July 7, 2011

Arriba del cielo

Several years ago, sweet sister Deepa introduced me to this lovely lullaby from Mexico - heard on the Putumayo CD "Dreamland." That song was performed acapella, and was quite, quite heavenly. Quite other-worldly.

One might even go so far as to say that it's difficult to keep one's feet on the earth when listening (or singing) this lovely, lovely lullaby!

So when I heard it, I thought: this song is just too lovely not to share.
And then, I thought: I'll teach it to the mothers and children who come to the little music classes at my place of work!
But then I also thought: Hmm. But how? Hardly any native Spanish speakers in this community...

You know, it doesn't hurt to try. It doesn't hurt to have a little courage and do something new with folks. I did change the song around just a little bit - and added the "shh!" bits in to make the song a little more manageable - and, might I add, fun for the children?

I remember with great fondness now, how the toddlers and younger preschoolers would fake going to sleep on their mothers laps. I remember the mothers really trying their best to sing along. I remember teaching them how to pronounce the words, line by line. And then I remember getting into sleepy character myself, lying on the ground with my guitar on my belly, feigning sleep, snoring, yawning...the whole nine yards...and watching the children do the very same. It became our little lullaby game.

That was a few years ago - it's been a while since I last sung this song. But do you know? Just yesterday, after I had finished a freelance music class at a neighbouring library, one mother comes up to me and tells me that she remembers the Spanish song we sang at my music class, and that she plays that song to her two young boys many times, and she hums it, and could I please give her the words? So, dear mother Michelle, this post is dedicated to you and your children. Thank you for carrying this lovely song in your hearts!

This sure is one sticky song - and, dear friends, I hope it sticks to you too!




Arriba del cielo hicieron tamales (shh!) x2
Lo supo San Pedro, mandó a traer dos reales x2

A la rorro niño, a la rorro ya (shh!) x2
Duérmete niñito de mi corazón x2

Translation:
Up in heaven, tamales were being made
Saint Peter knew about it
And asked for some to be bought, for two reales
Ro-ro, go to sleep now
Sleep little one, child of my heart

2 comments:

Michele Pacey said...

Very dreamy lullaby Kapila, it makes me want to sleep, stretch, snore, dream, curl up along with you... good night!

Baroque Clouds said...

Merci beaucoup mon amie! ¡Muchas gracias mi amiga! Sweet dreams :)