Cuando pase el temblor – Soda Stereo

One of my favorite bands and songs in Spanish. Soda Stereo was a highly successful and legendary alternative rock band from Buenos Aires, Argentina; formed in 1982. They formed at an interesting time, around the time of Argentina’s return to democracy. Similar to Nacho Pop and the Madrid Movement discussed in an earlier post, the change in the politics and striving towards freedom of expression influenced the music and youth scene greatly, leading to embraces of more alternative styles.

This song “Cuando pase el temblor” (When the earthquake ends) from their 1985 album Nada Personal reached high popularity. This video alone has 24 million views. :O Yes, they were a big deal. The video was filmed in pre-Incan ruins in Peru. It incorporates traditional Andean music as well with Soda Stereo’s rock song, giving it a really interesting sound. The band was also influenced by other English new wave and punk bands in their sounds. So in this song, we witness a really great blending of cultures, as well as amazing lyrics that I will attempt to translate now ūüėÄ

Key: { } for words I had to look up, ( ) for when I have to reword the lyrics for grammatical sense in translation, and [ ] for a repeated chorus

Yo caminaré entre las piedras  Р I will walk between the rocks
hasta sentir el temblor  Р until I feel an earthquake
en mis piernas.  Р in my legs.

A veces tengo temor, lo sé;  Р Sometimes I have fear, I know it;
a veces, verg√ľenza. ¬†– ¬†Sometimes, shame.
Estoy sentado en un cráter desierto.  Р I am seated in a deserted crater.
Sigo aguardando el temblor  Р I keep {waiting/expecting} for the earthquake
en mi cuerpo.  Р in my body.

Nadie me vio partir, lo sé.  РNobody saw me {leave}, I know it.
Nadie me espera.  Р Nobody waits for me.
Hay una grieta en mi corazón,  Р There is a crack in my heart,
un planeta con desilusión.  Р a planet with disillusion.

Sé que te encontraré en esas ruinas,  Р I know I will find you in those ruins,
ya no tendremos que hablar del temblor. ¬†– ¬†We already won’t have to talk about the earthquake.
Te besaré en el temblor, lo sé,  Р I will kiss you in the earthquake, I know it.

ser√° un buen momento. – It will be a great moment.

Hay una grieta en mi corazón,  Р There is a crack in my heart,
un planeta con desilusión.  Р a planet with disilusion.
Despiértame cuando pase el temblor.  Р Wake me up when the earthquake ends.
Despiértame cuando pase el temblor.  Р Wake me up when the earthquake ends.

Such great lyrics, my favorite line being “Hay una grieta en mi corazon, un planeta con desilusion”. ūüôā

There can be multiple interpretations of these lyrics. I interpret as a feeling or emotion shaking a person, like nervousness or even love. In the beginning, he’s planning to walk among the rocks just fine until he feels “an earthquake”, so it stops him in his tracks. Sometimes he feels (temor) “fear”, sometimes (verguenza) “shame”; which are two feelings that can be associated with feelings like nervousness or love that shake us, those kind of embarrassing scary feelings. So then this isolates him in a deserted crater, as he waits/expects for the “earthquake” to come back from within his body. This makes sense with how when we’re afraid of these kinds of feelings coming up, we often withdraw and feel lonely. Then he goes on to say that nobody saw him leave and nobody waits for him, which means nobody noticed the change in him, nobody noticed the “earthquake” inside him that’s causing him to leave; that’s causing him to either not be himself or withdraw. This is why at the end he says, wake me up when the earthquake ends. And then furthermore, he will kiss her when everything falls apart, when the earthquake/ the feelings overwhelm him. He will kiss her when he’s not completely himself because of the emotions causing him to crumble, but it will be great. ‚̧

New words I learned:

  • sigo aguardando – to keep waiting/expecting
  • partir – to leave/depart

I love this song. I love this band. ‚̧ Any Soda Stereo fans? Or interpretations? Comments? Dimelo todo! ūüôā