Viento – Caifanes

I’m learning Spanish, so I will attempt to write about this song and band in Spanish. Feel free to comment to correct me!:

“Viento” fue la primera cancion que oi de Caifanes, y ellos fue el primer grupo que yo gustaba. Ellos son de Mexico City, y de los ochentas. 😀 Su nombre tiene origen del 1940s’, significa algo como “cool, dude” ^_^ Son como ‘new wave’ y rock alternativa. Ellos tienen un poco punk/goth style, pero esto es un de sus mas ligera canciones. Es como viento, muy ligero y lindo a escuchar. Me encanta la letra, “prestame tu peine, y peiname el alma” 🙂 Lei que un camarero se lo dijo al Saul Hernandez, el lider del Caifanes, y eso le inspiro a escribir esta cancion. Ahora, traducire la letra; cuanto puedo traducir:

Préstame tu peine  –  Lend me your comb
Y péiname el alma  –  And comb my soul
Desenrédame  –  [disentangle me]
Fuera de este mundo  –  Outside of this world

Di me que no  –  Tell me that I’m not
Estoy sonándote  –  Dreaming of you
Enséñame  –  Teach me
De que estamos hechos.  –  Of what we are made

Que quiero orbitar planetas  –  How I want to orbit planets
Hasta ver uno vació  –  Until I see an emptiness
Que quiero irme a vivir  –  How I want to go live
Pero que sea contigo.  –  But that it be with you

Viento amárranos  –  The wind [?]
Tiempo detente muchos años  –  Time detains many years
Viento amárranos  –  The wind [?]
Tiempo detente muchos años  –  Time detains many years

Préstame tu peine  –  Lend me your comb
Y péiname el alma  –  And comb my soul
Purifícame  –  Purify me
No me abandones  –  Don’t abandon me

Préstame tu sueño  –  Lend me your dream
Y duérmeme  –  And dream me
Embrújame  –  Bewitch me
Volvámonos eternos.  –  Let’s return eternal

Que quiero orbitar planetas  –  How I want to orbit planets
Hasta ver uno vació  –  Until I see an emptiness
Que quiero irme a vivir  –  How I want to live
Pero que sea contigo.  –  But for it to be with you

Viento amárranos  –  Wind [?]
Tiempo detente muchos años  –  Time detains many years
Viento amárranos  –  Wind [?]
Tiempo detente muchos años  –  Time detains many years

🙂 ?Como fue mi traduccion? No se que “amárranos” significa. Trate de buscar, pero no busque. ?Alguien pueda decir me? Gracias! 🙂

Nuevas palabras que aprendi:

Desenredar – To disentangle 😀

Pues, enredar significa ‘to entangle’, ?verdad? 🙂


Nipon Elektronik – Bonton Baya

Listening to electronic music and reading about Japan’s recent help to Bosnia (with reconstructing centers for disabled children that were destroyed in the terrible flooding last year, so kind of them), reminded me of this quirky song from this obscure band from Sarajevo. “Nipon Elektronik” is from 1983 and Bonton Baya’s only album “Elpi” (LP). The whole album has a quirky, electronic, original sound to it, unlike anything I’ve heard from ex-yu before, particularly this song which seems to be their best known.

“Nipon” refers to Japan, as that’s what the Japanese sometimes call themselves. But then with elektronik, do they mean Japenese elektronic music or something else like Japanese electronic appliances or items? I am not exactly sure. I am guessing a lot of things were imported from Japan back then. I know some Bosnians like anime, but was it really that big a thing back then? I wonder what kind of relationship did Japan and ex-Yugoslavia have, for them to be mentioned in a song like this? Or Japan and Bosnia, especially now that Japan is helping Bosnia.

I googled Japan 1983 to see what was going on in Japan then in case there is any kind of connection. There was a major earthquake/tsunami and they had general elections. I also found this picture of a cool stereo shop in Japan in 1983, which I think is relevant here since, well, music. 🙂


Here are some of the lyrics translated. Note: I could not understand everything he said, there was some slurring and mixing of words with Japanese terms. So, where ever I put a … is what I did not understand.

Nipon elektronik napada – Nippon electronic is attacking

I Azija… – And Asia…

Samuraje… – Samurai’s …

Kamikaze lete sa istoka – Kamikaze are flying from the east

Svuda Japan – Everywhere Japan

Samo Japan – Only Japan

Svuda Japan – Everywhere Japan

Samo Japan – Only Japan

Hmm, sounds like an invasion. Perhaps a cultural invasion? Like in the case of a lot of things being imported in from Japan, if that was the case in Ex-Yu.. Or Japanese culture becoming popular? or perhaps it is just playing with historical references and World War II? But overall, a cool song with a quirky, offbeat beat. Fun to listen to with unusual lyrics. I might post about some of the other songs from the band’s album and explore them further in future posts. It’s interesting when cultures sing about other cultures. I wonder what the culture being sung about thinks. Bosnia and ex-Yu are never sung about in any English or Hispanic songs that I know, so I don’t know how I would quite react if my culture was being sung about, like Japan here. I mean, does the song sound offensive to any Japanese viewers I wonder? Tell me if so. Overall, comments and observations? Da li iko razume ostatak teksta? O.o 😛

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 😀

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  –  I will walk between the rocks
hasta sentir el temblor  –  until I feel an earthquake
en mis piernas.  –  in my legs.

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

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

Sé que te encontraré en esas ruinas,  –  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,  –  I will kiss you in the earthquake, I know it.

será un buen momento. – It will be a great moment.

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

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

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! 🙂

La chica de ayer – Nacha Pop

I just found this song yesterday and I really like it! Nacha Pop is a rock-pop group from Spain, formed in 1978 by 18 year old Antonio Vega and his cousin Nacho. This was their first television debut in 1980 singing the first song from their album “Un Dia Cualquiera” (whichever day). This song “La chica de ayer” (The girl from yesterday) became really popular in Spain, this video alone having 3 million views now. Apparently the idea for the song arose while young Antonio was walking along the Malvarrosa Beach in Valencia, Spain..


Lyrics Translation (note: since I’m doing this translation completely on my own to practice my Spanish, I will place { } around words/phrases I had to look up. And any asterisks * are something I will refer to at the end, also parenthesis’s (  ) are when I have to reword things for it to make grammatical sense in the translation. Additionally, brackets [ ] are a chorus that repeats):

Un dia cualquiera no sabes que hora es  –  whichever day, you don’t know what time it is

Te acuestas a mi lado sin saber por que  –  You {lie down} to my side without knowing why

Las calles mojadas te han visto crecer  –  The wet streets have seen you grow up

Y tu en tu corazon estas lorando otra vez.  –  And in your heart you’re crying again.

[Me asomo a la ventana eres la chica de ayer,  –  I {stick my head out} the window, you’re the girl from yesterday,

jugando con las flores en mi jardin.  –  playing with the flowers in my garden.

Demasiado tarde para comprender,]  –  Too late to understand,

chica vete a tu casa no podemos jugar.  –  Girl, (see your way home), we can’t play.

La luz de la mañana entra a la habitacion,  –  The light of the morning enters the room,

tu cabellos dorados parecen sol.  –  Your golden {hair} looks like sun

Luego por la noche al Penta a escuchar  –  Later, by night to Penta*, to listen to

canciones que consiguen que te pueda amar.  –  songs that achieve that I* can love you

[Chorus repeats]

Mi cabeza de vueltas persiguiendote. x4  –  My head {turns following you}. x4

Ahhh, this song would melt any girl’s heart.. Especially when the lead singer Antonio Vega is so cute… ❤ BUT ANYWAYS, I DIGRESS… On to the interpretation of this song!! I think the narrative in this song is a metaphor for when memories of past loves or crushes come back in a person’s mind, those people from yesterday. And they can come back at “whichever day”, whichever time.. as if they’re “lying by our side”, bringing back the feelings.. Then things like “the light of the morning sun” entering the room and reminding us of their “golden hair” in this case. And then no matter how much we try, “they won’t go home and our heads keep turning following them” to paraphrase it, looking back at the past. The overall theme being nostalgia of love or romance.

An interesting lyric is “The wet streets have seen you grow up, and in your heart you’re crying again”. Are the streets wet from her tears during growing up? Or during the past, like during their break up or separation? Or is it perhaps saying that the wet streets have seen him get through this, and now he’s crying in his heart again as he remembers? What are your takes?

Now for the things I asterisked*..  Penta is a bar in Madrid, which was the center of the popular La Movida madrilena (The Madrid Scene), which was a countercultural movement. It was a movement during Spain’s transition post-Franco’s death in 1975. It was a movement that called for freedom of expression, transgressing taboos, the acceptance of dialects and alternative lifestyles, overall a sense of freedom in the streets. Nacha Pop often frequented the bar and were probably very in support of this movement.

Now for the second thing I asterisked, I would like the input of any Spanish speakers because I am unsure if I translated this sentence correctly because I am unsure of what context is pueda in (whether it is yo te pueda amar or if it’s el te pueda amar?) and then I’m unsure which context is consiguen is in (whether it is conseguir as in to get or obtain, or to achieve?). So my interpretation was that he was going to the bar to listen to songs that let him love her, essentially. Someone please correct me if I’m wrong.

Furthermore, the sound of the song reminds me of some of the American 80s’ with the acoustic guitar. The acoustic guitar really adds to the nostalgic feel. I wonder how much influence the American and English music had on the Spanish music scene, or were the American and English more so inspired by them? This goes for all the genres, not just the one of this particular song. Hopefully throughout this blog, some connections and patterns will arise…

New Spanish words I learned from this!:

  • acostarse – to lie down
  • asomar a la ventana – to stick your head out the window; asomar in general is to peek
  • cabellos – is a synonym to “pelo”; means hair. (haha, at first I thought it meant horse, like caballo; so I was translating the line as “your golden horses seem like the sun” and I’m like this can’t be right, que extrano haha. O.o)
  • cabeza de vueltas persiguiendote – head turns following you

Overall, Nacha Pop ❤ Feel free to post comments, opinions, interpretations, in English or Espanol! 🙂

Život je nekad siv, nekad žut – Bajaga & Instruktori

I decided to post first about Bajaga (Ba-ya-ga) and his band (translates to Bayaga and the Instructors) because not only is this blog’s title a lyric from one of their songs, but I also consider him one of the most balanced, well-rounded musician from ex-yu. Creativity in his lyrics and sound, charisma in his appearance and personality, and a strong distinct voice. These qualities led him and his band to become highly successful and popular, with their songs still being played today. This video alone has 5 million views. Another distinct thing about Bajaga is the rich diversity in his music; none of his songs sound alike. Some are more rock, some are more pop, some are serious, some are playful, some are soft, others are energized, some are even more folk music-oriented, and then there is a tropical-sounding one like this one… O.o

This song, “Život je nekad siv, nekad žut” (“Life is sometimes gray, sometimes yellow”) is from their 1988 album “Prodavnica Tajni” (A Store of Secrets..or it could be The Store of Secrets.. we don’t have articles to differentiate that), a highly successful album, with its unique and slightly gloomier direction. Almost every song on that album became a hit and it sold more than 700,000 copies. With this album, and especially this song, I get a feeling like Bajaga and his mates wrote it after going through some romantic heartbreak. The lyrics and moodiness.. Let’s look at the lyrics, with my translations..

Some things to keep in mind with my lyrics and translations. I did not include all the accent marks, because that would be difficult to type. But I kept the Ž’s because of how often that sound came up in this sound. Ž sounds…like the s in leisure, listen to how Bajaga says it in the song. Also, if I put any of my translation in parenthesis’s (  ), that means I reworded the literal translation for it to grammatically make sense in English without losing any of the figurative meaning. And anything with an asterik * means it will be referred to at the end. Brackets [  ] indicate a kind of chorus that repeats later.

Život je nekad siv, nekad žut  –  Life is sometimes gray, sometimes yellow

Život je, ovaj put, za mene, zabrinut  – (Life is, worrisome, for me, this time)

[Ne brini, Žiko ti, Kažu svi  –  Don’t worry, Žiko* you, says everybody

Žile, nemoj brinuti  –  Žile*, do not worry

Bolujes od ljubavi, To se tesko podnesi.  –  You’re hurting from love, that is hard to endure.

Koliko je volim a nisam s njom  –  Oh how much I love her but I’m not with her

Bas i sada ja pricam o tom  –  Even and now I’m talking about that

Koliko je volim, ja najbolje znam  –  Oh how much I love her, I know it the best

I na kraju ces ostati sam  –  And in the end you’ll be left alone]

Tvoj život je nekad siv, nekad žut x2  –  Your life is sometime gray, sometime yellow. x2

Zivot je nekad žut, nekad siv  –  Life is sometime yellow, sometime gray

Život je kad si živ,  –  Life is when you’re alive

Život je za to kriv  –  (Life is, at fault, for that)

Tvoj život je nekad siv, nekad siv, nekad žut x2  –  Your life is sometime gray, sometimes gray, sometime yellow. x2

Zivot je nekad žut, nekad siv …  –  Life is sometime yellow, sometime gray

[bracketed chorus repeats]

Tvoj život je nekad siv, nekad siv, nekad žut x2  –  Your life is sometime gray, sometimes gray, sometime yellow. x2

Život je nekad žut, nekad siv …  –  Life is sometime yellow, sometime gray

Okay, so first to clear up the references *. Žiko and Žile are both nicknames of each other so it refers to the same person. When I first heard Žiko, it reminded me of a famous ex-yu comedian I grew up watching named Žiko and his family dynasty series. 😀 We’ll get to him in another post because he’s a huge ex-yu cultural icon. I wonder if Bajaga did that on purpose. It’s actually probably referring to Žika Milenkovic, a member of Bajaga’s band who co-wrote the music with him.

In the song, there seems to be an exchange of dialog with the switches of you, I, and then the rest of members responding in the background. Actually, this can even be a representation of the conversation a person has with themselves after a breakup, with the members in the background echoing  Žiko’s thoughts in response to himself. Then with the song title being life is sometimes gray, sometimes yellow; it’s like that message of sometimes there’s bad days and good days, up’s and down’s, so don’t worry mate that your heart was broken. :’D However, It also demonstrates the side of the heartbreak, saying how much he loved her and “Oh how much I love her, I know it the best” (meaning they can’t tell him anything because they don’t know his situation as much as he does).

I also found the lyric  “Life is when you’re alive. Life is, at fault, for that.” to be an interesting lyric. It can be interpreted as the heartbroken one saying, “life is when you’re alive, but I don’t feel alive, so this advice of pain in life is temporary does not apply to me, and it’s life’s fault for being like this and for making me lose her in the first place”. I also like the rhyme of “živ” (alive) and “kriv” (at fault) in it, and then it goes to further rhyme with siv (gray); nice rhyme schemes. Then I like the contrast between the mellow tune of the music yet the heartbroken worried lyrics, reflecting the contrast in the title. This follows the pattern of the contrasting titles of the rest of the songs in the album. Apparently, the group was on vacation in Thailand during their Soviet Union tour when they wrote this album. So the tropical vacation-sound could be influenced by their vacation in Thailand. If I can find pics of that…

We’ll explore more of the album and this band in future posts. Feel free to comment what you think; any interpretations or opinions about the band or the song or the lyrics, album, etc. Or even which songs or albums of theirs you want me to talk about in the future? What genre would we even classify this song as? Feel free to ask for clarifications as well about anything that I wrote.

O, i slobodno pišete na naš jezik, ne mora biti na engleski! Mozete i pitati za prevod o bilo cemu sto sam pisala ako ne razumete ili nije bilo jasno. ❤