Saturday, December 22, 2007

The explanation-Cheat sheet

K- So here's the explanation of the song. It juxtaposes the virgin Mary doing everyday chores with the fish being excited that Jesus was born. I don't think this would ever be written quite in this perspective in our culture ever. Here's the transcription and direct translation

La Virgen se esta peinando
Entre cortina y cortina
Sus cabellos son de oro
El peine de plata fina

Pero mira como beben (Coro)
Los peces en el rio
Pero mira como beben
Por ver al Dios nacido

Beben y beben
Y vuelven a beber
Los peces en el rio
Por ver al Dios nacer

La Virgen esta lavando
Y en el romero tendiendo
Los angelitos cantando
Y el romero floreciendo


La virgen se esta lavando
con un poco de jabon
Se le han picado las manos
Manos de mi corazon.

The Virgin is combing her hair
Between curtains
Her hair is of gold
The comb of fine silver

But look how they drink (Chorus)
The fish in the river
But look how they drink
To see God born

They drink and they drink
And they drink again
The fish in the river
To see God born

The Virgin is washing
And is hanging the clothes on the rosemary bush
The angels are singing
And the rosemary is blossoming


The virgin is washing herself
with a little bit of soap.
Her hands have been irritated
the hands of my heart.

Now it sounds weird when you think of the fish drinking, but after all what do you think they are drinking in the river? Water. That's it, I lied, they aren't really drunk. It's just that the connection with celebrating and drinking took my mind elsewhere when I first learned this song. Probably in English we would say swimming or darting around or something instead of drinking to get the same feeling.
What I like about this song is that no one thinks about Mary doing menial things, but
she sure as heck had to. In truth, she probably didn't get to comb her hair that much,it was probably more washing diapers. There is a certain reverence and admiration for mothers and the work they do in this song; and in this culture, things like washing are seen as important work. There's also a lot more reverence for Mary herself. Then there's the fish and all nature celebrating the birth, while the mom works. Ever feel like that? Like you didn't have time to celebrate your kids because you were too busy taking care of them and cleaning up after them? But all nature is renewed with each new birth, and we should rejoice more too. We should also rejoice for that little baby born some 2007 years ago.


Burgh Baby's Mom said...

Great translation! (And, hey, I kind of would know a good one from a bad one considering I paid a lot of money for a piece of paper that says "Bachelor of Science in Spanish Tranlsation".)

carrie & troy keiser said...

An interesting perspective, thanks for sharing it and yes I feel like I don't celebrate them cause I', busy caring for them.