TUNES FOR TUESDAY - Colombian Conexion
With today's song, I want to briefly introduce a decidedly Colombian rock band. Eclectic in style, irreverent in their lyrics, daring in their song's themes, from Medellin here's Aterciopelados.
Colombian Conexion by Aterciopelados
Anyone familiar with Colombia's traditions and modern history will be able to understand the connection offered in the song. It starts right where a traditional Colombian folkloric song ends, the "oh, how proud I feel to be a Colombian . . ." riddle, and ends with "but here goodness germinates" a phrase borrowed from our national anthem. In between, sprinkled with irony and some sarcasm, Aterciopelados names a series of people, places, and events that indeed connect all Colombians.
Taken literally, Aterciopelados would mean The Velvety Ones (Terciopelo = Velvet). But since this is Colombia I think that there has to be more to it. Well, don't forget that in Colombia a Kid is a "pelado." Just saying the name of the band makes me think about growing up in Colombia, about being un "pelado" there. This is no accident, I think that this exemplifies Aterciopelados music. It is hard to listen to it and not feel that (Colombian) connection. Indeed, as the song says, te vas te vas y no la olvidas--you leave, you leave but you never forget her.
Los Pelados in Aterciopelados are Andrea Echeverry and Hector Buitrago. Andrea is a music hero in Colombia, but she is the anti-Shakira type of hero. Not a flashy star, just a charismatic one who, as many in her generation, carries the weight of Colombia's social issues on her shoulders. Here's my favorite part of Colombian Conexion, right after Gringos go home, it says:
Pobre Colombia irredenta
poor unredeemed Colombia
Desnuda, fria y hambrienta
Naked, cold, and hungry
Y a diario tan descontenta
and daily so unhappy
con la crisis turbulenta
with its turbulent crisis
Pero el bien germina ya, Germina ya!
But here good germinates, it germinates!