him walking in the sand
that he was in the nude, pursuing his mermaid
that he carried in his arms seashells and corals
and in his chest a heart full of love
that he set sail to search for her among the waves
and to the white house he never returned.

They say he was as strong as the mast of a ship,
with his white smile and his black, black hair,
he who played catch and hide-and-seek with the children
and wandered like a wolf along the harbour
and singing a desperate song
awaiting the arrival of his love.

They say in the town that he dreamed of mermaids
who fell in love with him when the moon was full
that he would go down to the beach like a groom in love
and look for seashells in the sand.

©Robin Bensinger 2007
All rights reserved