Menu
Search

Premio Nobel de Literatura 2016: Bob Dylan Posted by on Oct 19, 2016 in Learning, Spanish Culture, Spanish Vocabulary, Videos

Last week Bob Dylan gave us all a big surprise. Or rather, the members of the Swedish Academy did. Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature 2016 “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition”. Hurricane is a protest song by Bob Dylan co-written with Jacques Levy, about the imprisonment of Rubin “Hurricane” Carter.

According to Wikipedia “It compiles alleged acts of racism and profiling against Carter, which Dylan describes as leading to a false trial and conviction.” Since the song bears witness to a very contemporary topic (even though it was released in 1975), we take this opportunity to celebrate his music by playing this 1984 version of Hurricane in Spanish by Argentine singer María José Cantilo. We’ll discover some Argentine Spanish traits in the song. Please note that the video has explicit images of gun violence and the original English lyrics include explicit language.

 

 

El Huracán

Tres disparos suenan en la noche del lugar,
entra una mujer por la puerta de atrás,
ve a un mozo tendido en un charco de sangre,
y grita “¡Dios mío, aquí hubo una masacre!” Esta es la historia del Huracán,
el boxeador al que quisieron culpar,
por algo que no hizo jamás,
y lo pusieron en prisión,
justo cuando iba a ser campeón mundial…
Tres cuerpos tirados pudo ver la mujer,
y otro hombre rondando misteriosamente,
“Yo no lo hice” se apuró a decir,
“Espero que me crean, yo pasé por aquí”,
“Mi nombre es Pedro y estoy limpio, señora,
lo mejor será llamar a la cana ahora”,
Y la mujer corrió a llamar,
y la policía entro en escena,
con sus luces rojas y estridentes sirenas…
Mientras en un sitio muy lejos de allí,
Rubin y sus amigos, salían a curtir.
El era un boxeador de peso mediano,
no tenía ni idea de lo que iba a ocurrir,
cuando de repente la cana los paró,
una noche antes y la otra anterior,
porque eran negros nada más,
nunca podían estar tranquilos sin tener problemas con la ley…
Ángel Pedro, el sospechoso, tenía un socio,
y juntos inventaron el siguiente negocio,
dijeron haber visto dos tipos escapar,
parecían boxeadores y salían del lugar…
De pronto uno de los heridos reaccionó,
y de inmediato al hospital se le llevó,
y a pesar de que estaba muriendo,
la policía le pidió que identificara al que le disparó…
Cuatro de la mañana y entran en el cuarto,
trayendo por delante a Rubin esposado,
el moribundo miró apenas y dijo:
“¿Para qué traen a ese chico si él no lo hizo?”
Esta es la historia del Huracán,
el boxeador al que quisieron culpar,
por algo que no hizo jamás,
y lo pusieron en prisión,
justo cuando iba a ser campeón mundial…
Cuatro meses más tarde, Rubin el Huracán,
pelea en Sudamérica por el título mundial,
mientras Ángel Pedro sigue siendo apretado,
y elocuentemente apalabrado,
Te acordás de aquel asesinato triple,
te acordás de que fue un boxeador el que viste,
nosotros vamos a acusarlo,
y vos tenés que ayudarnos y además,
no te olvides de que es negro y vos sos blanco…
Ángel Pedro dice: yo no sé, en realidad,
y ellos le contestan: no hay tanto que pensar,
nosotros te ayudamos y te damos un empleo.
Si tenés antecedentes te los borraremos,
vas a hacer un favor a la sociedad.
Ese desgraciado quiere ser campeón mundial,
lo vamos a bajar del pedestal,
y le vamos a poner el trasero,
justamente donde debe estar…
Rubin el Huracán era el mejor en su peso,
pero no estaba hablando todo el día de eso,
“Es mi trabajo” decía “y lo hago por la guita
“Pero cuando termina busco cosas distintas”
andar a caballo por un largo camino,
dejar boyas a la orilla del río.
Pero todo eso se acabó, lo metieron en una jaula,
donde tratan de hacer de un hombre una rata…
Todo contra Rubin fue un violento avance,
el juicio fue un circo, no tuvo ni una chance.
Los blancos del jurado le tenían terror,
como a todo lo que significa revolución,
y para los negros era un negro loco.
Nadie creyó en él ni siquiera un poco,
y aunque no lo pudieron comprobar,
el jurado decidió que él
fue el que cometió el crimen en el bar…
Rubin fue falsamente juzgado
el cargo fue homicidio en primer grado,
y ¿adivinen quiénes testimoniaron…?
Ángel Pedro y sus socios y hasta mintieron los diarios.
¿Cómo puede la vida de un hombre,
estar en manos de gente tan innoble?
toda esa farsa fue planeada,
y yo me siento asustada de estar en una tierra,
donde no hay justicia cierta…
Ahora hay criminales de saco y corbata,
tomándose un martini en sus terrazas,
mientras Rubin se sienta solitario en su celda,
un hombre inocente en una vida de mierda…
Esta es la historia del Huracán,
Pero esta historia no termina acá,
lo tienen que poner en libertad,
y devolver cada minuto que pasó en la prisión,
cuando pudo ser campeón.

Hurricane

Pistol shots ring out in the barroom night
Enter Patty Valentine from the upper hall
She sees a bartender in a pool of blood
Cries out my God, they killed them all
Here comes the story of the Hurricane
The man the authorities came to blame
For somethin’ that he never done
Put in a prison cell, but one time he could-a been
The champion of the world
Three bodies lyin’ there does Patty see
And another man named Bello, movin’ around mysteriously
I didn’t do it, he says, and he throws up his hands
I was only robbin’ the register, I hope you understand
I saw them leavin’, he says, and he stops
One of us had better call up the cops
And so Patty calls the cops
And they arrive on the scene with their red lights flashin’
In the hot New Jersey night
Meanwhile, far away in another part of town
Rubin Carter and a couple of friends are drivin’ around
Number one contender for the middleweight crown
Had no idea what kinda shit was about to go down
When a cop pulled him over to the side of the road
Just like the time before and the time before that
In Paterson that’s just the way things go
If you’re black you might as well not show up on the street
‘Less you want to draw the heat
Alfred Bello had a partner and he had a rap for the cops
Him and Arthur Dexter Bradley were just out prowlin’ around
He said, I saw two men runnin’ out, they looked like middleweights
They jumped into a white car with out-of-state plates
And Miss Patty Valentine just nodded her head
Cop said, wait a minute, boys, this one’s not dead
So they took him to the infirmary
And though this man could hardly see
They told him that he could identify the guilty men
Four in the mornin’ and they haul Rubin in
They took him to the hospital and they brought him upstairs
The wounded man looks up through his one dyin’ eye
Says, wha’d you bring him in here for? He ain’t the guy!
Here’s the story of the Hurricane
The man the authorities came to blame
For somethin’ that he never done
Put in a prison cell, but one time he could-a been
The champion of the world
Four months later, the ghettos are in flame
Rubin’s in South America, fightin’ for his name
While Arthur Dexter Bradley’s still in the robbery game
And the cops are puttin’ the screws to him, lookin’ for somebody to blame
Remember that murder that happened in a bar
Remember you said you saw the getaway car
You think you’d like to play ball with the law
Think it might-a been that fighter that you saw runnin’ that night
Don’t forget that you are white
Arthur Dexter Bradley said I’m really not sure
The cops said a poor boy like you could use a break
We got you for the motel job and we’re talkin’ to your friend Bello
You don’t wanta have to go back to jail, be a nice fellow
You’ll be doin’ society a favor
That sonofabitch is brave and gettin’ braver
We want to put his ass in stir
We want to pin this triple murder on him
He ain’t no Gentleman Jim
Rubin could take a man out with just one punch
But he never did like to talk about it all that much
It’s my work, he’d say, and I do it for pay
And when it’s over I’d just as soon go on my way
Up to some paradise
Where the trout streams flow and the air is nice
And ride a horse along a trail
But then they took him to the jailhouse
Where they try to turn a man into a mouse
All of Rubin’s cards were marked in advance
The trial was a pig-circus, he never had a chance
The judge made Rubin’s witnesses drunkards from the slums
To the white folks who watched he was a revolutionary bum
And to the black folks he was just a crazy nigger
No one doubted that he pulled the trigger
And though they could not produce the gun
The D.A. said he was the one who did the deed
And the all-white jury agreed
Rubin Carter was falsely tried
The crime was murder one, guess who testified
Bello and Bradley and they both baldly lied
And the newspapers, they all went along for the ride
How can the life of such a man
Be in the palm of some fool’s hand
To see him obviously framed
Couldn’t help but make me feel ashamed to live in a land
Where justice is a game
Now all the criminals in their coats and their ties
Are free to drink martinis and watch the sun rise
While Rubin sits like Buddha in a ten-foot cell
An innocent man in a living hell
That’s the story of the Hurricane
But it won’t be over till they clear his name
And give him back the time he’s done
Put in a prison cell, but one time he could-a been
The champion of the world.

Vocabulario argentino
  • el mozo: el camarero, el mesero, el cantinero (the waiter, the bartender).
  • apurarse: to rush to conclude something (in Spain, it means to worry. If you want to say “hurry” in Spain you use apresurarse or darse prisa).
  • curtir: to flirt, to seduce, also in slang, to get laid.
  • la cana: la policía (the cops, the police).
  • el cuarto: here, la habitación; also in Argentina, la pieza (the room, the bedroom).
  • Ser apretado: to be pushed to confess.
  • Te acordás, vos tenés, vos sos: verbs in the 2nd person singular following voseo rules.
  • la guita: el dinero, la plata (money, cash, dough)
  • El juicio fue un circo: If something was a circus, it means it was a set up, a farce.
  • No tuvo una chance: this is very Argentine use of an English word, chance, retaining its meaning. It means “He didn’t have a chance.” Nobody outside Argentina would get it.
  • el saco: la americana, la chaqueta de un traje (the blazer, sport coat, sport jacket)
Tags: , , , ,
Keep learning Spanish with us!

Build vocabulary, practice pronunciation, and more with Transparent Language Online. Available anytime, anywhere, on any device.

Try it Free Find it at your Library
Share this:
Pin it

About the Author: Paula

Born in Buenos Aires, living in Barcelona, I mostly write about cultural topics in Spanish from Spain and Latin America.