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As a belated Christmas present to myself, I am writing an even more self-indulgent blog entry than usual. So here, for my enjoyment and your bemusement, are the top 10 songs that I like listening to as I walk the half-hour walk to my Spanish lessons. Most of them have an 80s pop sound that is hard to come by in England today but which still fills the airwaves in Argentina, and all of them are marvellous.
You can listen to all ten songs on Grooveshark here: http://listen.grooveshark.com/#/playlist/Music+To+Learn+Spanish+By/41496865 plus I've also ping'd them on iTunes here: http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewIMix?id=412293199&s=14344410. "Amorres de Barra" – Ella Baila Sola
At number 10, a group sometimes described as a Spanish version of the Dixie Chicks. Now, I don't know much about the Dixie Chicks, but I know a woman who does, so that was enough to persuade me to download some Ella Baila Sola ("She dances alone"😉. To me, they sound like a Spanish version of The Corrs, pero ¿que sé yo? I recommend listening to Ella Baila Sola when you are very sunburnt on Christmas day and eating a tub of ice-cream whilst standing in the middle of your lounge because your sunburnt skin can't
touch your fake leather sofa. Video: here 9. "Corazón" – Los Auténticos Decadentes
I was in a Mexican restaurant here in Buenos Aires a few months ago when I first heard this song. Now, lots of cool people have told me about “reggaeton” – a hybrid latin/reggae sound which has all the kids boogieing in the discotheques. When I heard “Corazón”, I liked it, and got excited about the fact that maybe I was liking something as young and cool as reggaeton. Well, I needn't have been so excited. When I saw a live performance of this song on the telly, I realised that it clearly wasn't reggaeton; it's a middle-aged man jumping around like he thinks he's Timmy Mallet. My self-image may remain intact but I still like the song, especially as I have fond memories of spilling a bottle of red wine all over a man's white trousers at Buenos Aires gay pride because I was so excited that one of the floats was playing it. Video: here
8. "Moscas En La Casa" – Shakira
Shakira is one of the reasons I am here in Buenos Aires. When I came here in 2003, I bought an album of Shakira singing
in Spanish (it's so much better than her English songs) and listening to the album for the past seven years definitely kept fanning my desire to learn Spanish. “Moscas En La Casa” (“Flies in the house”😉 is a song I first heard in one of my Spanish classes (we had to listen and write down the verbs) and I love the melodramatic lyrics. Somehow I can't imagine a top 10 hit in the UK being about love lost and the fact that you have a kitchen full of flies. Video: here 7. "Nueva Sensación" – Moderatto
The first of Moderatto's entries in my Top 10, this is a very poppy, upbeat number - perfect when I'm running late for my class and I need to walk a bit faster. Moderatto is a Mexican group, which started in the late-1990s to take the piss out of groups like Poison, but which soon found that there was money and fame in that there piss-take. Hated by proper metal-heads, Moderatto may look like they're a group of characters in Police Academy 3 dressing up for a under-cover assignment in a heavy metal club, but they actually do very nice things to my ears. Video:
here 6. "No Nos Podran Parar" – Celtas Cortos
Celtas Cortos is a Spanish group which mixes a Spanish sound with a celtic, bagpipe vibe. Most of the songs are very fast, which makes them a bit less useful for practising the Spanish, but I like the combination of these two very different types of music very much. Video: here
5. "Tu Misterioso Alguien" – Miranda!
This would have been my number 1 track if I had written this list a few months ago, but the music industry is a fickle one and “Tu Misterioso Aguien” (“Your mysterious someone”😉 has slipped down four places to number 5. I love Miranda! (the exclamation mark is theirs, not mine, although, if they hadn't put one there, I, almost certainly, would have). I went to see them live last month in Buenos Aires and they are just perfect. The lead Singer, Ale Sergi, might look like the love-child of Freddy Mercury and Mister Claypole out of Rentaghost, but, surprisingly, he still manages to do something amazing to my 'down belows'. I think it might be his lovely big smile, like the one Ewan McGregor can make. I've had a few people laughing at me for
liking Miranda!, including one of my Spanish teachers, who keeps telling me that Miranda is a group for nice-year old girls. Okay, there were quite a few nine-year-old girls at the concert I went to, and okay, Marcos and I might have looked a little out of place, but I don't care. Video: here
4. "Mi Soledad y Yo" – Alejandro Sanz
This is a song that sums up just how wonderfully corny many Spanish songs are, songs which are played everywhere today, long after such corniness was outlawed in the UK after the end of the nineteen eighties. Here's a taste of how the song starts: “It is beautiful, this city / for going on holiday. / And the hotel – it certainly / was so romantic and luxurious, / like in the adverts / with those beaches in the photos. / It's raining in Madrid / and everything goes on as normal, / except that you are not here.” Cheese, such beautiful cheese – and with a chorus which you can belt out bootifully after a couple of beers, whilst dancing in the middle of your lounge (“I will kiss you, like nobody in this world has ever
kissed you / I will love you with my body, with my mind, with my skin and with my heart”😉. Video: here 3. "Lloviendo Estrellas" – Cristian Castro
I first heard this song in a sweet scene in a film called “Un novio para mi mujer” (“A boyfriend for my wife”😉. In the scene, the character played by Adrián Suar realises he still loves his wife, played by Valeria Bertuccelli, and they do a little dance. (Incidentally, Wikipedia says that Adrián Suar is Paul Newman's cousin, but he isn't really.) Anyway, the Mexican singer of “Lloviendo Estrellas” (“Raining Stars”😉 is Cristian Castro, who has enjoyed, according to Wikipedia, “a fructiferous international singing career”. Very nice. Video: here
2. "Mil Demonios" – Moderatto
Moderatto can do slow and moody as well as fast and poppy. This is a great song for practising the Spanish to…read along with the lyrics and see if you can sing it as fast as they do. It's takes a bit of practice but it is do-able. Video: here
1. "Entre Mis Brazos" – Miranda!
This is it, my number 1 song in Spanish in the whole wide world. It had to be a Miranda! track, and it
is “Entre mis brazos” (“In my arms”😉. It might just be the perfect pop song. It has everything: the cheese, the speedy chorus, and a whole lorra arm-waving from side to side when Miranda! sing it live. Video: here Here's the chorus in English, so you get a feel for it in all its 'number 1' glory:When I touched your mouth
My heart was touched
My heart stopped
It was about to fade but it came back to life
I was so lucky to come back
To have you one more time in my arms.
Let me turn the light off
So that your love can light me up
So that it can light the light-blue candle
That you gave me when we had been together for a month.
If you are listening, Ale Sergi, I would like to do things to you whilst we play your songs on my laptop. If it helps, I have fairly high-quality speakers and some of that ice-cream left. You can find me on Facebook.
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