Ojos Verdes (Green Eyes)

My mother would have been 99 last November 26th. I would have liked to have this ready for that particular date, but as I said in my last post, “Sisters of Mercy,” there were issues and I wasn’t in the right mood to do anything but let myself go. Anyway, I want to do it now, as it may not be her Birthday today, but it is mine and I bet she would feel honored that I’m going to celebrate my Birthday with this heartfelt homage to her. She was a huge fan of Conchita Piquer, as she used to refer to the great cupletist (people used to call the artist by the diminutive of her first name.) My mom used to tell us that my father and herself attended a show of hers in a big theatre in Madrid and both of them were impressed by her charisma on stage. Obviously, her performance made a huge impact on them, especially in my mother’s mood. With much enthusiasm she used to tell us the striking success Concha Piquer had in her international debut at L’Olympia in Paris, when she premiered the song “El Relicario.” She always recalled the excited audience standing up to applaud in a thunderous ovation.

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This last song I mentioned was later recorded by Sara Montiel for a sequence of her movie “El Ultimo Cuplé (The Last Cuplet).” A different studio version was released by Columbia Records in her LP printed as “Sarita Montiel canta las canciones de la película El Ultimo Cuplé (Sarita Montiel sings the songs of the film The Last Cuplet)” which was supposed to be the soundtrack of the mentioned movie, though they were different studio recordings. It was released in Europe by London Records as seen in the pictures below.

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This is the version released in the Columbia LP: “El Relicario” (actually by Sarita Montiel, though it is described in youTube as performed by Concha Piquer.) Being such a huge admirer of Conchita Piquer, my mom she used to recall many of her songs and even crooned them at times. However, you might not believe it, but she didn’t own any record of hers. So, one day, when I was already adult, I had to go and buy one for her.

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“No Te Mires En El Rio (Don’t Look at Yourself on the River)” was one of my favorites on the album I bought. My mother she loved everyone of her songs. Her favorite one of hers was this one I’m sharing here, “Ojos Verdes (Green Eyes)”:

 

Ojos Verdes (Valverde, León y Quiroga)
Concha Piquer

Apoyá en el quicio de la mancebía,
miraba encenderse la noche de mayo
pasaban los hombres y yo sonreía,
hasta que en mi puerta paraste el caballo.
“¡Serrana! ¿me das candela?”
y yo te dije: “Gaché,
ven y tómala en mis labios
y yo fuego te daré.”
Dejaste el caballo y lumbre te di
y fueron dos verdes luceros de mayo
tus ojos pa mí.

Ojos verdes,
Verdes como l’arbahaca,
verdes como er trigo verde,
y el verde, verde limón.
Ojos verde, verdes
con brillo de faca
que s’han clavaíto en mi corazón.
Pa mi ya no hay soles, luceros ni luna,
no hay más que unos ojos que mi vía son.
Ojos verdes,
verdes como l’arbahaca,
verdes como er trigo verde,
y el verde, verde limón.

Vimos desde el cuarto despertar er día,
y sonar el alba en la torre la vela
dejaste mi brazo cuando amanecía,
y en mi boca un gusto de menta y canela.
“¡Serrana! para un vestío
yo te quiero regalá”
y yo te dije: “¡estas cumplío!
No me tienes que dar ná.”
Subiste al caballo, te fuiste de mi
y nunca otra noche más bella de mayo
he güerto a vivír.

Ojos verdes,
verdes como l’arbahaca,
verdes como er trigo verde,
y el verde, verde limón.
Ojos verdes, verdes, con brillo de faca
que s’han clavaíto en mi corazón
Pa mi ya no hay soles, luceros ni luna,
no hay más que unos ojos que mi vía son.
Ojos verdes,
verdes como l’arbahaca,
verdes como er trigo verde,
y el verde, verde limón.

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English Translation:

Ojos Verdes (Green Eyes) (Valverde, León y Quiroga)
By Concha Piquer

Leaning on the door of the brothel,
I watched the night of May light up.
The men passed by
And I smiled,
Until at my door you stopped the horse.
“Serrana, give me the candle”
And I told you: “Man,
Oh come take it from my lips
And I will give you fire.”
You left the horse
And I gave you light
And they were two green May stars your eyes for me.

Green eyes,
Green as the basil.
Green like green wheat
And green, lemon green.

Green eyes green
With knife glitter
That are stuck in my heart
There is no sunshine anymore for me,
Neither stars, or moon,
There are only those eyes that are my whole life.

Green eyes,
Green as the basil.
Green like green wheat
And green, lemon green.

We saw from the room wake up the day,
And to sound the dawn from the watchtower.
You left my arm when the sunrise came
And in my mouth a taste of mint and cinnamon.
“Serrana, for a dress I want to give you.”
I told you, “You’re done,
You don’t have to give me anything.”
You climbed the horse
You left me
And not another night
More beautiful of May I’ve ever lived again.

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Another popular song by Concha Piquer was “Tatuaje (Tattoo).” The lyrics talking about a sailor who came in a ship of stranger name wearing a heart tattooed in his chest; how she demanded a kiss from him and fell in love with him. Since then she went looking for him in every port asking everyone for the one she loved. Pretty romantic stories she always sang with her poignant voice.

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But my beloved mother wasn’t the only one in the family to love Concha Piquer.  Another one of her sisters, Aunt Margot, was also an inconditional fan of the astounding cupletist. Aunt Margot died at 99, just a few days before reaching 100. Unfortunatelly, in her last few years she suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. She could not remember the last minute or what was happening a couple of minutes before, but still her mind kept working accurately in her present moment, being always wit and amazingly bold. Being frequently conscious of her forgetfulness she used to feel anxious and disoriented. However, you just had to start singing a song by Conchita Piquer and she would immediately remember the lyrics and sing along with you. That would make her happy, allowing her to forget about her troubles. Just like my mother, she loved “Ojos Verdes (Green Eyes).” Many times she could even start singing another favorite of hers, “No Te Mires En El Rio (Don’t Look at Yourself on the River),” making her feel so good. We bought a few Cd’s of the inspiring artist she loved so much, and listening to them was ever happiness for her since then.

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As an example of the sharpness my aunt still kept, even through her latest disease, I will tell here an anecdote I have told many times: Once I came to visit her and, as she was feeling a bit confused, she asked me, “Who are you?” Then I asked back, “Don’t you know who I am?” She thought about for a second and immediately replied, “One of us.” She really was a cool lady, she even loved the Beatles. But nobody is perfect; She would not like Bob Dylan.

39 thoughts on “Ojos Verdes (Green Eyes)

  1. Seeing beyond the horizon of the soul
    green eyes carry new life
    knowing the old but wanting to experience
    the new green eyes
    taken you drifting away to highs of love
    fallen heavy for the stars of the soul
    green eyes beautifully hypnotizing

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Español Calabaza, your post are always intriguing and inspiring
        I appreciate that as one of your readers.
        And your charm in it is nice too, haha 🙂 but I am glad you enjoyed reading my words. Thank you my friend

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh how sweet you are. I am just being me no need to thank me. I enjoy your entertaining post. They keep intrigued and well captivated.
        And as far as my charm well I am a country latina you know how that is. Haha 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Ahhh…..delicious passion. The words, her tone, the yearning and the strength…..all very compelling.
    Thank you for this glimpse into your beloved history.

    My deep condolences for the loss of your mom and your aunt. Losing a parent is not easy, I know this. Hugs to you, kind sir!

    JM

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Firstly:
    HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY 🎁🎊🎉🎂🎈 Mi papi chulo.

    That was truly truly a beautiful song and the lyrics are awesome 👏.. thanks for the English translation ..
    Mom 99 birthday 🎉.. Wow!!!

    Music 🎶 does stay with us..
    and we do associate songs with moments..
    and hearing them always take you back to that moment in time…
    I guess you are your mothers son..

    With your love ❤️ of music

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much for you kind congrats, dear Nita. I’m very happy to know you loved the song and the romantic obscure lyrics. It even was a time, during Franco’s dictature that the lyrics were censored, haha… she sang it on a movie called “Filigranas” and it was all completely different… and Miguel Molina had to sing it saying “Leaning on the door of your house one day” instead of on the door of the brothel. Well, my mom died in 2002 at 85 but she would be 99 now, if she could be here. We are actually 6 siblings and my mom was quite equitative, she always loved all of us the same, though maybe his favorite could have been my elder brother. Anyway, she wouldn’t make any difference.

      Like

  4. Such a a beautiful and inspiring post. I have learned so much – and enjoyed the beauty of every word. Thank you Louis for quoting the beautiful song ‘Green Eyes’ – that even today sounds so ‘contemporary’ which shows that great music – just like great art – are timeless. Wishing you an inspired and fruitful New Year 2017 – may all your dreams come true – and I’ll be a bit selfish here – I wish to myself and all your faithful readers that you create more fascinating posts like the one above. Sending you positive vibe in your direction, dear Friend. Listening to ‘Green Eyes’ by Coldplay now…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your kind words, and always supportive attitude to my work. I’m so glad you liked this old tune and the lyrics. Thank you so very much for your wonderful wishes to the year 2017. I wish you all the same, an inspired and fruitful New Year 2017. I can feel the positive vibe you sent in my direction, my friend. I’ll try my best to find inspiration from people like you and make the greatest posts I am able to for you and my readers. I’ll sing that Dylan song for you,”May God bless and keep you always, may your wishes all come true… and may you stay forever Young.” I love Coldplay, but can’t remember “Green Eyes” by them right now, I’m going to check it now and listen to it!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. WoW!!! so sweet and heartfelt………beautiful homage……..great to read how music affects us and our lives……even remain with us when our memories betray………loved it! 🙂 🙂

    Like

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