La Ofrenda (The Offering)

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In the Mexican tradition of “The Day of the Dead,” a child remembers his grandfather.

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Description

Composer’s Notes:

La Ofrenda is inspired by The Day of the Dead, which we celebrate in Mexico. In an effort to communicate the richness of this old tradition, explaining that it has nothing to do with Halloween and that is not sad or scary, but a joyful and mystical party, I wrote the story of a little child who thought he saw his grandfather during this celebration. The Day of the Dead takes place in Mexico each November 2, and one of the elements of this tradition is to set up a type of altar, called the Ofrenda, which is a decorated table. There we remember a dead person, offering food and things that he or she used to like. The joyful celebration brings the family together to share music, stories and good food.

Text/Translation:

Entre flores y semillas xempasúchitl y papel de China,
dicen que bajó del cielo en la noche de los muertos.
Ay, yo lo vi, era mi abuelito, Don José.

Entre místicos a romas de copal y de naranja
el difunto nos visita pa tomarse una copita.
Ay, yo lo vi, con el mismo sombrerito de ayer,
era mi abuelito, Don José.

¿En dónde está?
Junto al altar.
¡Ay, que susto!
Vino el difunto.
¿A dónde fue?
Por su café.
¿Y quién lo vio?
Su nieto Gaspar.

¡Ay!, yo lo vi, con el mismo sombrerito que ayer,
era mi abuelito, Don José.
Y me sonrrió, luego se volvió pa tomar de su café,
a fumar el cigarrito, ese que yo le dejé.
Y me son rrió, luego se volvió pa tomar de su café.

¡Ay! Qué bien baila!
Baila, baila baila baila Mírenlo:
Ese muerto que baila está más vivo que yo.
Ese muertito que baila está más vivo que yo.
Es más vivo que yo, más vivo que yo,
y está canción ya se terminó.
¡Ya! ¡Olé!


Between flowers, seeds, xempasuchitl and china paper
it is said that he came from heaven in the dead of night.
-Oh, I saw him,  he was my grandfather Don José.

Between mystical smells of copal and orange
the dead visit us to drink a little cup.
-Oh, I saw him, He had the same little hat as yesterday
He was my grandfather Don José.

-Where is he?
-Close to the altar
-Oh! That’s scary
-The dead came here.
-Where did he go?
-To get his coffee
-Who saw him?
-His grandchild, Gaspar!

-Oh, I saw him,
He was my grandfather, Don José.
And he smiled to me,
Later he just went
to drink a coffee,
to smoke a little cigarette
the one I offered to him.

Oh, he was dancing so good!
Dance, dance!
That death who is dancing is more alive than I do.
That little dead who is dancing is more alive that I do.
And this song is over now.
Olé.

 

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