Random YouTubery: "Ruido"


Joaquín Sabina is a Spanish poet/songwriter/musician with an iconic status in Spain similar to that of Bob Dylan in the United States. Like Dylan and Leonard Cohen, Sabina’s songs are brilliant, but his lyrics also stand alone as poems in their own right.

The following song, “Ruido” (“Noise”) is one of my favorites. Sabina’s songs have layers of meaning, and the surface story of “Ruido” is one of a marriage ending. The central image of oppressive, toxic noise that tears down everything you are and love, however, is limitlessly extensible. So I play this song whenever I feel beset by society’s destructive noise. It is a perfect song for a Friday at Shakesville: we’ve spent all week listening to society’s destructive noise and answering back.

Sabina sings of noise: noise of lawyers and of liars, noise of lost years, poisonous noise, obdurate noise.

I would add: noise of the privileged defending their privilege.

I am so over this week. Enough of this noise. What noise are you seriously over, Shakers?

Joaquín Sabina and Olga Román singing "Ruido".

Music starts automatically at the following links: Sabina and Román have their own websites.

The lyrics for "Ruido" appear below the fold. Many thanks to Luisma for working on the translation with me.

Ella le pidió que la llevara al fin de mundo

She asked him to take her to the end of the world
él puso a su nombre todas las olas del mar.

He put all the waves of the sea in her name
Se miraron un segundo

They looked at one another for a second
como dos desconocidos.
Like two strangers


Todas las ciudades eran pocas a sus ojos

All the cities were nothing in her eyes
ella quiso barcos y él no supo qué pescar.

She wanted ships and he didn't know what to fish for.

Y al final números rojos,
And in the end it’s in the red

en la cuenta del olvido,

In the ledger of forgetting,

y hubo tanto ruido

And there was so much noise
que al final llegó el final.

that at the end there was the end.

Mucho, mucho ruido,
Lots and lots of noise
ruido de ventanas,

Noise of windows
nidos de manzanas
apples nested
que se acaban por pudrir.
so that they rot

Mucho, mucho ruido,

Lots and lots of noise,
tanto, tanto ruido,

so much so much noise,

tanto ruido y al final
 por fin el fin.

so much noise and at the end finally the end.
Tanto ruido y al final...

So much noise and at the end...

Hubo un accidente,
There was an accident,
se perdieron las postales,

the post-cards were lost,
quiso Carnavales y encontró fatalidad.

she wanted Carnivale and found fatality.
Porque todos los finales

Because all the ends
son el mismo repetido

are the same repeated
y con tanto ruido
and with so much noise
se oyó el ruido del mar.

the noise of the sea was unheard.

Descubrieron que los besos
They discovered that the kisses
no sabían a nada,

tasted of nothing,
hubo una epidemia
There was an epidemic
de tristeza en la ciudad.

of sadness in the city
Se pisaron las pisadas,

The footprints were stepped in,
se apagaron los caminos,

the roads went dark,
y con tanto ruido

and with so much noise
no escucharon el final.

The ending went unheard.

Mucho, mucho ruido,

Lots and lots of noise,
ruido de tijeras,

noise of scissors,
ruido de escaleras

noise in the stairway
que se acaban por bajar.
departing at last.
Mucho, mucho ruido,
Lots and lots of noise,

tanto, tanto ruido.

so much so much noise.

Tanto ruido y al final...

So much noise and in the end...
Tanto ruido y al final...
So much noise and in the end...

Tanto ruido y al final

So much noise and in the end...

la soledad.


Ruido de tenazas,

Noise of pliers,
ruido de estaciones,
noise of train stations,
ruido de amenazas,
noise of threats,
ruido de escorpiones.
noise of scorpions.
Tanto, tanto ruido.

So much, so much noise.

Ruido de abogados,

Noise of lawyers,
ruido compartido,
shared noise,
ruido envenenado,
poisonous noise,
demasiado ruido.

too much noise.

Ruido platos rotos,

Noise of broken dishes,
ruido años perdidos,
noise of lost years
ruido viejas fotos,

noise of old photos,
ruido empedernido.
obdurate noise.

Ruido de cristales,

Noise of windowpanes,
ruido de gemidos,

noise of moans,
ruidos animales,

animal noise,
contagioso ruido.

contagious noise.

Ruido mentiroso,

Lying noise,
ruido entrometido,
meddlesome noise,

ruido escandaloso,

scandalous noise,
silencioso ruido.

silent noise.

Ruido acomplejado,
Noise with a complex
ruido introvertido,

introverted noise,
ruido del pasado,

noise of the past,
descastado ruido.
bastard noise

Ruido de conjuros,
Noise of conjuring,
ruido malnacido,
ill-begotten noise
ruido tan oscuro

noise so dark
puro y duro ruido.

pure hard noise

Ruido qué me has hecho,
what have you done to me,
ruido yo no he sido,

noise it wasn’t me,
ruido insatisfecho,

unsatisfied noise,
ruido a qué has venido.

Noise what did you come here for?

Ruido como sables,
Noise like sabers,

ruido enloquecido,

crazy noise,
ruido intolerable,

intolerable noise,
ruido incomprendido.

uncomprehending noise.

Ruido de frenazos,
Noise of
 squealing brakes,
ruido sin sentido,

senseless noise,
ruido de arañazos,

noise of scratches,

ruido, ruido, ruido.
noise, noise, noise.

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