i love la oreja de van gogh

by Evans Yonson

Barcelona – I have been featuring poets in this series and I have not featured any songs or composers at all. Today, I am writing about La Oreja de Van Gogh (Van Gogh’s Ear), a Spanish pop band that became famous in 1998 with their debut album Dile al sol (Tell the sun). To date, the band has sold more than 6 million albums worldwide. Recently, they released a new single entitled Jueves (Thursday) from their Nuestra casa a la izquierda del tiempo album (Our house on the left side of time). The song is as equally moving as its music video.

This song is dedicated to the victims of the 11 March 2004 Madrid bombing. This incident has become famous not only in Spain but worldwide because it happened exactly 911 days after 11 September New York bombing. What made this incident even more significant was a Filipino casualty, Rex Ferrer Renado. ABS-CBN’s Maalaala Mo Kaya made an episode on Rex’s life towards the fateful early spring day in Spain.

The English translation of the lyrics follows immediately below the Spanish original version:

Jueves

Si fuera más guapa y un poco más lista,
Si fuera especial, si fuera de revista,
Tendría el valor de cruzar el vagón
Y preguntarte quién eres.

Te sientas enfrente y ni te imaginas
Que llevo por ti mi falda más bonita,
Y al verte lanzar un bostezo al cristal
Se inundan mis pupilas.

De pronto me miras, te miro y suspiras,
Yo cierro los ojos tu apartas la vista,
Apenas respiro me hago pequeñita
Y me pongo a temblar.

Y así pasan los días de lunes a viernes,
Como las golondrinas del poema de Becquer,
De estación a estación,
En frente tu y yo va y viene el silencio.

De pronto me miras, te miro y suspiras,
Yo cierro los ojos tu apartas la vista,
Apenas respiro me hago pequeñita
Y me pongo a temblar.

Y entonces ocurre, despiertan mis labios,
Pronuncian tu nombre tartamudeando,
Supongo que piensas que chica mas tonta,
Y me quiero morir.

Pero el tiempo se para,
Te acercas diciendo,
“Yo aun no te conozco y ya te echaba de menos”,
Cada mañana rechazo el directo y elijo este tren.

Y ya estamos llegando, mi vida ha cambiado,
Un día especial este 11 de marzo,
Me tomas la mano, llegamos a un túnel
Que apaga la luz.

Te encuentro la cara gracias a mis manos,

me vuelvo valiente y te beso en los labios,
dices que me quieres y yo te regalo el último soplo de mi corazón
Thursday

If I were more beautiful
and a little more smart
if I were special,
if I were on a magazine
I would have the bravery
“to cross the coach”*
and ask you who you are

you sit in front of me
and you cannot imagine
that I wear my better skirt for you
and when I see you
giving a yawn to the glass
my pupils inundate

suddenly you look at me
I look at you and you sigh
I close my eyes and you avert my gaze
when I breathe I become so little
and I start to tremble

and this way days go by from Mondays to Fridays
as the swallows in the poem by Becquer
from station to station
when we are in front of each other
the silence comes between us

suddenly you look at me
I look at you and you sigh
I close my eyes and you avert my gaze
when I breathe I become so little
and I start to tremble

and this is what happens
my lips wake up
they pronounce your name stuttering
I guess you think “what a stupid girl”
and I would like to die

but time stops and you come closer
saying “I don’t know you yet
but I already miss you”
each morning I refuse
to get on the nonstop train
and I choose this train

and we are already arriving
my life has changed
this 11th march is a day so special
you take my hand
we arrive to a tunnel
that turn the light off

I caress your face with my hands
I become brave and kiss your lips
you say you love me and
I give to you the last puff of my heart

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