Songs in Latin, Lingua Franca, Occitan dialects including Catalan, Spanish, Italian, and French

Vulgar Latin, not dog Latin; Latium, Italy.

Vulgar Latin, not dog Latin; Latium, Italy.

Please note:

  • All these street organ arrangements are home-made. Contact me if you want a custom arrangement for your own street organ, musical box, barrel piano, or whatever.
  • The MP3s below use Virtual Studio Technology: this is NOT the real sound (my organ also has percussion, and sounds more natural), and someone needs to sing!
  • Lyrics or translations can be displayed live on a screen, karaoke-style.
Déu, vull ser artista, al meu cor / God, I want to be an artist, in my heartThe Singing Organ-Grinderca en2014Hi ha més estrofes, cada menys políticament correcta / Each verse increasingly unlikely to get past today's censors.
Croquetón / Sausage ManThe Singing Organ-Grinderes en2013Incidental music written for a children's story by Eva Muñoz about what happens when your food comes fast and in Godzilla-sized portions. Virtual excerpt:

Video, possibly quite old or by somebody else:
Villancico linuxeroPánico en el núcleo (Panic in the kernel)es2011Linux carol disparages Windows and Mac, makes Spanish nerds laugh: Que le den al Guindos, que le den al Mac, / que yo uso Linux y me va genial.
Anys i anys... per molts anys!Club Super 3ca2001Catalan birthday song, obligatory fare during school gigs in and around Barcelona.
Gacela del amor imprevistoLorca / Sans Rancune / The Singing Organ-Grinderes1998Lorca as universal revolutionary instead of reinventor of the Castilian romance: La sangre de tus venas en mi boca, / tu boca ya sin luz para mi muerte (reggaecito cojito con tango)
Copla del viudo del submarinoJuan Antonio Cantaes1996From the last Andalusian avant-gardist: En el fondo del mar tengo yo / Una novia en silencio / Un poquito de pescaito frito / Me trae su recuerdo
Video, possibly quite old or by somebody else:
Te quieroJuan Antonio Cantaes1996Macabre ballad of frustrated love from the great farewell album of the last Andalusian surrealist, Las increíbles aventuras de Juan Antonio Canta, set to a marionettish accompaniment.
Estoy tocando fondoViudas e hijas de Roque Enrolles1984Where the fondo may be the International Monetary Fund.
Sonho meuMaria Bethânia / Gal Costapt1978Hit from Caetano Veloso's little sister.
Brucia la terraGiuseppe Rinaldi / Nino Rotait1972Swing version of theme from The Godfather / Il Padrino.
Las tetas de María GuevaraPerucho Aguirre / Quinto Criolloes1970Absurd song about an absurd pair of Caribbean peaks: navigational and erotic aids.
Het dorp / La montagneWim Sonneveld / Jean Ferratnl fr1970Another Dutch plundering of French repertoire: nostalgia available in both languages.
Plegaria para el senador Robert F Kennedy después de su asesinatoHermanitos Garcíaes1970
Flocon, papillon (Fabulettes)Anne Sylvestrefr1969En souvenir de notre grand ami, Christophe Quinton: Il neigera, il neigera / puis un jour le printemps viendra / Et sur les branches il neigera / des fleurs de pommes et du lilas. Virtual excerpt:
Los tres cochinitosCri-Cri / Francisco Gabilondo Soleres1963?Three little piggies are snoring in bed, and they're all dreaming about something different.
Ta Katie t'a quittéBoby Lapointefr1962Pour une sonnerie, c'est une belle çonnerie! Legendary tonguetwister. Virtual excerpt:

Video, possibly quite old or by somebody else:
Thème des vacances (Jules et Jim) Georges Deleruefr1962
La patitaCri-Cri / Francisco Gabilondo Soleres1960?What will Mother Duck give her ducklings to eat now dad refuses to work and the market is so expensive?
Video, possibly quite old or by somebody else:
Ratón vaqueroCri-Cri / Francisco Gabilondo Soleres1960?Cowboy mouse
PerritoCri-Cri / Francisco Gabilondo Soleres1960?Doggie
Di por qué, dime abuelitaCri-Cri / Francisco Gabilondo Soleres1960?Children's song which treads a fine line with grandma: Tell me why you're teeth are gone / And your hair's like the foam of the sea.
Canción de las vocalesCri-Cri / Francisco Gabilondo Soleres1960?Vowel education from Cri-Cri, an incredibly popular children's series.
Puff, the magic dragon (Puff, el drac màgic)Leonard Lipton / Peter Yarrow / Peter, Paul and Maryen ca1960
Che sarà, sarà / Qué será, será / Whatever will be, will beDoris Day / José Feliciano / Pink Martini / The Jukebox Sisters / Dave Cashen es it nl yi1956Waltz
Chella llàRenato Carosone / Marino Mariniit1956
La Complainte de la ButteJean Renoir / Georges van Parys / Cora Vaucaire / Zaz / Rufus Wainwrightfr en1955
El baile de los pajaritos / The birdie song / De vogeltjesdansEl payo Juan Manuel / Werner Thomas / Johnny Hoeses nl en1955
Vecchia pianolaKatyna Ranieriit1953An old pianola recalls the good times: Vecchia pianola d'un tempo, / d'un tempo passato, / tu mi ricordi il bel tempo, / il bel tempo che fu.
L'âme des poètesCharles Trenetfr1951Homage (with barrel organ allusions) to the poet and painter Max Jacob, who died en route to Auschwitz: Long after the poets have disappeared their songs still walk the streets.
MexicoZangeres Zonder Naam / Luis Marianonl fr1951Paso doble in de stijl van de film Le chanteur de Mexico
BananasMachitoen nl ca1950The mambo king indulges in a bit of self-parody. Available in English, Catalan or Dutch.
Video, possibly quite old or by somebody else:
Santa Bárbara Benditaes1950Emblematic mining accident at the Pozo María Luisa, Asturias in 1949.
Abruzzo forte e gentileTommaso Coccioneit1950Instrumental from a popular 30s Italian musician.
Yo tengo un mocoTrad. / Wagner / Mozart / Pierre Degeyter / traductor comunista desconocidoes1950Mashup with kazoo of a Spanish children's song about eating your bogies, The Mastersingers of Nuremburg, Eine kleine Nachtmusik and the Internationale ('Arise ye starvelings from your slumbers').
Complainte pour l'orgue de la nouvelle barbarieLouis Aragonfr1940Wartime poem from after his conversion to Marxism: Ceux qu'arrêtèrent les barrages. / Sont revenus en plein midi. / Morts de fatigue et fous de rage.
Valzer dell'organinoBruno Cherubini / C.A. Bixioit1938More organ-grinder nostalgia.
J'attendrai / Tornerai Trio Lescano / Carlo Buti / Rina Ketty / Jean Sablon / Tino Rossifr it1937I'll return because my heart is yours. Even better than the Tornerai Monteverdi puts into Poppea's mouth.
YoukaliKurt Weillfr1934Possibly the best tango ever.
Isle of Capri / C'est à CapriWill Grosz / Jimmy Kennedy / Lew Stoneen nl fr1934Sometimes with lyrics featuring the River Lea / Lee in East London: Twas on the banks of the Lea that I met her / Under the shade of an old apple tree / Now I can still hear the sirens around me / As I lie bleeding in A and E.
Complainte de FantômasRobert Desnos / Kurt Weillfr1933Allongeant son ombre immense / Sur le Monde et sur Paris / Quel est ce spectre aux yeux gris / Qui surgit dans le silence? / Fantômas, serait-ce toi / Qui te dresse sur les toits?
La gallina PapanatasMonreales1930Mexican corrido about a prolific hen.
Rumba TambahLecuona Cuban Boyses1930Rumba
Canto SiboneyErnesto Lecuonaen es1929Nino Rota's use of this in multiple guises dominates the soundtrack of Fellini's Amarcord.
Video, possibly quite old or by somebody else:
El menúZöllner / Arregui Trecetes1927La versión conocida es la de Los Xey (1953), pero canto la que se hizo para la Coral del Ensanche de Bilbao.
En el jardin del Prado / La señorita Pepa / El patio de mi casaPotpourri of Valencian play songs from the 1920ses1925La señorita Pepa, que creida está / Se va a morir de tanto pensar. / Si piensa con su novio, su novio no la quiere / Por eso la pobre de pena se muere.
Jingle bells / Campanelle, campanelle, belle belleen it1920Anglo-Italian version based on Lou Monte. Virtual excerpt:
El dilluns jo no treballoValencianoca1920Song in Valencian lists the days of the week on which I don't work. Their number is lucky.
Video, possibly quite old or by somebody else:
Panpipe call used by an itinerant French pot-mender and pig-gelder in fr1920With humorous quotes from Spanish Golden Age theatre (inc Quevedo and Calderón), sketching the accent, appearance and behaviour of French castrators and pot menders in the 16th/17th centuries. (Ambulant moped-chain-powered knife-grinders in Barcelona and other Mediterranean cities still use panpipes as advertising medium, but with less sophistication.)
RegionalismoFrancisco Vighi / The Singing Organ-Grinderes1920
El nuevo FordCubanoes1920
La violeteraJosé Padillaes1914Early Raquel Meller hit: Como aves precursoras de primavera / En Madrid aparecen la violeteras / Que pregonando parecen golondrinas / Que van piando, que van piando.
Le pont MirabeauGuillaume Apollinaire / Léo Ferréfr en1912
Crits del carrerJoan Amades Cançoner / English C17th canonca1910Audience participation required in this canon consisting of the cries (in Catalan) of the vendors of potatoes, hats and chocolate. As good in its way as Clément Janequin, Voulez ouyr les cris de Paris
Fleur de blé noirThéodore Botrel / Toscanifr1910Dans une métairie / Comme aide berger, / Pour mieux voir ma jolie / Je me suis gagé.
La nina encantadaJoan Amades (Cançoner)ca1910Jaime I of Aragón hunts his Hungarian queen, Violante, in the form of a stag. Alludes to the foundational myth of the Danubian country. Anti-folky version.
ValenciaJosé Padillaes1900Based on a piano roll scan. It's as if the arranger located Valencia on the east coast of Asia instead of that of Spain. / Basado en un escaneo de rollo de pianola. Parece que el arreglista ubicó Valencia en la costa levantina de Asia en vez de España.
La maquinista: polka corejadaJosep Anselm Clavéca1900Clavé trolls the anarchists: Dali sens descans, / es lo pa de la familia, / la suor de nostre afany.
O sole mioGiovanni Capurro / Eduardo di Capuait en nl1898
El chincatapunchincógrafo, etcéteraAntonio Rodríguez Martínez / Coro “Los Abanicos”es1897Song about the marvels of electricity: En la época presente / no hay nada tan floreciente / como la electricidad... Hasta yo creo que un aparato de inventará / para fabricar chiquillos / por medio de la electricidad.
Happy birthday to youen es ca1893I believe I can sing this now without being sued by copyright lawyers.
Video, possibly quite old or by somebody else:
Paternal. Tornant del Liceu en la nit del 7 de novembre de 1893Joan Maragall / The Singing Organ-Grinderca en1893I've done this a few times in Catalan and English but don't really know where to take it next.
Ya hemos visitado el AstilleroLos Moros Babucheroses1891Working conditions in the factory at San Severiano, Cádiz could certainly be improved
Tha-ma-ra-boum-di-he / Ta-ra-ra Boom-de-ayMama Lou / Lottie Collins / Polaireen fr1891
Mamma mia, dammi 100 lire che in America voglio andar (Mum, give me 100 lire cos I want to go to America)Anonit1890ish?About the great Italian emigration (late C19th - 1930s). Often used with children. Should 'America' now be replaced by 'London'? Cento lire io te le do, ma in America no no no! 100 lire I'll give you, but America, no no no!
Trenta giorni di nave a vapore (Thirty days in a steamship)Anonit1890?About the great Italian emigration to the Americas beginning in the late C19th.
Softly awakes my heartSaint-Saensfr1880With Swanee whistle.
Laetissimam famam / Wesołą nowinęRyszard Ganszyniecla1878Latin version of Polish carol
Manantiales de nitroglicerina (Nitroglycerin springs)Anónes1873Anarchist song: Nivelacion social!... Rota la valla / No más habrá, no más ladrones; / Partirémos sus bienes, sus millones / Cuando llegue su hora á la canalla.
Noi de la mareTrad.ca1866Best-known Catalan Christmas carol
El amor bajo la luz eléctricaAnones1865Don't rely on electric light if you're looking for cloth or a woman: No elijas mujer ni tela / Á la luz artificial, / Porque la una y la otra / Grandes chascos suelen dar.
Cantata nacionalJosep Anselm Clavées1864In his collection, Flores de Estío, the Catalan master utters Hispanophile sentiments which many prefer to forget: ¡Gloria á ESPAÑA! dó en paz hoy florecen / Con las ciencias, la industria y las artes; / Dó el progreso derrumba baluartes / Que en talleres se ven transformar.
Anem al treballP.F.ca1863Selection from a very long ode to work, from just before the First (Spanish) Republic: The world will always be / the same as it has been, / the poor will be with us always, / and the rich and artisans; / when God disposes, / you know what will happen: / as we find it / we will have to leave it, / let's not trust in fancies, / let's go to work.
A orillas del Llobregat (Flores de Estío)Josep Anselm Clavées1852Praise of the (industrialised) river south of Barcelona: A dar solaz al alma / Venid, niñas!... llegad! / Que aquí los céfiros / Agitan suaves / Las ramas fértiles / Donde las aves / Entonan cánticos, / Que alegran plácidos / Las ricas márgenes / Del LLOBREGAT!
Trobo divertit sens pecar de la merda y del cagarAnon (Lérida / Lleida, C19th, printed by Coromines) / The Singing Organ-Grinderca1850An utterly filthy song in happily impenetrable Catalan: Lo vostre cul cuan cagueu, sembla unas castañolas / Your arse when it shits, sounds like castanets.
Coplas novas y divertidas las cuals esplican los mals ratos que solen donar las pusas los polls y las chinchas com nu veurà lo que no sirà siegoRamon Barrull (Lérida / Lleida, C19th, printed by Coromines) / The Singing Organ-Grinderca1850Broadside ballad about vermin: Las chinchas es cosa bruta, / Conforme hos he dit; / Perque se solen posar, / A los pots y banchs dels llits.
ChirivíAnónca1843Cannibal song from Barcelona's Jamancia revolt: á Cristina y Narvaez / y á tots los moderats / dintre de una paella / los freixirém plegats.
Per fi ya enarbolat / veyem lo san pendó, / quens diu Societat, / Fraternitat y Unió.Societat de Teixidós de Barcelonaca1840Himno del primer sindicato en España, la (barcelonesa) Sociedad de Tejedores / Anthem of the first trade union in Spain, the (Barcelona) Society of Weavers
Bullangas de Barcelonaes1835Barcelona's bull-fight rebellion, during the First Carlist War: Muy espantoso es Bullánga / Lo mismo es que Satanás, / Y este con la cruz se abate / Y aquel con la ley no mas;
¡Año fatal! ¡Año atroz! – (Pre)juicio del año 1833Anones1832Premonitions of the First Carlist War from an almanac: ¿Oís zumbar el cañon? / ¿Oís como cruje el parche? / ¡Quede estragos! ¡Qué de horrores! / Temblad míseros mortales.
Complainte de FualdèsMoreau et Catalan / Trad.fr1818In 1817 a judicial official was murdered in Aveyron and hurdy-gurdies or barrel organs were used to drown out his cries.
El lobo devoradorTrad.es1800A ravenous wolf in 19th century Spain. I don't think it's a metaphor for George Borrow: Es posible, justo cielo / que permita tu bondad / que contra el hombre se ensañe / una fiera sin piedad?
El cura enfermoAnones1800Priestly love, Cadiz style: Estando un curita malito en la cama, / a la media noche llamó a la criada. / -¿Qué tiene el curita, tan deprisa llama? / -Quiero chocolate, lo quiero en la cama.
Voici trois BohémiensProvençalfr1800Three gypsies read the palm of the baby Jesus: Tu es, c’est mon avis, Car je le lis, de Dieu le fils tout adorable.
Los ayres fijos: poema didáctico en seis cantosJosé Viera y Clavijoes1784Ode to a hot-air balloon: Moradores de Nesle ¿Que es aquello / Que veis venir rasgando el Horizonte? / No es la ascencion de Ganimedes bello, / Ni el precipicio del audaz Faetonte, / Del Iris matizado no es destello, / Ni el Pegaso que dexa el doble monte; / Es la Nave Aërostática velera / De Argonautas que surcan la atmosféra.
La locura más discreta que se dice executó la villa de Níjar del obispado de Almería, el día trece de septiembre de este presente año de 1759Diego Ventura Rejón y Lucases1759Vía Ortega y Gasset, a tale of popular madness: Con aquestos desbaratos / toda casa esta assolada, / no dejando tales tratos, / cazos, sillas, platos, nada, / ni aun la nada entre dos platos.
Chanson nouvelle sur les cris de Paris / New song on the cries of ParisAnonfr en1738Translated excerpt, featuring organ-grinders and their marmots.
La poule (Suite in G major/G minor)Rameaufr1726?With added chicken noises
Malbrook s'en va-t-en guerre / Mal'bruk na voynu edetRussian folkru fr1709ishIn the repertoire of Grigorovich's Petersburg Organ-Grinders
Noë per tsanta à la Grand Messa / Noel to be sung at the Great MassTrad.oc en1690?Savoyard carol in Provençal from Bessans in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, early focus of organ-grinders and other ambulants. Features angels singing like organs and marmottes. Abridged translation into English.
Dale si le das, mozuela de TerrassaAnon / Cancionero de Barbieries1600Early modern joke song, where the expected obscenity always turns into something inoffensive: Una mozuela de Logroño / Mostrado me habia su co.......po de lana negro que hilaba. Con una larga etcétera.
Good King Wenceslas / Tempus adest floridumJohn Mason Nealeen la1582 (melody) / 1853 (English lyrics)Bohemian fantasy.
Villançico contrahaziendo a los mocaros que sienpre van ynportunando a los peregrinos con demandasJuan del Encinalf1520ishA beggars' song: the poet was in the Holy Land in ±1520 and tried to reproduce the lingua franca of the hordes of fake amputees and saints who plagued poor pilgrims there and at home: 'Benda ti istran plegrin: / benda, marqueta, maidin. / Benda, benda stringa da da / agugeta colorada. / Dali moro namorada / y ala ti da bon matin.'
Morenica a mí me llamanAnones1500Song about skin pigment from the Sephardic repertoire: 'Morenica a mí me llaman, / Yo blanca nací. / El sol del enverano / a mí me hizo ansí, / Morenica y graciosica sois.' See also: 'Aunque soy morena / no soy de olvidar / que la tierra negra / pan blanco suele dar.' And Lope: 'El astrólogo me dijo / verdad pura; que si tengo / Hijos, ajedrez serán, / Pues serán blancos y negros.' And William Blake: 'My mother bore me in the southern wild, And I am black, but O! my soul is white;' etc etc
In dulci jubiloHeinrich Seuse / Robert Pearsallen de la1328I do both the German-Latin original and the popular Pearsall Anglicisation
SederuntPérotinla1200sGreat example of organum (ca. 1200) from the master of Notre-Dame. Tenor here. Bi ther grete criyng of song, as deschaunt, countre note and orgene, thei ben lettid fro studyinge and prechynge of the gospel.
La fiera malvada de JerusalénTrad.esBallad about mythical monsters: Dos cuernos en la cabeza / también alas que volaba / vestida como una tortuga / no la hería ninguna bala.
Sociedad Antonio MaceoIsrael 'Cachao' LópezesCha-cha
Qué pena siente el almaVioleta ParraesClassic Chilean organ-grinder waltz.
Ford V8Enrique Jardiel Poncela / The Singing Organ-GrinderesCuban song in praise of Henry Ford's motors: ¿Y no callé siempre y siempre me callo / los contados días que tienes un fallo?
Cuando salí de la HabanaValencianoesDe nadie me despedí, / Solo de un perrito chino que venía tras de mí/When I left Havana I said farewell to no one - except a little Chinese dog which came after me
JilguerosLibertad Lamarque y JoselitoesFinches
La reina del placeresHabanera
Micalet GarciaValencianoesHe's corrupt
Canción del CaboFrancisco Logroño, Cabo primero de la tercera Compañía de IngenierosesLove song by a corporal in the 3rd Company of Engineers: Cuando llegará el día, / Que yo te pueda estrechar, / En los brazos de mi amor / Y en tu lecho descansar?
Pican los mosquitosEl payo Juan ManuelesMe duelen los hue...sos
El milagro de BenarrabalTrad.esMuchos hay que en Dios no creen / ni a su madre la veneran / de los templos hacen mofa / y al anciano lo apedrean
Fraile, fraile, comiendoValencianoes
Las mañanitasesMexican birthday song.

Update: 2019/01/27


Comments are closed.