Cuba Journal

VIDEO: Guantanamera, Cuba’s Most Famous Song

The word “Guantanamera” translates into, “girl from Guantánamo.”
The song was originally written by José Fernández, who used it in his radio programs. Some claim Herminio “El Diablo” García Wilson should be credited as a co-composer.
Fernández claimed the song was about a woman who rejected his romantic interest.  Garcia claimed the song describes an embarrassing rejection by a woman who displayed contempt for Garcia’s pass at her while gathered among his friends in the street.

In 1966, a version by American easy listening group The Sandpipers became an international hit based on an arrangement by Pete Seeger.

Guantanamera in Spanish

Yo soy un hombre sincero
De donde crece la palma
Y antes de morirme quiero
Echar mis versos del alma
Guantanamera, guajira Guantanamera
Mi verso es de un verde claro
Y de un carmín encendido
Mi verso es un ciervo herido
Que busca en el monte amparo
Guantanamera, guajira Guantanamera
Cultivo una rosa blanca
En julio como en enero
Para el amigo sincero
Que me da su mano franca
Guantanamera, guajira Guantanamera
Con los pobres de la tierra
Quiero yo mi suerte echar
El arroyo de la sierra
Me complace más que el mar
Guantanamera, guajira Guantanamera
Guantanamera in English
I am a truthful man
From where the palm tree grows
And before dying I want
To let out the verses of my soul
My verse is light green
And it is flaming red
My verse is a wounded stag
Who seeks refuge on the mountain
I grow a white rose
In July just as in January
For the honest friend
Who gives me his open hand
With the poor people of the earth
I want to cast my lot
The brook of the mountains
Gives me more pleasure than the sea
Image by: Lucas Hirschegger
When visiting Cuba, ask musicians to play more than Guantanamera, Lagrimas Negras, or Chan Chan.  Most Cuban musicians have a wide range of music to play that goes beyond the will-known songs.
VIDEO: Guantanamera, Cuba’s Most Famous Song was last modified: October 22nd, 2015 by