Saturday, May 21, 2011


One bit of family history that I wish I had more details of was one of my uncles on my father's side. You see, he wrote at least one song that has been recorded by many artists, including Jose Feliciano, about forbidden love. I wish I had more information on my uncle, but it's one of those things I never really asked more about and now both he and my father are gone and I don't have much of a connection to the rest of the family that might know more. In any case, aside from the fact that I have a connection to the song, it's one of my favorite boleros, possibly because it's so open to interpretation as to what the exact nature of the forbidden love is, lending it some dark undertones and mystery. To me, Feliciano's version has always been the one that captures the essence of the song the best, with it's simple bohemian style atmosphere and production.


The atmosphere of that recording, sounding like it's in a small room, perhaps even someone's living room, is something I always search for in music. And Feliciano's voice, though not everyone's cup of tea, has a quality that is perfect for these songs of longing, a certain distant melancholy that I can't put my finger on. His guitar playing has never been in contention, and the flamenco flourishes he adds to his arrangement give it an air of gypsy danger that paints a vivid, though ambiguous image. And yet, there are other versions. Such as this more recent one by Xiomara Laugart, which could easily become a new favorite for me, for all the reasons I just mentioned.


1 comment:

  1. Great columm, and great song by your uncle. The Xiomara Laugart take is quite beautiful.