A la rueda rueda,
De pan y canela
Dame un vintén*,
Que me voy a la escuela,
Vino la maestra,
me dio un coscorrón,
¡qué viva la pipa del vino calón**!
Round and Round,
Bread and cinnamon,
Give me a coin*,
'cause I am going to school.
The teacher came,
She gave me a slap,
Cheers for the cask of calon** wine!
*Vintén is an old Uruguayan 2 centesimos coin.
**"Vino calón" is an old type of Spanish wine.
"A la rueda rueda,
de pan y canela
dame un vintén que me voy a la escuela
Vino la maestra,
me dio un coscorrón
que viva la pipa del vino Carlón.
"Coscorrón" is the classical slap, but on the head that the teacher would give the children (now it'd be for sure illegal) but that was allowed then to "master" those who in the song would go out to roll the casks.
It's about a harbor image that reminds [us of] the casks that would reach the port and would be rolled away. Especially the cask of wine that would cost between a hundred and a hundred and fifty pesos, plays a part in this song. The cask (pipa) was what the wine went carried into and since this sentence 'De buena madre buen hijo, y de buena pipa buen vino' (From a good mother comes a good son and from a good cask comes a good wine) can be found in the popular proverbs collection, it's easy for us to imagine that the quality of this wine has nothing to do with what we can know and enjoy nowadays.
At the end of the 19th century, it recalls the Genovese and Catalan people who'd set in the Rio de la Plata and who'd generate an important trade market, wine being one of their main goods. Among them was the famous wine 'Carlón' that took its name from Benicarló, the Valencian town in the Castelló de la Plana province where it came from. This wine was very popular for its low price and was on top 'baptized' (i.e. lowered) with water by the local traders.
I hope this will be of some use (it's a part of a file by Luis Spissa).
Thanks and Acknowledgements
Many thanks to Oscar Téliz for contributing and translating this song. Thanks to Tony for his comments.