My New Favorite Music – Maria Teresa Vera

Five Songs By Cuban Legend Maria Teresa Vera (with lyrics)

 by Azizi Powell

This post presents information about and five sound files of the legendary Cuban vocalist Maria Teresa Vera (available on iTunes here). The content of this post is presented for historical, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes. All copyrights remain with their owners.

INFORMATION ABOUT MARIA TERESA VERA
From Wikipedia entry on Maria Teresa Vera
María Teresa Vera (Guanajay, February 6, 1895 – Havana, December 17, 1965) was a Cuban singer, guitarist and composer. She was an outstanding example of the Cuban trova movement. Trova is one of the great roots of the Cuban music tree. In the 19th century a group of itinerant musicians known as trovadores moved around Oriente, especially Santiago de Cuba, earning their living by singing and playing the guitar.

Trova musicians have played an important part in the evolution of Cuban music. Collectively, they have been prolific as composers, and have provided a start for many later musicians whose career lay in larger groupings. Socially, they reached every community in the country, and have helped to spread Cuban music throughout the world.

From Amazon Music entry on Maria Teresa Vera
Born in 1895 in Rio de Pinar, Maria Teresa Vera grew up in a Cuba rich in songs born of beauty and conflict. That she became a professional singer was at first an effrontery to the male-dominated music business at the time; that she became a sensation is a tribute to a talent that is now legendary in her country. In the years that she sang and wrote songs, she became famous, made a wealth of recordings, led her own band, and championed the country music of the street troubadour in the years before the son swept the nation.

“The Grande Dame of Cuban Music, Maria Teresa Vera was Not Only the Greatest Female Trova Singer of all Time, She was also One of the Form’s Greatest Singers, Period. Vera Became a Professional Musician and Songwriter — and a Mightily Popular One at that — During the Early 20th Century, When Such a Career was Virtually Unheard of for a Woman. Her Skill at Singing Trova — a Rural Folk Song Style that Predated the Son Dance Craze — Helped Lay the Groundwork for the Explosion of Cuban Popular Music in the ’30s and ’40s, and her Fame as a Trovadora Lasted Well after the Style was Eclipsed by Other Popular Trends. Maria Teresa Vera was Born in Guanajay, in the Province of Pinar Del Rio, on February 6, 1895. She Began Learning the Guitar from Jose Diaz, and in 1911, at Age 15, Performed Publicly in Havana at a Tribute to Arquimedes Pous. Vera Subsequently Formed the First of Several Duos, a Format She Would Favor Throughout her Career, with Rafael Zequeira”.

FEATURED SOUND FILES
Example #1 Maria Teresa Vera – Veinte años video on YouTube

Veinte Años

Qué te importa que te ame
si tú no me quieres ya
El amor que ya ha pasado
no se debe recordar.

Fui la ilusión de tu vida
un día lejano ya,
hoy represento el pasado
no me puedo conformar.

Si las cosas que uno quiere
se pudieran alcanzar
tú me quisieras lo mismo
que veinte años atrás.

Con qué tristeza miramos
un amor que se nos va
es un pedazo del alma
que se arranca sin piedad.

English translation (thanks to YouTube video commenter clare oleary)

Twenty Years

What does my love mean to you,
if you no longer love me?
We should not dwell on love that is past.
I was your life’s desire one day long ago.
Now I’m history I can’t face the change.
If only we could make our dreams come true .
If only you would love me as you did twenty years ago.
How mournfully we watch a love that ebbs away heartlessly a part of the soul is torn away.

****
Example #2: MARÍA TERESA VERA LÁGRIMAS NEGRAS on YouTube

LÁGRIMAS NEGRAS
Aunque tu
me has dejado en el abandono
aunque ya
se han muerto todas mis ilusiones.

En vez de despedirme
con Justo encono
en mis sueños te colmo
en mis sueños te colmo
de bendiciones.

Sufro la inmensa pena de tu extravio
lloro el dolor profundo
de tu partida
y lloro sin que sepas
que el llanto mio
tiene lagrimas negras
tiene lagrimas negras
como mi vida.

Tu me quieres dejar
yo no puedo vivir
contigo me voy mi negra
aunque me cueste el morir

Tu me quieres dejar
yo no quiero sufrir
contigo me voy mi santa
aunque me cueste el morir.

 Lagrimas Negras was originally recorded by these guys.

Black Tears © translation of “Lágrimas Negras” by Manuel Garcia Jr.

Although you
have left me desolate with your abandon,
although you
have been death to my every illusion
instead of cursing you now
with justified rancor,
in my dreams I enshrine you,
in my dreams I enshrine you
with benediction.
(2X)

Immensity of pain I suffer over losing you,
my feelings so profoundly hurt
torn by your parting.
I cry without your knowing
and that lonely crying
weeps out a stream of black tears,
weeps out a stream of black tears
and all my living.
(1X)

You want leaving me
I can’t suffering be
so with you I go my darling
even it costs me dying.
(3X with 2 short breaks)

****
Example #3: Maria Teresa Vera – Eso No Es Na on YouTube

The best of Cuban music!
The English translation for this title is “This is nothing”.

****
Example #4: Maria Teresa Vera – He Perdido Contigo on YouTube

Me quisiste lo sé, yo también te he querido,
Me olvidaste después, pero yo no he podido
A sufrir por tu amor, me condenó el destino
Que le vamos a hacer yo tenía que perder y he perdido contigo /bis
Tantos amores buenos, que con fe me adoraban,
Yo les negué el cariño de inocente quedado
Pero fuiste tan cruel que jugaste conmigo
Que le vamos a hacer yo tenía que perder y he perdido contigo /bis

Tantos amores buenos, que con fe me adoraron
Yo les negué el cariño que inocente quedado
Pero fuiste tan cruel que jugaste conmigo
Que la vamos a hacer yo tenía que perder y he perdido contigo /bis

Here’s the English translation of this song’s Spanish lyrics:

I know you loved me, I loved you too,
then you forgot me, but I haven’t forgotten you,
destiny has condemned me to suffer for your love,
what can I do? I had to lose and I’ve lost to you /bis
so many good loves which adored me faithfully,
and I denied them of my love full of everlasting innocence
but you were so cruel and only played with me
what can I do? I had to lose and I’ve lost to you /bis

so many good loves which adored me faithfully,
and I denied them of my love full of everlasting innocence
but you were so cruel and only played with me
what can I do? I had to lose and I’ve lost to you /bis
-snip-
Click that same link for the Spanish lyrics.

****
Example #5: Maria Teresa Vera y Lorenzo Hierrezuelo – Longina on YouTube

Un valioso duo de nuestra cultura cubana y unas vistas inéditas de los carnavales de los años 30’s. http://www.cinedelhogar.com
-snip-
Google Translate gives this English translation for the above comment: “A valuable duo of our Cuban culture and unprecedented views of the carnivals of the 30’s.”

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