Miguel de Molina sings La Bien Pagá

Written by Michael Barrett

Associate Artistic Director, NYFOS

March 4, 2019

La Bien Pagá as sung by Miguel de Molina. A spaniard, he ended up in Argentina. These old musical films are delicious with their emotional drama. This one is about his ex- the “well paid” woman. And she seems so amused! The musical style is like an old zarzuela aria, complete with orchestral interludes between verses, and even a spoken verse toward the end. But it’s Molina’s strange tenor voice, full of melismas and pain that makes this song so interesting to me.

I don’t owe you anything
I’m not asking you for anything
I’m leaving your side, so forget me already
Because I have paid for your sun tanned flesh with gold<
Don’t curse, you boor
We are in peace with each other now

I don’t love you
So don’t love me
If you gave me everything, I never asked for anything
So don’t reproach me by saying that you lost everything
I also lost everything by your side

Yes, you are well-paid<
Because I bought your kisses
And you surrendered yourself to me
For a handful of money
Well-paid, well-paid
You were well-paid, woman

I won’t lie to you
I love another woman
But don’t think I betrayed you
She didn’t fall into my arms
She gave me a single kiss
The only kiss I didn’t pay for

I’m not asking you for anything
I won’t take anything with me
In between these walls I’ll bury<
The sorrows and joys
That I still give you and that you gave me
Along with the jewelry
That you will display for someone else now

Michael Barrett

Michael Barrett is the co-founder and associate artistic director of New York Festival of Song, as well as the co-founder and music director of the Moab Music Festival in Utah. A conductor and a pianist, Michael was a protégé of Leonard Bernstein and serves as music advisor to the Leonard Bernstein Estate.


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