Academic journal article Journal of Singing

Love Songs in Spanish for Enjoyment and Learning

Academic journal article Journal of Singing

Love Songs in Spanish for Enjoyment and Learning

Article excerpt

Thomson, Robert Stuart. Love Songs in Spanish for Enjoyment and Learning. Victoria, B.C.: Godwin Books, 2015. Paper, vii, 126 pp., $25.00. ISBN 9-780969-677499 www.godwinbooks. com

The impetus for this book was the author's travel to Mexico in the late 1970s. Robert Thomson developed affection for the culture and language, and especially for the popular songs he heard during his trips. He began to listen to recordings of the songs, but when he tried to conduct additional research on the composers and performers, he was dismayed that little information was available. This volume, which includes translations of each song and information about the composer, lyricist, and performing artists associated with each piece, is a result of his research. Thomson seeks to share the beauty of these songs, as well as emphasize their usefulness in Spanish language classes.

The author selected twenty-four songs from the Golden Era of Song ("la Época de Oro") that extends from about 1930 to 1955. The songs are in a variety of tempi, and hail from Mexico and seven other Spanish-speaking countries. A companion CD contains recordings of each song, with performers that range from Eydie Gorme to Plácido Domigo. Some of the songs are very well known; "Cielito lindo" and "Cucurrucucú Paloma," for instance, are mainstays of mariachi bands and strolling entertainers in the American southwest. Other songs, however, are lesser known. The enduring appeal of the music was underlined by the popularity of the recording Canciones de mi Padre made by Linda Ronstadt in 1989 that contains songs in similar styles.

The author includes detailed instructions to language teachers. …

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