“Y es que no sabes” Program Notes & Text/Translation

Oct 14, 2020

Novelli Jurado: Y Es Que No Sabes (And You Do Not Know)
This work was written just for Chicago a cappella while Jurado was composer in residence for our ¡Cantaré! program in 2018. Jurado is originally from Mexico City and now lives in Minneapolis with his wife, Michelle. The two met when the composer was in the Twin Cities for his first ¡Cantaré! residency in 2012.

The composer writes:
The song was composed in a bolero style. Since 1921 this music genre has represented Mexico’s rich musical tradition very well. The lyrics of this genre speak about love and passion. The bolero gained an important place in Mexico's culture with the golden era of Mexico's cinematography (1936-1959) in which, Agustin Lara and Pedro Infante – two of Mexico’s greatest performers – used to act and sing.

The idea with this composition is to share two different approaches to a bolero song. In the first, after an 8-bar introduction, there is the main theme with lots of chord extensions (using chord notes such as the 7th, 9th, 11th, and 13th). The second has this same theme in other keys with a more realistic Mexican style, using simple harmony and having the basses sing a melodic line in a very “Latin” way. Also, a tenor and an alto will play maracas and a clave while they sing, which are two instruments very often used in bolero songs. In the middle section there is a bridge where the ensemble breaks in to SSAA to make a thinner sound and to contrast the 7 to 8 voices that both themes have. The final part of the bridge helps to do the transition and prepare the bass’s motives.

Text & Translation

El reloj marca las tres de la mañana The clock shows three in the morning
como si fuera una lagrima as if it were a tear
que se cae por la ventana hacia la calle that falls through the window onto the street
y es que no sabes and you do not know
que te dibujo hasta enloquecer I draw you until I go crazy
y es que no sabes lo que sufro and you do not know what I suffer
cada amanecer sin ti every morning without you
un suspiro calla al nacer a sigh is silent at birth
sin control para así escucharte without control so I can listen to you
caminar y venir a mi walking and coming to me
hay un pacto entre los dos there is a pact between us
En la tarde de colores In the afternoon colors
surgen llamas de amores flames of love arise
como el mío hacia ti hacia ti like mine towards you towards you
tengo hoy tantos recuerdos I have so many memories
que son como el viento that are like the wind
que calla en tu boca that is silent in your mouth
y enciende mis sueños and light my dreams
si estoy a tu lado if I am by your side
besándote cada rincón de tu alma kissing every corner of your soul
Y es que no sabes cuanto huyo And you do not know how much I run away
de mi oscuridad sin ti from my darkness without you
Y es que no sabes cuanto te amo And you do not know how much I love you
cada día más mucho más every day more much more
siempre mi anhelo es verte sonreir always my longing is to see you smile
  - Translation by Novelli Jurado, Printed with Permission


1 Comment

On January 19, 2021,
Elsie B. Oerter said:

Wonderful   -  enjoyed the program very much!
              not a musician,  Elsie

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