Raymundo Pérez y Soto: La Cigarra

Written by Efraín Solís


In category: Song of the Day

Published March 22, 2019

We close this week with one of my favorite Mariachi songs ever. I heard this song at a friend’s party once a long time ago and completely fell for the words and the show stopping quality of the vocals. It’s almost always sung by a woman and it requires so much control and agility from the female voice. Switching from chest to head voice all in one phrase is no easy feat! On top of that the text is gorgeous – almost like the Mexican version of “Der Lindenbaum”. It’s what mariachi music is all about: passionate lyrics and music!! I’ve attached the commercial recording by Linda Ronstadt who’s father is said to have taught her all about mariachi music. This is a great recording, but the videos of her singing live are really much more exciting. Sadly the quality of the recordings are not great. But I hope you enjoy nonetheless. Till next time, abrazos!

“La Cigarra” sung by  Linda Ronstadt

The Cicada

Don’t sing to me anymore, cicada
Let your singsong end
For your song here in my soul
Stabs me like a dagger
Knowing that when you sing
You are announcing that you are going to your death.

Sailor, sailor
Tell me if it is true that you know,
Because I cannot distinguish,
Whether in the depths of the seas
There is another color blacker
Than the color of my sorrows.

A little dove came flying
That bore a wounded breast
Now almost crying
Said to me very afflicted
Now I am weary of searching for
A mutual love.

Under the shade of a tree
And to the beat of my guitar
I sing this huapango joyfully
Because my life is finished
And I want to die singing
As the cicada dies.

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Baritone Efraín Solís is a recent graduate of the San Francisco Opera Adler Fellowship program, known for his “theatrical charisma and musical bravado” (San Francisco Chronicle). He will join soprano Corinne Winters in García Lorca: Muse and Magician on April 24, 2019 at Merkin Hall in NYC.

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