The song first appeared in Blades' 1978 Siembra, an album that sold over 25 million copies and which held the record for best selling salsa album for over 15 years.
"Eight million stories has the city of New York" he sings, "life gives you surprises, surprises gives you this life" goes the choir.
Some film makers succumbed to the temptation of Pedro Navaja's story and made the movie without Blades' authorization. As the film was released, life gave the filmakers another surprise: Blades released the second part of Pedro Navaja, a song appropriately titled, "Sorpresas" (in the album Escenas, 1985). The song effectively changed the end of Pedro Navaja's story thereby rendering the movie obsolete. However, "Sorpresas" was never a hit or even a popular song.
Some final notes about Ruben Blades: he ran for president of Panama, he has been Panama's Tourism Minister, he holds a Master's in International Law from Harvard, he has his own Podcast, he still writes and sings his very own style of Salsa, and if it had not been for Teddy Roosevelt, he would have been Colombian!