A coger, el trébole
A la rueda de San Miguel
La reina Berenguela
Mirón, mirón, mirón
Teresa la marquesa
Last updated: 5/31/2016 1:54 PM
The songs below are part of ‘‘La pajara pinta’ The Spanish collection
compiled, adapted, translated and illustrated by Dany Rosevear
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To watch the author sing a song click on the title at:
© Dany Rosevear 2008 All rights reserved
You are free to copy, distribute, display and perform these works under the following conditions:
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Your fair use and other rights are no way affected by the above.
The Spanish Collection
It is said that children who are exposed to just 50 words of a second language before to age six begin to develop an "ear" for the sounds of that language.
It is hoped that where possible these songs will be sung in their home language. An English version is provided so children can enjoy the tunes before they have mastered Spanish. Literal translations do not always make sense to the English ear so these have been translated freely (very freely in some cases!) to complement the music and capture the spirit of each song.
You will find more Spanish songs in the collection ‘Away We Go’.
Spoken Spanish in both Spain and Latin America is quite distinctive from spoken English. For that reason a few lyrics are accompanied by the sounds of the Spanish language. The more distinctive sounds of letters in the words of the songs are provided to aid pronunciation in the guide below. The letters not listed are pronounced approximately as in English.
a sounds like ah (father) as in madre
i sounds like ee (feet) as in mi
e sounds like e (met) at the beginning or within a word as in leche
e sounds like ay at the end of a word as in leche
o sounds like oa (boat) as in no
u sounds like oo (boot) as in una
c sounds like th before the letters i and e as in cinco
cc sounds like ks (accident) as in accidente
j and g sounds like ch (loch) as in juego and girafa
g sounds like h (hallo) before the letters i and e as in gente
ll sounds like y (yard) as in llamas
ñ sounds like ni (onions) as in señorita
qu sounds like k as in ¿qué?
rr sounds like a Scottish r as in arroz
v sounds like b as in vaca
z sounds like th (thin) as in arroz
h is always silent unless the word is of foreign origin
u is silent after g and q as in ¿qué?
In Spain ‘d’ is spoken with a lisp, this is not so in Latin America.
There are many sites on line that provide help with pronunciation
Written Spanish in both Spain and Latin America is also distinctive from written English; fewer capitals are used at the beginning of each line of verse, exclamation and question marks are used both at the beginning and end of sentences. However, for familiarity I have usually conformed to the English model when writing Spanish verse.
A coger, el trébole O
In Asturias the feast of San Juan is held towards the end of June to celebrate the beginning of summer. There are many customs associated with this festival including dancing round a bonfire which stays alight until dawn the next day. The Celts lit the bonfire in honour of the moon.
Picking a four leaf clover is traditionally associated with good luck in our country and many others including Spain. On the night of San Juan young ladies go out to search for a four leaf clover and if successful, it is said, will find and marry a handsome beau.
Watch at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPVWJtCfTts and
A la rueda de San Miguel O
This Mexican circle dance is a version of ‘La vibora de la mar’. Choose a child, ‘San Miguel’ to stand in the centre of a circle holding hands.
Doña Blanca O
This cat and mouse type game is a popular one in Mexico. In the more complex version of this game each pillar is named gold, silver, ivory, zinc, copper, wood or paper etc. The child on the outside asks a pillar in turn its name and can only enter the circle by breaking through at the pillar of paper. The version below is much simpler.
El florón O
Play this simple game with a paper flower. Flowers made from tissue or crepe paper are traditional in both Mexico and Puerto Rico where this popular children’s game is played. Make the game easier by attaching a bracelet of bells to the flower.
La reina Berenguela O
There are many different regional variations in Spain of this song with its lively pasa doble rhythm; Dona Berenguela, La chata Merenguela, La Xata Merenguera (huit, nou, deu) are some. In other versions the face is painted with gasoline or Vaseline.
Make two parallel rows, facing each other A child stands at each end of the alley.
A cheerful rhythmical tune that is at odds with its melancholy words. Of French origins ‘Mambrú se fue a la guerra’ was composed to mock the death of General John Churchill, the Duke of Marlborough, who with a European coalition fought the French at the battle of Malplaquet.
Find more information at: www.unca.edu/postscript/postscript22/ps22.7.pdf
Mirón, mirón, mirón O
A precursor of this old song from Columbia was ‘A la limón, a la limón’ and indeed the game is played in a similar manner to our ‘Oranges and lemons’. Mirón in Spanish means ‘voyeur’, ‘onlooker’ or ‘peeping Tom’ but in this context is probably a nonsense word or more literally ‘Come and look’.
Teresa la marquesa O
Teresa la marquesa or Teresa the marchioness takes on a different persona in the translated version.
Two couples stand side by side, with arms linked.
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