‘Panaderas’ — Bakers

Translated loosely from the Spanish folk song.

Photo by Duncan Kidd on Unsplash

Here come the bakers
Through the streets of San Juan
Cheating the little children
Telling them that the bread is worth four dimes

Tell me, dear baker
How is business going?
The price of flour is going up
While your bread is getting cheaper…

Passing the Bridge of Congosto
Four hundred lames go by
Some carrying the flour
Others carrying the bread

And then I saw her coming up
Then saw her coming down
Cutting a rose
Dark was her little face
But it was charming…

When I pass by your door
I take some bread and start eating
So that your mother doesn’t say
That it is seeing you that really fills me.

And now your mother goes around saying
That she’ll free you from me —
That she’ll free you from being a soldier
So that you won’t have to go to war

Your mother goes around saying
That you deserve a queen
And as I’m not even a princess
I wouldn’t want you to think less of me

My soul’s love
How come you never come?
To finally keep the promise
You have given…

An extract from another version:

‘At the entrance of Oviedo and at its exit
There is a baker woman, oh how she looks at me
Oh baker woman, oh little miss baker woman
How she takes my heart
(How she raises my heart as yeast raises bread)
This baker woman has three names: player, drunk, and friend of men…’

‘Panaderas’ actually refers to the rhythm that is beat with the hands of those singing on a surface, originating from Spain’s Castille region. It is so-called as it mimics the patterns of a baker kneading dough. One hand, laid flat, represents the dough, while the other hand, kept as a fist, is the fist of the baker. This beat is constant as a version of a song of young love, war and separation is sung between cheeky tales of life in a town where fresh bread is baked and sold. I find it charming, a musical measure of a simple life.

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Fadilah

Fadilah

A young woman attempting to seek and express reflections of knowledge and truth, trying to find meaning in everything under the sun.