Wednesday, May 6, 2009

"Covers, Samples, Reworks and Answer Songs"


The title translates into "the girl from Guantanamo" and is the most famous song from Cuba. Originally, the lyrics were about a woman from Guantanamo, who the writer of the song, Joseito Fernandez (some say that Herminio "El Diablo" GarcĂ­a co-wrote it), was romantically interested in. Joseito Fernandez regularly promoted the song on his radio broadcasts. However, the original lyrics to the song were and are rarely sung. Due to its musical structure of ABAB octosyllabic verses, it gave way to many improvised verses. Fernandez actually would comment on daily events by adapting them to the song's melody. This had made the song a medium for various themes, such as love, social consciousness, comedy and most famously as a patriotic song for Cuba.

The most famous lyrics to the song is the adaptation of the first stanza of nationalist and independence hero Jose Marti's poem, "Versos Sencillos" (Simple Verses). Julian Orbon adapted the poem's stanza to the song and it became the unofficial anthem for Cuba. Several artists have covered this version of the song, including Celia Cruz, Tito Puente, Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, Jose Feliciano and Julio Iglesias. In 1997, Wyclef Jean sampled it for his rap song of the same title. His version is reminiscent of the original lyrics to the song.

Joseito Fernandez-Guantanamera

Pete Seeger - Guantanamera

Julio Iglesias - Guantanamera

Celia Cruz - Guantanamera

Wyclef Jean ft. Celia Cruz and Lauryn Hill - Guantanamera

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