GUAJIRA GUANTANAMERA

Latest update on 08/01/2017

Artist: Cuarteto Caney
Author: Joséito Fernandez/José Marti/Hector Angulo
Label: Victor
Year: 1938

Full title: A Mi Madre (Guajira Guantanamera), To My Mother (Beautiful Girl from the Cuban province of Guantanamo). Fernández was a Cuban radioman with a daily spot on station CMQ. His gimmick was to sing the news. This melody was created in 1928, but he first recorded it in 1940 with his own orchestra. Just like the Son, the Guajira is a sub-genre of the Cancion Cubana, praising the farmer trade. Just like the Son it migrated to the city early in the 20th century.

Covers:

1940:

Joséito Fernández [author as A Mi Madre (Guajira Guantanamera) see headnote]

1948:

Conjunto Cuba Libre

1950s:

Julián Orbón [see footnote]

1961:

Machucambos

1962:

Hector Angulo [coauthor]

1963:

Pete Seeger [as Guantanamera]

1963:

Weavers [idem]

1965:

Joan Baez [idem]

1965:

Joe Dassin

1966:

Sandpipers [n°4 NL (this version conquered the world)]

1966:

Trini Lopez

1966:

Digno Garcia

1966:

Rob De Nijs [as Anna Paulowna]

1966:

Nana Mouskouri

1968:

Julio Iglesias [mentioning the real authors and in '94 in medley with Oye Como Va]

1968:

Incas

1969:

José Feliciano

1975:

Arlo Guthrie

1978:

Lobos [on debut lp]

1979:

Estrellas De Areito

1980:

Robert Wyatt [as Caimanera]

1983:

Don Williams

1985:

Freddie McGregor

1988:

Frank & Mirella

1991:

Celia Cruz [in film The Mambo Kings]

1991:

Phil Manzanera

1997:

Wyclef Jean feat. Lauryn Hill

1997:

Omara Portuondo

2000:

Dynamite [as Sex Met Die Blonde]

2000:

Helmut Lotti

2001:

Vocal Sampling

2001:

Jackson Browne & Joan Baez

2002:

Cisco Kid [as Seks Su Blondine; hit in Lituania]

2006:

Brandos

2010:

Afrocubism [with Eliades Ochoa and Toumani Diabate]

Lyrics based upon the poem La Niña De Guatemala from the Versos Sencillos (Easy Verses) by Cuban 19th century poet José Martí. Classical singer Julián Orbón started mixing Marti's verses with the Guantanamera melody while his pupil Hector Angulo added a few lines from an old Havana song. Twenty years later, that same Angulo sang Guajira Guantanamera for children during a summer camp in upstate New York. Their enthusiasm intrigued Pete Seeger, who happened to be there as well and the rest is folk history. One of the most covered songs ever.

Contact


If you noticed blunt omissions, mis-interpretations or even out-and-out errors, please let us know by contacting us:

Arnold Rypens
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info@originals.be

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