¿Quién me compra una naranja? (Who will buy me an orange?)


A song of sadness, with text by José Gorostiza



Composer’s Notes:

When I composed this piece, I was thinking about childhood and how often we tend to underestimate the intellectual and emotional capacity of children. We may think that their emotions revolve only around happiness and we forget that children can also feel sadness, love or fear. After reflecting upon this I decided to compose a sad song that would express another emotional side of our humanity: sadness. Then I discovered a beautiful text by José Gorostiza that speaks to us of a child who, tired of being unloved, decides to go to the marketplace in search of someone who would buy his heart and give him love.

From the beginning the music is very dynamic, representing the din of a market where the child goes to hawk the sale of his own heart. In the intermediate section I try to express the profound sadness of the child. In the last section we return to the first scene of the noisy market, leaving open the possibility that someone might buy that orange in the shape of a heart. I dedicate this piece to all the children in the world who live without love.


¿Quién me compra una naranja?

¿Quién me compra una naranja
para mi consolación?
Una naranja madura
en forma de corazón.

La sal del mar en los labios,
¡ay de mí!
la sal del mar en las venas
y en los labios recogí.

Nadie me diera los suyos
para besar.
La blanda espiga de un beso
yo no la puedo segar.

Nadie pidiera mi sangre
para beber.
Yo mismo no sé si corre
¿habrá de correr?

Como se pierden las barcas,
¡ay de mí!
como se pierden las nubes
y las barcas, me perdí.

Y pues nadie me lo pide,
ya no tengo corazón.
¿Quién me compra una naranja
para mi consolación?
    —José Gorostiza

Who will buy me an orange
To comfort me?
A ripe orange
In the shape of a heart.

The salt of the sea on lips,
Oh, poor me!
The salt of the sea in veins
And that which I took from the lips.

No one would give me theirs
To kiss.
The soft sprig of a kiss
I cannot cut it down.

No one seeks to have, to keep
the love flowing through my veins
Even I don’t know whether it runs
or if it just flows on its own.

Just as boats get lost
Oh, poor me!
Just as clouds and boats
Get lost, I am lost.

And, well, nobody asks me,
So I have no more heart.
Who will buy me an orange
To comfort me?
    —Translation by Katie Villaseñor

Additional information



Year Composed

Date of Premiere