Singing in Spanish #5

Today’s song, Nuestro Juramento (Our Vow)
(Listen while you read this post)
Was composed by Puerto Rican Composer
Benito de Jesús of Barceloneta, Puerto Rico,
But it’s fame is attributed to Julio Juramillo
Of Guayaquil, Ecuador, 1935 – 1978.
His rendition and recording of the song
Earned him the name of Mr. Juramento.
Nuestro Juramento is another Bolero
Whose theme is love, life, death and love eternal

Julio is known as ‘El Ruiseñor de América’
The nightingale of America,
Having a voice like no other for love songs, they say.
It was perhaps the death of his two year old sister
Followed by the death of his father two days later,
A tailor and marble worker,
Who while building a cross for his daughter’s grave
Was killed in the process of unmolding it.
A series of events afterward
Led way to Julio’s musical career.
When Julio and his brother Pepe finished the third grade
They were taken under the wing of music teacher
Francisco García Avilés, where his musical life began.
Pepe studied along with Julio but went on
To become an educator and helping to further Julio’s career.

Julio, went on with his music,
The history as follows:
Singing at the ‘Largartera’
A corner where musicians and the people
Have an agreement to pay for songs.
He worked in a shoe store,
While growing in to the singer that he would become,
Determined that he would become something,
With little success in the early years.
He met Rosalino Quintero, guitarist and flautist,
Who became his partner and musical arranger.
He sang on Radio America,
He played at El Cajón,
A cantina that was frequented by artists,

Where his brother Pepe introduced him
To Carlos Rubira Infante,
Who became his singing teacher.

He recorded with singer Fresia Saavedra,
Recorded his own version of the peruvian waltz ‘Fate’
Fusing his Ecuadorian rhythm with Peruvian tones.
This catapulted him into the scene,
Selling 6,000 records in a week.
The versatility of his voice allowed him to set a new mood
To boleros, tangos, waltz, dance hall and other types of music.
This was in 1956, the year he also had a movie debut
In Mala Mujer (Bad Woman,)
Received record contracts in Mexico,
Concert tours in Peru and Chile,
A movie debut,
Where it was normal for musicians to play beforehand.
He was so widely adored at the theatre
That he received a daily contract
To play before their audiences.

His career meshed with his personal life –
A series of lovers
Girlfriends
Wives,
Twenty children.
The death of a son,
One more born
Two more to someone else
The list goes on.

Perhaps the life of a troubadour
Singing love songs of emotional intensity
Makes for many loves, many breakups,
Many feelings to sing about.

They say he died
In the hours after a gallbladder operation,

But not before cracking a joke to his doctors.
Some believe he died of cirrhosis of the liver,
The result of a bohemian lifestyle and drinking.
Who knows which is the story.

This beautiful song, Nuestro Juramento,
(Which you can watch and listen to here – words below)
Made so popular by Julio Juramillo,
Was given a public thank you from it’s author,
Benito de Jesús, for making it famous,
Many years later.

When the announcement over the radio
Said that Julio had died,
Over two hundred thousand people moved in to the streets.
There were three days of memorial and tears,
Followed by a procession to his gravesite.
The leaders and people of Venezuela, Peru and Colombia,
Whose people adored him, wept as if he was one of their own.
Julio recorded over 4000 songs in his lifetime,
He is memorialized in Ecuador,
On Dia del Pasillo Ecuatoriano,
The day of the Ecuadorian Pasillo –
The national musical genre of Ecuador,
An honor and tribute to his contribution
To his country.

The words in Spanish and English:

El Juramento
No puedo verte triste por que me mata
……I cannot see your sadness because it kills me
tu carita de pena mi dulce amor
……Your face of sadness my sweet love
me duele tanto el llanto que tu derramas
……It hurts me so much your falling tears
que se llena de angustia mi corazón
……It fills my heart with anguish
Yo sufro lo indesible si tu entristeces
……I suffer indescribably  if you are sad
no quiero que la duda te haga llorar
……I don’t want the doubt to make you cry
hemos jurado amarnos hasta la muerte
……we have sworn to love to death
y si los muertos aman
……and if the dead love
después de muertos amarnos mas…
……After death, we’ll love even more …

Si yo muero primero es tu promesa
……If I die first it is your promise
sobre de mi cadaver dejar caer
……over my dead body you’ll let yourself fall
todo el llanto que brote de tu tristeza
……crying to all of your sadness
y que todos se enteren de tu querer…
……and that every will know of your love …

Si tu mueres primero yo te prometo
……If you die first I promise you
que escribiré la historia de nuestro amooooor
……I will write the history of our love
con toda el alma llena de sentimiento
……with all my soul full of feeling
la escribiré con sangre con tinta sangre del corazon…
……I will write in blood with the ink from blood of the heart

Si yo muero primero es tu promesa
……If I die first it is your promise
sobre de mi cadaver dejar caer
……over my dead body you’ll let yourself fall
todo el llanto que brote de tu tristeza
……crying to all of your sadness
y que todos se enteren de tu querer…
……and that every will know of your love …

Si tu mueres primero yo te prometo
……If you die first I promise you
que escribiré la historia de nuestro amooooor
……I will write the history of our love
con toda el alma llena de sentimiento
……with all my soul full of feeling
la escribiré con sangre con tinta sangre del corazon…
……I will write in blood with ink from the blood of the heart

This is a contribution to the series Singing in Spanish.
You can find the links to the other posts here and sing along.
Bilingual translations of the songs are on each post.
Next post: – El Hidalguense, a Huapango song,
Totally different genre than all the others in this series,
And my favorite type of Mexican music –
Lyrics and story in the next post. Keep tuned,
But feel free to listen to the song now. (click link above)
© 2009 Suzanne da Rosa



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