Cielito Lindo

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Bust of composer Quirino Mendoza y Cortes with plaque showing measures of the song and lyrics. Cielito Lindo Statue Palacio Municipal Tulyehualco.jpg
Bust of composer Quirino Mendoza y Cortés with plaque showing measures of the song and lyrics.

"Cielito lindo" is a popular Mexican song from a Spanish copla , popularized in 1882 by Mexican author Quirino Mendoza y Cortés (c. 1862–1957). [1] It is roughly translated as "Lovely Sweet One". Although the word cielo means "sky" or "heaven", it is also a term of endearment comparable to sweetheart or honey. Cielito, the diminutive, can be translated as "sweetie"; lindo means "cute", "lovely" or "pretty". Sometimes the song is known by words from the refrain, "Canta y no llores" or simply the "Ay, Ay, Ay, Ay song".

Mexico country in the southern portion of North America

Mexico, officially the United Mexican States, is a country in the southern portion of North America. It is bordered to the north by the United States; to the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; to the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and to the east by the Gulf of Mexico. Covering almost 2,000,000 square kilometres (770,000 sq mi), the nation is the fifth largest country in the Americas by total area and the 13th largest independent state in the world. With an estimated population of over 120 million people, the country is the eleventh most populous state and the most populous Spanish-speaking state in the world, while being the second most populous nation in Latin America after Brazil. Mexico is a federation comprising 31 states and Mexico City, a special federal entity that is also the capital city and its most populous city. Other metropolises in the state include Guadalajara, Monterrey, Puebla, Toluca, Tijuana and León.

The copla,copla andaluza, canción andaluza, canción española, tonadilla or canción folklórica is a form of Spanish popular song, deriving from the poetic form of the same name. Although the genre has a long heritage, it flourished in the 1930s and 1940s, and is epitomized by songwriters Antonio Quintero, Rafael de León and Manuel Quiroga.

Mexicans people of the country of Mexico or who identify as culturally Mexican

Mexicans are the people of the United Mexican States, a multiethnic country in North America. Mexicans can also be those who identify with the Mexican cultural or national identity.

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Commonly played by mariachi bands, it has been recorded by many artists in the original Spanish as well as in English and other languages. There is some debate as to whether the song talks about the Sierra Morena, a mountain range in the south region of Spain, or the similarly named Sierra Morones in the Mexican state of Zacatecas. [2] It has become an unofficial anthem of Mexico, especially in Mexican expatriate communities around the world or for Mexicans attending international events such as the Olympic Games or the FIFA World Cup.

Mariachi Folk music from Mexico

Mariachi is a style of music and musical group performance that dates back to at least the 18th century, evolving over time in the countryside of various regions of western Mexico. It has a distinctive instrumentation, musical genre, performance and singing styles, and clothing.

Sierra Morena mountain range in Spain

The Sierra Morena is one of the main systems of mountain ranges in Spain. It stretches for 450 kilometres from east to west across the south of the Iberian Peninsula, forming the southern border of the Meseta Central plateau and providing the watershed between the valleys of the Guadiana to the north and the west, and the Guadalquivir to the south.

Spain Kingdom in Southwest Europe

Spain, officially the Kingdom of Spain, is a country mostly located on the Iberian Peninsula in Europe. Its territory also includes two archipelagoes: the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa, and the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. The African enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla make Spain the only European country to have a physical border with an African country (Morocco). Several small islands in the Alboran Sea are also part of Spanish territory. The country's mainland is bordered to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea except for a small land boundary with Gibraltar; to the north and northeast by France, Andorra, and the Bay of Biscay; and to the west and northwest by Portugal and the Atlantic Ocean.

It has been sung by a plethora of artists, such as Tito Guizar, Pedro Infante, Placido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti, Eartha Kitt, and Ana Gabriel. It was part of the iconic Mexican movie Los tres Garcia.

Pedro Infante Mexican actor and singer

Pedro Infante Cruz was a Mexican actor and singer. Hailed as one of the greatest actors of the Golden Age of Mexican cinema, he is considered an idol among Latin American people. He along with Jorge Negrete and Javier Solís were styled as the Tres Gallos Mexicanos. Infante was born in Mazatlán, Sinaloa, but raised in nearby Guamúchil. He died on 15 April 1957 in Mérida, Yucatán, in a plane crash during a flight en route to Mexico City, after an engine failed on takeoff. His remains were later identified by a bracelet found.

Luciano Pavarotti Italian operatic tenor

Luciano Pavarotti, Cavaliere di Gran Croce OMRI was an Italian operatic tenor who also crossed over into popular music, eventually becoming one of the most commercially successful tenors of all time. He made numerous recordings of complete operas and individual arias, gaining worldwide fame for the quality of his tone, and eventually established himself as one of the finest tenors of the 20th century, achieving the honorific title The King Of High C's.

Eartha Kitt American singer, actress, dancer, activist and comedian

Eartha Kitt was an American singer, actress, dancer, activist, author and songwriter, known for her highly distinctive singing style and her 1953 recordings of "C'est si bon" and the enduring Christmas novelty smash "Santa Baby", which were both US Top 10 hits. Orson Welles once called her the "most exciting woman in the world".

Lyrics

The scheme corresponds to the Spain Castilian classical stanza known as seguidilla , i.e. seven lines of alternating heptasyllabic and pentasyllabic verses. Lyrics vary widely from performer to performer and every singer is free to add some new verse to his or her own interpretation. Some of the most traditional lyrics are the following:

Castile (historical region) Historical region in Spain

Castile is a vaguely defined historical region of Spain. There are different conceptions and definitions of Castile, and since it lacks modern day official recognition, it has no clearly defined borders. Historically, the Kingdom of Castile occupied the area. After the kingdom merged with its neighbours to become the Crown of Castile and later the Kingdom of Spain, when it united with the Crown of Aragon and the Kingdom of Navarre, the definition of what constituted Castile gradually began to change. Its historical capital was Burgos. In modern Spain, it is usually considered to comprise Castile and León, and Castile–La Mancha, as well as the entire Community of Madrid as its heart. West Castile and León, Albacete, Cantabria and La Rioja are often also included in the definition, and this is controversial for historical reasons and the strong sense of unique cultural identity of those regions.

Seguidilla old Castilian folk song and dance form

The seguidilla is an old Castilian folksong and dance form in quick triple time for two people with many regional variations. The music is generally in a major key and often begins on an offbeat.

SpanishLiteral English translation

De la Sierra Morena,
cielito lindo, vienen bajando,
Un par de ojitos negros,
cielito lindo, de contrabando.

Estribillo:

Ay, ay, ay, ay,
Canta y no llores,
Porque cantando se alegran,
cielito lindo, los corazones.

Pájaro que abandona,
cielito lindo, su primer nido,
Si lo encuentra ocupado,
cielito lindo, bien merecido.

(Estribillo)

Ese lunar que tienes,
cielito lindo, junto a la boca,
No se lo des a nadie,
cielito lindo, que a mí me toca.

(Estribillo)

Una flecha en el aire,
cielito lindo, lanzó Cupido,
si la tiró jugando,
cielito lindo, a mí me ha herido.

(Estribillo)

From Sierra Morena,
Pretty darling, coming down are
A pair of little black eyes,
Pretty darling, sneaking by.

Refrain:

Ah, ah, ah, ah,
Sing and don't cry,
Because by singing (hearts) get happy,
Pretty darling, the hearts.

A bird that abandons,
Pretty darling, his first nest,
If he (later) finds it occupied,
Pretty darling, (it is) well deserved.

(Refrain)

That beauty mark that you have
Pretty darling, next to your mouth,
Don't give it to anyone,
Pretty darling, for it is mine.

(Refrain)

An arrow in the air
Pretty darling, Cupid launched
If he shot it playing,
Pretty little heaven, he has smitten me.

(Refrain)

In the article "¡Hasta que me cayó el veinte!" [3] Ortega discusses the origins of the first verse of this song. His research discovered that in the early 17th century, armed bandits would take refuge in the Sierra Morena mountains of Spain and that people feared for their lives when they had to travel through the region. The words of the first verse of "Cielito Lindo" were found in a song from that era, hinting at that fear. But with time the meaning of the verse changed as people began romanticizing it. "Your face is the Sierra Morena. Your eyes are thieves who live there." The verse had other melodies put to it and variations on the lyrics. Quirino Mendoza, the composer, adapted the verse to his own melody and gave us the song we know today.

17th century Century

The 17th century was the century that lasted from January 1, 1601, to December 31, 1700, in the Gregorian calendar. It falls into the Early Modern period of Europe and in that continent was characterized by the Baroque cultural movement, the latter part of the Spanish Golden Age, the Dutch Golden Age, the French Grand Siècle dominated by Louis XIV, the Scientific Revolution, and according to some historians, the General Crisis. The greatest military conflicts were the Thirty Years' War, the Great Turkish War, and the Dutch-Portuguese War. It was during this period also that European colonization of the Americas began in earnest, including the exploitation of the silver deposits, which resulted in bouts of inflation as wealth was drawn into Europe.

Versions

The song has been subject to many versions:

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Erich von Stroheim Austrian actor and director

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"Cielito lindo huasteco"

"Cielito Lindo" should not be confused with another popular and traditional song called "Cielito lindo huasteco" also known as "Cielito lindo" from La Huasteca in Mexico. This song, distinctly different from the common version above, has been played by many conjuntos huastecos , as it is considered one of the most popular Son Huasteco or Huapango songs.

Sometimes mariachis perform both versions of "Cielito Lindo" and "Cielito lindo huasteco" which are completely different, thus creating some confusion about both.

See also

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References

  1. "Biografía de Quirino Mendoza y Cortés" (in Spanish). Mexico: Sociedad de Autores y Compositores de México (SACM). Retrieved 2009-09-28.
  2. Schmidt, Samantha (June 19, 2018). "'Ay Ay Ay Ay': How 'Cielito Lindo,' sung proudly at the World Cup, became a Mexican anthem". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2019-01-13.
  3. Arturo Ortega Morán, ¡Hasta que me cayó el veinte!: Cielito lindo, El Porvenir, 30 October 2005
  4. Cielito Lindo (Beautiful Heaven) : Mexican Tipica Orchestra : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive
  5. Jazz Discography: Bing Crosby
  6. "Top Grammy Winners". Los Angeles Times . Tribune Publishing. 22 February 1990. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  7. "On The Media: Transcript of "Eating Crow" (April 27, 2007)". OnTheMedia.org. Retrieved June 29, 2007.