Pablo Guerrero: A lot

Pablo Guerrero is
one of the most tender and sweeter Spanish songwriters and folksingers, also a genial
poet and musician. Born in Esparragosa de Lares, a village of Badajoz, Extremadura,
in 1946. In 1969 comes to Madrid for singing; his first songs are
influenced by Extremadura’s traditional songs, but soon he’ll sing also
songs with Dylan, Paco Ibáñez, Georges Brassens, Moustaki and Jose
Afonso influences. His great song is "A cántaros" ("Pour"),
that became in a song of solidarity. Pablo’s poetry is one of the most
beautiful: talking about friendship, solidarity, manship, brotherhood,
his land and, of course, love. He also recorded songs with Africans
influence, and today, without the previous power of voice, his songs
are more literary than musicals. Some of his best LPs are A cántaros (It’s pouring) and Porque amamos el fuego (Because we love fire).

The song  "A cántaros" is a beautiful poem and song, and it is the greatest hit in Pablo Guerrero’s carreer. We can consider the poem at 2 levels: the first, we find out Pablo talking about freedom and love, but love considered as solidarity: it was a literary recurse on the 60s and 70s poems and songs: to think the freedom and brotherhood of everybody begins in the love and friendship of a couple. In the second level, we find out the relationship with its time: a time without freedom, with big social differance; so, the song became in an anthem of hope and freedom for many people. The title and the principal idea of the song, "llover a cántaros", to pour or "to be raining cats and dogs", I think, make reference to the peasant life: lands as Castilia, Andalucia or Extremadura are very dry, so peasants are always waiting and hoping in the rain for the harvest.
About the translation, I had a problem because "llover a cántaros" (literal translation would be "to rain by pitchers") is a colloquial Spanish expresion that means "to rain a lot". I’ve found a word and an expression: to pour, and "it’s raining cats and dogs". As the phrase "tiene que llover/ a cántaros" makes two verses, I decided not to use "it have to rain/ cats and dogs", because is an English expression that maybe would be not understood.And neither "pours", just for keep the poems’ form and not to alter the meaning of the song. So I decide to use the neutral expression "to rain a lot", because there’s too many expression in every language similars to "llover a cántaros": you decide which.

A cántaros

Tú y yo muchacha

estamos hechos de nubes;
pero, ¿quién
nos ata?

Dame la mano

y vamos a sentarnos

bajo cualquier estatua,

que es tiempo de vivir

y de soñar y de creer

que tiene que llover

a cántaros.

Estamos amasados con libertad,


pero, ¿quién
nos ata?

Ten tu barro dispuesto,

elegido tu sitio,

preparada tu marcha.

Hay que doler de la vida

hasta creer

que tiene que llover

a cántaros.

Ellos seguirán dormidos

en sus cuentas corrientes

de seguridad.

Planearán vender
la vida

y la muerte y la paz,

¿le pongo diez metros,

cómodos plazos, de

Pero tu y yo sabemos que

señales que anuncian

que la siesta se acaba,

y que una lluvia fuerte,
sin bioenzimas, claro,

limpiará nuestra

Hay que doler de la vida

hasta creer

que tiene que llover

a cántaros.

A lot

You and me, girl,/ are made of clouds;/ but, who ties us?/ Give me your hand/ and let’s sit down/ under any statue,/ that is time to live/ and to dream and to believe/ that it has to rain/ a lot.// We are kneaded/ with freedom,/ girl,/ but, who ties us?/ Have your mud disposed,/ chosen your place,/ ready your walk./ It musts to be hurt in life/ until believe/ that it has to rain/ a lot.// They will keep sleeping/ at their current accounts/ of security./ They will plan to sell life/ and death and peace,/ "do I give you  10 metres, in/ comfortable deadlines, of happiness?" (1)// But you and I know that there are/ signs that advices/ that the siesta (2) is ending/ and then a strong rain,/  without bioenzimas, of course,/ shall clean our home./ It musts to be hurt in life/ until believe/ that it has to rain/ a lot.

Pablo Guerrero

(1) This verse makes reference to a serious problem that started on the 70s: on those years the construction companies began to make a lot of buildings for living, and many of them make thymus with buildings and soils for building. Since that, soil speculation, as in other countries, became on a serious problem.
(2) Almost everybody knows what "siesta" means. "Siesta" is a Spanish custom that consits in a short sleeping in the afternoon, after lunch time. The Spanish word has been passed in this way to many languages.

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