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640px-Juan_Gabriel_Hollywood_StarLUMPENPROLETARIAT    Another musical legend has died, my brother reported to me some hours ago.  If you are, like your author, an American of Latin American descent, then you knew of the musical legend Juan Gabriel.  Many of us grew up with his hit songs, such as “Querida”, “No tengo dinero”, and “Siempre en mi mente”, not to mention the many hit songs he penned for others.  “Amor Eterno” is a brilliant example, which became one of the late great Rocío Dúrcal‘s signature standards.  Juan Gabriel is reported to have died of natural causes earlier today. [1]  The world mourns, even Questlove (Late Night with Jimmy Fallon) took to Instagram to pay his respects.

Juan Gabriel was easily one of the most significant Mexican singer-songwriters of the late 20th and early 21st centuries, not just for defying gender roles and sexual norms in an ubermachista Mexican culture, but for the sheer influence of his musical contributions to Latin pop, ballads, and mariachi music.

Como quisiera, ay, que tu vivieras
Que tus ojitos jamas se hubieran cerrado nunca
Y estar mirandolos

Messina

***

Amor eterno” [2] by Rocío Dúrcal

Tu eres la tristeza de mis ojos
Que lloran en silencio por tu amor
Me miro en el espejo y veo en mi rostro
El tiempo que he sufrido por tu adiós
Obligo a que te olvide el pensamiento
Pues siempre estoy pensando en el ayer
Prefiero estar dormida que despierta
De tanto que me duele que no estés

Como quisiera, ay, que tu vivieras
Que tus ojitos jamás se hubieran cerrado nunca
Y estar mirándolos

Amor eterno, e inolvidable
Tarde o temprano estaré contigo
Para seguir amándonos

Yo he sufrido tanto por tu ausencia
Desde ese día hasta hoy, no soy feliz
Y aunque tengo tranquila mi consciencia
Se que pude haber yo hecho mas por ti

Obscura soledad estoy viviendo
La misma soledad de tu sepulcro
Tu eres el amor del cual yo tengo
El mas triste recuerdo de Acapulco

Como quisiera, ay, que tu vivieras
Que tus ojitos jamás se hubieran
Cerrado nunca, y estar mirándolos

Amor eterno, e inolvidable
Tarde o temprano estaré contigo
Para seguir amándonos

SONGWRITER(S):  AGUILERA VALADEZ, ALBERTO

Copyright © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Enamorado” (1974) [3] by Juan Gabriel

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Siempre en mi mente” [4] by Juan Gabriel

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Querida” [5] by Juan Gabriel

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No tengo dinero” (1972) [6] by Juan Gabriel

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Yo no nací para amar” [7] by Juan Gabriel

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One Day Goodbye Will Be Farewell” by Morrissey

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You Were Good In Your Time” by Morrissey

***

[1]  We suppose a heart attack at the age of 66 in 2016 in the USA is natural, disparities in our health care standards for celebrities and the wealthy versus the working classes notwithstanding.

[2]  “Amor eterno” translates literally to love eternal, but the English language phrase would be commonly translated as eternal love.  If memory serves me, Juan Gabriel wrote this song mourning the death of his mother.  (We will translate lyrics from the Spanish to the English for our Spanish-learner readers as time constraints allow.  Please help us by submitting any translations to Lumpenproletariat here.)

[3]  “Enamorado” translates literally to enamoured, but the English language word would be commonly translated as in love.

[4]  “Siempre en mi mente” translates to always on my mind.

[5]  “Querida” translates into a gender neutral reference, loved one.  But in the Spanish language, querida refers to a feminine object whereas querido refers to a masculine object.  Notably, Juan Gabriel sings to a feminine object of romantic love.  Like most of the world, societal norms weren’t ready for explicit declarations of same-gender romance.  But Juan Gabriel pushed the envelope with his categorically effeminate vocal delivery and dramatic stage presence, which dared to bare a raw vulnerability and in so doing captured the hearts of Mexican audiences and music lovers everywhere.  There seemed to be a quiet acceptance of Juan Gabriel’s eccentric personality because he was such an undeniably strong musical force and, thereby, a source of cultural pride for Mexicans and the Mexican diaspora.

[6]  “No tengo dinero” translates to I don’t have money.

[6]  “Yo no naci para amar” transalates to I was not born to love.

***

[Image of Juan Gabriel’s Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame by Flicker User Cindy (Flickr: Mexicans/Chicanos on the Walk of Fame: Juan Gabriel!!!) used via Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0)]

[29 AUG 2016]

[Last modified 12:40 PDT  29 AUG 2016]

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