1001 Songs Challenge,  1910s-1920s,  Music

1001 Songs Challenge #4: Lagrimas negras (1928)

On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenge of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.

My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.

I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.

So long as I post every day (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be… legendary!


Trio Matamoros – Lagrimas negras (1928)

Lyrics (via Genius)


Our musical odyssey takes us from the cajun melodies of Louisiana across the sea to sample Cuban music known as bolero-son a hybrid of the bolero and son varieties of Cuban melody. Trio Matamoros are the artists today with their rendition of Lagrimas negras/Black Tears. Miguel Matamoros was the composer of many of the group’s songs and this is considered to be one of his best.

There seems to be a lovestruck theme running through some of the songs thus far on this list and Lagrimas negras is no exception. It appears to come from a woman’s perspective and she seems to have been rejected and is full of lamentation at being abandoned. That said, she seems to carry love for the unnamed man that has left her and even wishes her own death for to live without him is too hard. Pretty bleak stuff.

Although I had to look up a translation to garner meaning from this song, the group convey the suffering of the woman in their singing. The backing music seems too pleasant for such a sad subject, a peculiar contrast but the mixture still works. It was interesting sampling bolero-son and given the journey so far I am intrigued about what tomorrow will bring.


Favourite song so far:

Joe & Cleoma Falcon – Allons à Lafayette (1928)

My name is Dave and I live in Yorkshire in the north of England and have been here all my life. I hope you enjoy your visit to All is Ephemeral.

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