Gipsy Kings

SHUFFLER 0034: NO QUIERE RECORDAN

SHUFFLER 0034: NO QUIERE RECORDAN
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Gipsy Kings — “No Volvere” from Cantos de Amor (1998 Nonesuch)

gipsy-kings-tour1

Just yesterday I was driving in downtown Saint Paul when Gipsy Kings came on the old iPod, and I wondered what I’d say if I had to write about them. It’s true that writing this blog has completely changed the way I listen to music. It’s also true that Gipsy Kings are a total guilty pleasure. Lately, however, I’ve been able to look past the occasional schmaltz, the attempts to make pop music out of a traditional style of music, and really appreciate what the band brings to the table.

What’s funny is that, for the longest time, I thought that Gipsy Kings were from Latin America. It’s only recently that I really began to notice the overwhelming Spanish flamenco sounds, which I suppose can be explained two ways: 1) Obviously the Spanish had a huge influence on the culture of Latin America, and of course music is an outcropping of that. I was hearing Spanish sounds in Latin American music, not the other way around. 2) I obviously don’t know very much about flamenco music.

I’m grateful to have that all sorted out, just in time for this revelation: GIPSY KINGS ARE FROM FRANCE! Wikipedia describes them as Rumba Catalana, which is a kind of music that has origins in Barcelona’s Romani community, a group who was transient to begin with but who definitely had to high-tail it out of Spain in the 1930s to avoid the fascism of Francisco Franco. Turns out that guy wasn’t entirely friendly to nomadic types, or most anyone else. It also turns out that I know even less about Rumba Catalana than I do about flamenco. I obviously have a lot of work to do.

But imagine, if you will, the depths of love in the hearts of displaced people with that history. You don’t need to speak Spanish to hear it in the song. My intermittent Spanish (I think that’s a level below intermediate) mostly helps me to get the gist, but I’m not going to lie — when it comes to complex verb conjugations, I get real confused. Thankfully, I discovered this site online that provides lyrics in both English and Spanish like some kind of internet miracle. I’ve provided the English version below. I feel like it’s not perfect (for instance, should it be “I will not return,” or “she will not return”?), the words tell the story the music suggests — one of loss, longing, and deep, deep love.

My love
my love please
don’t go away
i will count the hours
until i see her
my love
my love please
don’t go away
i will count the hours
until i see her
Come back
i will not return i will not return…
i don’t want to remember, i don’t want to remember
Come back
i will not return i will not return…
i don’t want to remember, i don’t want to remember

 

 

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