Trying to master a foreign language

Still on Cuba

Something I do know about Cuba: Silvio Rodriguez. Mujeres is the sort of album I have listened to over and over again. It’s from 1979, though I only discovered it 2008 or 2009.  I felt instantly  right at home, which is not surprising given that I’m also a fan of Joan Baez, the early Bob Dylan, Judy Collins, Peter, Paul and Mary, and Leonard Cohen. To me, folk is comfort music, like comfort food. It’s what I listen to when I’m blue.  I memorized Río is no time. En estos días had me wondering, is this about a woman, or about Cuba? It’s ambiguous. But it’s beautiful. I know that song almost by heart.

From the point of view of someone learning Spanish, Silvio’s pronunciation is easy to understand. And the lyrics are pure poetry. I have spent hours over the years, listening to the songs, repeating the lines until the Spanish words tripped off the tip of my tongue.


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