Sat. Dec 10th, 2022

At Mexico Metropolis’s largest outside venue, El Zócalo, legendary singer Joan Manuel Serrat is performing. I am pinching myself, I am unable to imagine I am seeing him for the primary time, within the coronary heart of my homeland.

Since late April, the 78-year-old has been acting on a farewell tour throughout the U.S., Spain and Latin America.

After the primary music, he advised the viewers to “put apart any trace of nostalgia and melancholy, any further, every part is the longer term.” Then, Serrat sang Barquito de Papel (“Little Paper Boat”). The music took me again to my childhood. I used to be overcome with emotion and began crying.

My late sister, Esther, launched me to Serrat’s music in our dwelling within the ’60s. His singular model instantly caught my ear. Within the ’70s, I began shopping for each album I might discover at document shops, together with Dedicado a Antonio Machado, poeta.

As I started to understand Serrat, I used to be particularly intrigued by his bilingual id. His songs in Spanish have been profound however the ones in Catalan have been a revelation. I might sit at dwelling in the lounge with the gatefold open, listening and quietly singing alongside, attempting to determine the pronunciation of songs corresponding to Pare (“Father”), a composition concerning the surroundings.

Certainly one of his largest hits, Mediterráneo established him as a significant pop music determine worldwide. The lyrics say, “I am a singer, I am a liar, I like taking part in and consuming, I’ve the soul of a sailor. What can I do, if I used to be born within the Mediterranean.”

Music critic Enrique Blanc has adopted Serrat’s profession for many years. He says Serrat appears to be like on the world from a vital viewpoint.

“What’s distinctive in Serrat’s songs is the methods he employs language,” Blanc explains. “In that discipline, I could make a comparability with Bob Dylan. Serrat’s lyrics are created with numerous creativeness, but additionally a exact use of the Spanish language. His songs not solely provide lovely poetry, unforgettable melodies, however a helpful philosophy of life. His integrity jogs my memory of Bruce Springsteen: an artist that not solely is proficient however truthful. In numerous methods, he has been a job mannequin for thinkers, poets and writers that dwell in Spanish-speaking international locations.”

After Serrat’s efficiency in Mexico Metropolis, I talked to a few sitting behind me. Francisco Alcántara and Rocío Alvarado have been listening to his songs for the reason that early ’80s, however this was their first Serrat live performance. Alvarado could not comprise her pleasure.

“That is the essence of dwelling, it is so simple as that,” she says. “There aren’t any extra phrases, it is just like the Serrat music I all the time point out to my husband, “Hoy Puede Ser un Gran Día.” That is how one should dwell, just like the final day and look forward to tomorrow.”

Alcántara has attended live shows by Paul McCartney, Billy Joel and Cuba’s Silvio Rodríguez, however he says Serrat tops them. “It is the depth of the gang. After all, I like him rather a lot, however Serrat surrenders, he has numerous feeling, he recites the songs like poems. The reality is, he is a totally totally different artist.”

I really like all of Serrat’s songs however Elegía (“Eulogy”) is near my coronary heart. Each time I take heed to it, I keep in mind my late sister Esther, who launched me to Serrat after I was eight years previous. I am glad I obtained an opportunity to see him for the primary and final time. Gracias, Serrat.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see extra, go to https://www.npr.org.

/ Tania Victoria/Secretary of Tradition of Mexico Metropolis

/

Tania Victoria/Secretary of Tradition of Mexico Metropolis

Spanish singer Joan Manuel Serrat performing in Mexico Metropolis, Mexico.

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