(Another post that’s been in my drafts for over a year!)
Over a year ago, I bought a two CD set of the best of Simon & Garfunkel. I really enjoy their music and some of their songs have really interesting messages. I meant to blog about several of them, but alas I have a feeling this is the only post that will get written at this point. :-)
For those of you who are familiar with Simon & Garfunkel’s music, you might recognize a song called El Condor Pasa (If I Could). The first verse of the lyrics go:
I’d rather be a sparrow than a snail
Yes I would, if I could, I surely would
I’d rather be a hammer than a nail
Yes I would, if I only could, I surely would
Okay, not incredibly deep. ;-) I would have passed this song by, except that something caught my ear. I listened to the tune and instruments and turned to Paul and said, “This sounds like a Peruvian song!” (You can listen to the Simon & Garfunkel version here.)
I did a little digging and found out that the music is indeed a Peruvian song, written almost a century ago! (The lyrics of the Simon & Garfunkel cover version were written by Paul Simon.*) I thought that was so cool, and it’s so much fun to hear the Peruvian sounds again.
Here is a video of the Peruvian instrumental version, with images from Peru and of the instruments that are used in this song and also what gives Andean folk music its distinctive style. Ah, it takes me back… I feel like I should be drinking a nice tall glass of chicha morada right now and smelling the pachamanca cooking! Please enjoy this bit of cultural music from the country where I grew up.
* I do want to point out that there is some controversy as to whether Paul Simon used the music without permission. You can read more on the Wikipedia entry for this song.