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El dulce de America (Anonymous, Spain ca. 1780)

To celebrate NYFOS’s 30th Anniversary Season, Song of the Day is featuring some recordings from our live archives, along with excerpts from program notes that accompanied them. (If the recording does not appear below in your email, please click on the title above to play the song on our website.)

El dulce de America
Anonymous, Spain ca. 1780
Performed in Latin Lovers (1999) by Jennifer Aylmer, soprano; Oren Fader, guitar; James Saporito, percussion; Steven Blier, piano

A note from Steven Blier:

I found this song on a CD of Spanish baroque music, and instantly fell for this bewitching copla castiza. I didn’t even try to find printed music for it—I just got out some staff paper and jotted down the melody and the chords. Jen Aylmer supplied the style, charm, and ornamentation; Oren Fader and Jim Saporito were sidemen sent from heaven. El dulce is a warning: the singer was greedy and ate a sweet that came from America. It tasted fine at the time, but it turned out to be spoiled goods—and now she has to pay the price. (Do the math.)

I gave in to my sweet tooth;
and without knowing how it happened
after a few days
I found myself wounded.
Oh, I am so unhappy
for eating that candy!
My sweet tooth got me into this trouble.
Poor me!

Because of that accursed sweet
I find myself in this condition–
I don’t even have the strength
to accept a compliment!
Oh, I am so unhappy …

The sweets of a woman
should be sampled with restraint,
because if you don’t
they can cause great harm.
Oh, I am so unhappy …

Anyone who tastes a sweet
without knowing if it is spoiled
may one day
live to regret it!
Oh, I am so unhappy …

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