Archive for 18 de marzo de 2012

“Jota a lo ligero” with rebec from Cantabria

Rebec player from Santillana del Mar, CantabriaIn Cantabria and North of Castile there are, at least, two esentials variants of the Jota: “a lo ligero” (light mode jota) and “a lo pesao/ pesau” (heavy mode jota). Both are played with several instruments, but in this regions, specially in Cantabria, one of the most used instrumments is the rebec (Sp. rabel), a bowed strings instrumment, antecesor of the fiddle and its family, with arabian (Ar. rebed: diwar ar ger/ رباب ) and North-Africans origins. This one is a very known sample: picked in Reinosa, Cantabria, by Professor Manuel García Matos for his Magna Antología del Folklore Musical de España (The Great Anthology of the Musical Folklore of Spain), in which an anonymous old man sings and plays the rebec masterfully:

Jota a lo ligero (Reinosa)

Y al pasar el arroyo
dijo la liebre
y ayudadme patucas
que el galgo viene.

Porque ya es de día,
porque ya se ve,
porque ya es la hora
se levante usted.

Y a coger caracoles
iba un tuerto,
con un ojo cerrado
y el otro abierto.

Porque ya es de día…

Si quieres que te quiera
dímelo pronto,
porque yo estoy arriba
y el tiempo es oro.

Porque ya es de día…

Light Mode Jota

And as pass the stream/ said the hare/ well*, help me my little paws**/ for the greyhound is coming.// Because it’s already day,/ because it’s light,/ because it’s the time/ for you to wake up.// And picking up snails/ a one-eyed man was going,/ with one eye close/ and the other open.// Beaceuse it’s already day…// If you want me to love you/ tell me it soon,/ because I’m up/ and time is gold.// Because it’s already day…


* This y has not syntactic use: it is a literary use, probably equivalent to the use of well in some songs.

**Patuca is the Cantabrian diminutive of pata, “paw” or “leg”.

There are also a version by the great Spanish folklorist and folksinger Joaquín Díaz, but unfortunately I couldn’t find it.

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