Al Oído: The Best of Mónica Giraldo

Mystery and Transparency

Listening Post 202. Before you process a single word, there is poetry in the sound of Mónica Giraldo’s voice and guitar—a natural healing force akin to a magnificent sunset or refreshing breeze. As the lyrics flow the sensation deepens with joys, challenges, dreams and truths that both surprise and evoke recognition. Al Oído – The Best of Mónica Giraldo includes songs from the Bogotá-born, Latin Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter’s four studio albums, and if there is a defining thread it’s from the title of her third collection, “Let life come” (Que Venga la Vida). Her soothing ballads seem to cancel any competing noise, and so subtly does she combine musical styles—from Colombia’s mountains and Caribbean coast to Brazil and Cuba—that they merge not so much into a genre but more a personal musical language. “The days keep coming,” she sings in the bossa nova-inflected No Dejo De Amarte (Can’t Stop Loving You), “Between laughter and silence they pass/Toward the horizon, our journey continues” (video 1). The voyage is one-sided in La Aventurera (The Adventurous), a saga of wanderlust and longing (video 2). An antidote to metropolitan urgency, A Paso Lento (In a Slower Pace) is an example of bullerengue, the cumbia offshoot sung almost exclusively by women (video 3). Por Verte Llegar (Just to See You Walk By) treads a fine folk line between hope and bearable pain (video 4). Other nuanced messages emerge from Tal Vez (Maybe), about days that deliver sweetness and bitterness together; and Molinos de Viento (Windmills), describing nights of little sleep. News headlines bring us the unusual in sensational, even shocking prose, often obscuring the context that comprises 99 percent of life. Genuine poetry, wrote T.S. Eliot, communicates before it is understood—and Giraldo goes a step further by offering everyday epics composed of mystery and transparency. (GLP Music)

 

No Dejo de Amarte/Can’t Stop Loving You
Lyrics & Music: Mónica Giraldo

(from the Spanish lyrics)
The sun falls and late afternoon comes/I hear your voice, I find you again
Slowly and without a reason/Today as yesterday I am with you
And I can’t stop loving you

Walking into the wind/We were afraid at the time
Your determined words/United the dreams of our lives
And I can’t stop loving you

The days keep coming, one after another/Between laughter and silence they pass
Toward the horizon, our journey continues/And I can’t stop loving you.

 

La Aventurera/The Adventurous
Lyrics & Music: Pablo Flórez

It’s been a long time since she left my village/An adventurous woman
Nobody knows where she is
I looked for her on all the roads/In all the provinces, villages and towns

This woman has the face of kindness/Because that’s what she has shown
And I have seen it/Once, she left for Cartagena
She heard that I was dying/And she came back

If she knew I love her/She would return to this town
She would return to Ciénaga de Oro/Where she has someone who loves her

Oh, the last time I saw her up close/It was in the port of Montería
And then she embarked/Headed for the highland
Many times I wrote to her/And she never answered
I’m going to the Fiesta del Caramelo/Where they say that one must seek adventure
To again tell her that I love her/Be conquered as a fool
For her to return

If she knew I love her/She would return to this town
She would return to Ciénaga de Oro/Where she has someone who loves her

 

A Paso Lento/In A Slower Pace
Lyrics & Music: Mónica Giraldo

Open your eyes/It is time to stop
Life goes like the wind/And invites us
To go in a slower pace

Hey, look, breezes come and go/Hey, look, let life unfold
Enjoying it at a slow pace/It comes back to shine again

Hear the rhythm of life/From your heartbeat, dance
Desire passes/There are distant noises
In the silence they pass slowly/And life shines again

Hey, look, breezes come and go/Hey, look, let life unfold
Enjoying it at a slow pace/It comes back to shine again

Let the moment come/Everything good has its time
And taking it all at a slow pace, let your day advance

 

Por Verte Llegar/Just to See You Walk By
Lyrics & Music: Mónica Giraldo 

I take it well, I take it badly, or simply without expectation
I would like to believe that without thinking it will happen when it happens

Some are like honey, others like salt; you passed by without noticing …
That I stopped, just to see you walk by

Perhaps some day/Perhaps some day you will notice
Perhaps some day you will understand/That I waited, just to see you walk by

Some days will go well, or maybe better, the bad will be left behind.
Some are like honey, others like salt, and although it won’t be today …
I’ll stop, just to see you walk by

Perhaps some day/Perhaps some day you will notice
Perhaps some day you will understand/That I waited, just to see you walk by

 


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