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Exercises Level 3: Christmas Carols

  Los peces en el río - Christmas Carols



  Comment about the songs
As said before songs (traditional or modern) are not always logical. About the song below there are also comments to be found, e.g. here: http://www.20six.co.uk/javierdebe/archive/2004/12/16/1f9nagam5mgqm.htm

On http://Spanish.about.com/library/weekly/aa120502a.htm you can read the following:
"Among the most popular Spanish carols is Los peces en el río, which draws a contrast between between the fishes in the river, who are excited about the birth of the baby Jesus, and the Virgin Mary, who goes about doing the chores of daily life. You'll find the song in most written and recorded collections of Spanish-language Christmas tunes. The writer of the song is unknown, although the tune shows some Arabic influence. The carol exists in a number of variations. Some include several more verses than the ones listed below, and some of them vary slightly in the words used. Lyrics of one popular version is shown below along with a fairly literal English translation. Note that, as is often the case in poetry and song lyrics, some of the norms of grammar and word order are appSong loosely."

Best thing to do is to accept the text as it is and enjoy the beauty of the song. Even if we probably will never know the exact reason but it seems that different songs came together in this one.


Spanish  Text English Text
 
Los peces en el río
...........................
 
The fish in the water
...........................
La Virgen se está peinando
entre cortina y cortina,
los cabellos son de oro
y el peine de plata fina.

Pero mira cómo beben
los peces en el rió,
pero mira como beben
por ver a Dios nacido.

Y beben y beben y vuelven a beber,
los peces en el río
por ver a Dios nacer
...........................

The Virgin Mary combs her precious hair
between curtain and curtain
and the hair is of gold
and the comb of fine silver.

See how they drink
the fish in the river
see how they drink
to see the birth of God.

And they drink and drink and drink again
the fish in the river
to see the birth of God.
...........................

La Virgen está lavando,
y tendiendo en el romero
los angelitos cantando
y el romero floreciendo.

Pero mira cómo beben
los peces en el rió,
pero mira como beben
por ver a Dios nacido.

Y beben y beben y vuelven a beber,
los peces en el río
por ver a Dios nacer
...........................

The Virgin Mary washes
and puts the clothes on a rosemary bush
the angels are singing
and the rosemary is blooming.

See how they drink
the fish in the river
see how they drink
to see the birth of God.

And they drink and drink and drink again
the fish in the river
to see the birth of God.
...........................

La Virgen está lavando
con un poquito jabón,
se le secaron las manos,
manos de mi corazón.

Pero mira cómo beben
los peces en el rió,
pero mira como beben
por ver a Dios nacido.

Y beben y beben y vuelven a beber,
los peces en el río
por ver a Dios nacer

The Virgin Mary washes
with a little soap,
Her hands are dried
hands of my heart.

See how they drink
the fish in the river
see how they drink
to see the birth of God.

And they drink and drink and drink again
the fish in the river
to see the birth of God.


vocabulary  
  el río = river
  beber = to drink
  lavar = to wash
  el jabón = soap
  la mano = hand
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