El Barquito de Papel (Little Paper Boat)




Composer’s Notes:

El Barquito de Papel is one movement from Suite for Children, a set of four songs for children set to poetry by Mexican writers.  VocalEssence Music Press currently publishes two movements from this suite: El Barquito de Papel and Velero de Papel. The poetry in the Suite for Children, although written for children, has a profound message of universal values—one that will flourish in their lives as something positive for their intellectual and spiritual development. The main idea of this suite is to make these deep concepts of reflection accessible to children, in a simple way that is musical but also simple.

In terms of form, the children’s suite is conceived with consideration to the following: Technically, the music is simple melodically, striving for a balance between the simplicity and quality of the melodic lines; the melodies are easy for children to learn and remember. Structurally, the music is subject to the nature of the texts, with careful repetition making it easy to memorize without seeming too silly and boring.


El Barquito de Papel

Salga pronto, mi almirante,
con su gorro de oropel,
la lluvia hizo un río gigante
¡venga a navegar en él!

El arrojo por bandera,
¡leve el ancla sin temor!,
que el río va de acera a acera,
¡pruebe ahora su valor!

Capitán, sea su velero
el primero en avanzar,
marque bien el derrotero,
¡no se debe naufragar!

¡Eso es ser buen navegante,
valeroso timonel!
¡Llevará siempre adelante
su barquito de papel!

Así, firme, decidido,
Buen marino debe ser.
Que la vida es río crecido
¡y la tiene que vencer!
    —Adela Anaya

Little Paper Boat

Come out soon, my Admiral
With your tinsel cap
The rain has made a great river,
Come sail on it!

Emboldened by the flag,
Raise anchor without fear!
The river runs from side to side
Now prove your courage!

Captain, may your sailboat
Be the first to advance,
Mark well your route
For it must not be wrecked!

That is what makes a good navigator,
My Brave Helmsman!
You will always sail forward
In your little paper boat!

Firm and determined,
So should a good sailor be.
Life is a cresting river,
That must be overcome!
— Translation by Katie Villaseñor

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