TUNES FOR TUESDAY -- El Jíbaro Listo
Let's hear another song by El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico:
El Jíbaro Listo
A Jíbaro is a rustic person, a country man. The Jíbaro in the song is also a smart (listo) person. Although the story transpires in Puerto Rico, this is a song about the American Dream. Having left the fields for the city, the Jíbaro arrives in San Juan de Puerto Rico on a Fourth of July (what a coincidence), finds work as a carpenter, and becomes successful.
In the process he discovers that he has lost any desire to return to his lar nativo -- the native lair. As he puts it, the dark color of his skin turned out to be just stains from the banana plants which went away when he started using soap. He makes new friends and learns to write his name-- and last name--on a piece of paper.
Voy a un sitio distinguido, llamado el Hotel La Concha, pues ya se me calló la roncha que del campo habia traído. "Now I go to a distinguished place called the La Concha Hotel, " and he is accepted there because, "I have lost the skin rashes that I had brought with me from the fields."
The Hotel La Concha happens to be the place where El Gran Combo made its first public appearance in the early sixties, what a beautiful way to remember it.
He continues, "Here where you see me, I now wear shoes, my feet deserved to be pampered. In fact, I just ordered some shoes from Ponce, I found out that now that I have lost all the calluses, my shoe size is actually eleven."
"Y ahora duermo con aire acondicionado." -- Now I sleep with air conditioning. And so many of us so relate! The American Dream, indeed.