03 May 2005

cucurrucucu paloma : caetano veloso

click here to listen. it starts off very softly.
listening time: 3m 50s.

very briefly in his college life, my father was in a band that played latin music in hotel lounges, and even though he played upright bass, he was very good with classical guitar, an instrument he played with melancholy everyday since his heart kept him homebound at 36. one of his favorite musicians were the mexican trio los panchos, and he owned one of their lp's that featured this song, composed by tomas mendez and popularized in 1954 by lola beltran. i remember having a laughing fit the first time i heard it as a child; i thought "cucurrucucu" was the funniest-sounding word i'd ever heard. my appreciation only grew the more i heard the song, and this version by the brazilian singer caetano veloso, from the soundtrack to the film hable con ella, is the most haunting and heart-rending rendition of this timeless classic. memories of my father rush in everytime i hear this song. without the requinta, a small, high-pitched guitar that was the trademark of los panchos, my father played this song similar to the way veloso does. it wasn't perfect, but it was his.

by the way, if you liked this song, you'll probably also love this one.

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