Tonight I was listening to some old songs with a friend and my memory began humming the lyrics to a spanish song I’d known since I was a little girl. Back then I didn’t truly understand its significance or meaning but the melody and harmony was catchy enough for me to always remember. As the years have passed by, many artist have attempted to do their best with their own rendition of this soulful ballet, written by the late, Juan Gabriel. The vocal range of the song is challenging in itself , and many have fallen flat when trying to express the true tragedy of the song. Up until recently no one was able to do it justice besides the original singer/writer. That was until I heard Jenni Rivera belt out (what I believe to be the best cover to date.) I guess I am also a bit biased because this rendition is done by a female. Its made it so introperspective, personal and more heartfelt for me.
I am a proud Mexican American woman made up of a vast blend of ethnicities, races and cultures. I am what you call a “mut,” who has roots planted in a handful of different continents all over the world. I am proud to be latina and am blessed to be a part of culture that is primarily focused on family, faith and keeping up tradition. One of my favorite aspects of our culture is our music. No matter the style of spanish music, it is always passionate and powerful. I love how an entire meaning can be conveyed in a single word, and in turn every song is an entire story of its own.
Sadly, both have passed on but there work, has and will continue to live on in their unforgettable music. Though this man recorded hundreds to thousands of other songs, this will forever be my favorite by him. The lyrics although brutally honest, are also liberating to the listener and the singer at the same time. It’s the entire healing process of what happens during and after a break up all in one song. I commend Juan Gabriel for his ability to translate such a complicated human condition into a lovely poetic tapestry of words. Of course when it is translated nothing comes close to its full meaning, but I think I found an english translation that came exceptionally close. Enjoy!
“How it was”
Forgive me if this makes you cry
Forgive me if this makes you suffer,
But it’s just not in my hands,
But it’s just not in my hands, I’ve fallen in love
I’ve Fallen in love, I fell in love.
Forgive me if I cause you pain
Forgive me if today I tell you goodbye
How could I tell him I love you,
How could I tell him I love you?
If he was to ask me, I would tell him no
I told him no.
I’m honest with him & with you
I care for him & you I’ve forgotten
If you want we can be friends,
I will help you forget the past.
Dont You Hold On,
Just Stop Holding on, to the impossible
Just Stop, doing yourself & me more harm
You know very well that it wasn’t my fault
You left without telling me anything
And even though I cried like never before
I was still in love with you
But then you left..
And never told me you were coming back
and with nothing else, why i dont know
but thats how it was, how it was
I toast to you the best of luck
I told myself to never talk or see you again
And now that you’re back,
You see that there’s nothing left.
Now I cant anymore…nor should I love you
I dont love you anymore
I’ve fallen in love, with a devine being
with a good love
Who taught me to forget,
And to Forgive….