Serrat, Sabina and their love affair with Latin America

At the end of the 1960s the story begins, forced by Juan Manuel Serrat’s exile in Mexico. It was love at first sight between the singer-songwriter and our people and culture.

For those of us who grew up during the 70s, his songs have accompanied us since our first adolescent loves, and make us reflect on dilemmas that transcend borders, such as death and freedom. Mediterráneo was his emblematic first album, with which we learnt about Franco’s repressive Spain, its sea and its white villages, its youthful utopias.

Later came his own productions and also musicalisations of extraordinary Latin American poets. His work is influenced by other poets , Pablo Neruda (Chile), Eduardo Galeano y Mario Benedetti (Uruguay) The South also exists this is his nineteenth album dedicated to poems by the Uruguayan poet. He has also covered songs by Violeta Parra (Chile) , Atahualpa Yupanqui (Argentina) and from Victor Jara (Chile). Committed and critical of the dictatorships in Latin America, for which Pinochet denied him entry to Chile in 1983

Joaquin Sabina came to our continent later, following the path started by Serrat. He brought us the wildness and the excesses…and we love him for it. Just as we say that Juan Manuel brought poetry to music, Joaquin gave us spontaneity, rebelliousness and humour. Neither of them are noted for their vocal talent but Sabina can sing with the mariachis in Mexico or a tango in Buenos Aires with naturalness. The audience forgives those extra drinks on stage and turns a deaf ear to the noticeable passage of time that affects both their voices.

“19 days and 500 nights it’s still the song that most identifies Sabina, and it’s Noise is my favourite. My assumed fanaticism for Serra prevents me from choosing a song this compilation of songs and you will see that it is impossible to choose!

For some years now they have been performing together, giving concerts all over the continent, uniting music and friendship, between them and their audience The Symbol and the Cuate is a documentary that tells this love story between the artists and Latin America

We went to their concerts like to mass, with the same devotion, Serrat’s first concert in Argentina was unforgettable, after the dictatorship, with pure emotion we sang “para la libertad, sangro, lucho, pervivo”, with our eyes full of tears

We never felt them as foreigners, they are part of our recent history, in dark times,… we waited for his voice and words that accompanied and comforted us, when poetry guided the music and the music made us think. …..

Author: Angelines Yakin