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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Something else: La gota fria (The Cold Sweat)

This famous song developed from a musical duel between two Colombian bards, Zulueta and Morales. They challenge each other, insult the mothers, Zulueta calls Morales an Indian with no culture and Morales calls him a bastard, Zulueta mocks Morales that imagined he was about to win but when heard him he got cold sweat (of fear) and his hands trembled and so on for hours. Lyrics (there are many versions, this is one, the translation is mine):

Me lleva el o me lo llevo yo
pa' que se acabe la vaina (bis)
Ay ! Morales a mi no me lleva
porque no me da la gana
Moralito a mi no me lleva
porque no me da la gana.

He takes me (defeats me) or I take him, so we finish this dispute Ay! Morales cannot take me, because I am not in the mood. Little Morales cannot take me since I dont feel like it. 

Qué cultura, qué cultura va a tener
un indio chumeca como Lorenzo Morales
que cultura va a tener
si nació en los cardonales (bis).

What culture, what culture can have a chumeca (= Jamaican)  Indian like Lorenzo Morales
What culture can he have if he was conceived among the thistles.

Morales mienta mi mama
solamente pa' ofender (bis)
para que él también se ofenda
 ahora le miento la de él. (bis)

Morales talks about my mother since he wants to insult me. To return the offense, Now I mention his mother too.


  1. Anonymous6:40 PM

    It's interesting that in Colombia, it's acceptable for the pale (maybe 90% if not 100% European)Zuleta is allowed to dis the very brown (in American terms, "African -American") Morales. Their musical duel ends (in the white guy's telling) with the brown man admitting that the white musician is superior. Also that all of the dancers on the stage are equally (semi) white with no brownish person among them, not even a token. Not one of these would be remotely acceptable in the modern US.

    The words " qué cultura va a tener
    un indio chumeca" would draw shocked gasps - people would faint dead away in horror. Whoever uttered them would be cast out into the darkness alongside Sterling, Watson, Schockley, etc. We all know that indio chumecas have a highly refined, vibrant and ancient culture which is far superior to the bland white bread culture of dead white men, so what kind of stupid, racis' question is that?

    And yet this is a perfectly respectable song in Colombia, their unofficial national anthem.


  2. Relations among races in Latin America are friendly and relaxed. White superiority is accepted but blacks with money are considered white. Life is too short to care for Yanqui obsessions.

  3. Anonymous8:37 PM

    BTW, to quibble with your translation, I think cardonales means cacti.


  4. No Senor! That is the translation of an ignorant yanqui.

    Cardo is a grassland plant See nice pic

    It grows all over the pampas and other grassy areas.


    That is the correct translation !

    As you see in the pictures, being born (conceived, that is the idea) in an abandoned, non cutivated plot covered by thistle means that you are the product of a illegitimate quickie in a dark back alley. You get the idea.

  6. Anonymous9:31 PM

    If you ask Google for a picture, this is what you get:

    Could it not mean that he was born "out in the sticks" which is the American idiom for " out in the country, in the middle of nowhere" ?


  7. I dont think so, it is derigatory, insulting.

  8. cardon

    Search cardon

    It is probable that in Mexico and SW USA it means cactus.

    In the rest of the world, Spain and Argentina, it is thistle.

  9. Anonymous11:37 PM

    In English, cardoon does mean a kind of thistle, which is harvested as a vegetable that resembles celery (but tastes like artichokes, which are relatd). However, mostly it would just draw a blank since cardoon is a rare vegetable. It has a small following among Italian Americans (who know it as cardone) and none otherwise. Cardone incidentally is a very common Italian surname so it could not have been insulting (or maybe it could - sometimes Italians have insulting surnames).

    I suppose cardones were cacti by extension in Mexico because they are prickly like thistles.


  10. K

    Cardones in itself is not insulting at all. To be born or conceived in the cardonales (plots where the plant is abundant) is insulting.


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