Can Someone Help with a Cuban Bedtime Song?

Mily wrote:

Hello,

I was born in Cuba but grew up in the US. When I was little my mother used to sing a song to me at bedtime and I have been trying to find the complete lyrics but haven’t been able to. The part I remember goes:

Al reflejo de la palida luna
En un barco pirata naci
El oleaje mecia me cuna
— (can’t remember this line)
De me padre aprendi

Yo contaba — (only remember the first part of this line)
Cuando apenas oi una voz
Era me padre que en gran agonia
Entregaba su espiritu a Dios.

There may be other stanzas but this is all I remember. It would be great if you could find out what the song is called and what all of the lyrics are.

Thanks,
Mily Oti

Here’s a loose English translation of the song:

In the pale reflection of the moon,
In a pirate ship I was born
The waves rocked my cradle.

I learned from Dad.

I counted —
When I barely heard a voice
There was my father in great agony
Delivering his spirit to God.

If anyone can help with the rest of the lyrics to this song, please let us know about them in the comments below.

Thanks!

Mama Lisa

This article was posted on Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008 at 2:55 pm and is filed under Children's Songs, Countries & Cultures, Cuba, Languages, Lullabies, Mexico, Questions, Readers Questions, Spain, Spanish, Spanish Kids Songs. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

18 Responses to “Can Someone Help with a Cuban Bedtime Song?”

  1. Jorge Says:

    I was born and raised in Cuba. Here’s a lullaby my Mom sang to us:

    Duermase mi nino, duermase mi amor, duermase pedazo de mi corazon. Este nino lindo, que nacio de dia, quiere que lo lleven a la dulceria. Este nino lindo, que nacio de noche, quiere que lo lleven a pasear en coche.

  2. Jorge Says:

    Here’s another one: Estaba la pastora laran laran larito,
    Estaba la pastora cuidando un rebanito.
    El gato la miraba laran laran larito,
    El gato la miraba con ojos de maldito.
    Si me clavas la una laran laran larito,
    Si me clavas la una te cortare el rabito.

  3. Jorge Says:

    See my two lullabies above.

  4. Mily Says:

    Thanks Jorge for these 2 lullabies. I remember Duermase me nino, but the other one was new to me.

  5. Margarita Says:

    Duermase mi nino, duermase mi amor, duermase pedaso de mi corazon. Este nino llora por una mansana, pue se le a caido por una ventana. Mansanita de horo, si yo te allara, yo te diera a Junior (your childs name) pa que no llorara… I am a n American born Mexican so pardon my spelling if it is incorrect!

  6. Lisa Says:

    Thanks guys and gals! Would anyone like to translate any of them por favor? Or, if anyone would like to record any – that would be cool! -Mama Lisa

  7. Monique Says:

    I found this online:

    Pirata

    Soy pirata y navego en los mares
    Donde todos respetan mi voz
    Soy feliz entre tantos pesares
    Y no tengo más leyes que Dios
    Y no tengo más leyes que Dios
    Viva la mar, Viva la mar.

    A la luz de la pálida luna
    En un barco pirata nací
    A bogar fue la voz que en mi cuna
    Escuchando a mi madre aprendí
    Escuchando a mi madre aprendí
    Viva la mar, Viva la mar.

    Cuando niño a rezar, me ponía
    Y mi madre empezaba a cantar
    Era tanta mi dulce alegría
    Que no hallaba más dicha que el mar.
    Viva la mar, Viva la mar.

    De la guerra los crueles horrores
    En silencio me hacía contemplar
    Cuántas veces me dijo no llores
    Los piratas no deben llorar
    Los piratas no deben llorar
    Viva la mar, Viva la mar.

    which translates as (no poetry intended)

    Pirate

    I’m a pirate and I sail over the seas
    Where all respect my word/voice (?)
    I’m happy among so many pains
    And I have no other laws (master) than God
    And I have no other laws (master) than God
    Long live the sea, Long live the sea

    Under the light of the pale moon
    I was born in a pirate ship
    To oars was the word that in my crib
    I learned listening to my mother
    I leaned listening to my mother
    Long live the sea, long live the sea

    When, as a child, I would start praying
    And my mother would start singing,
    My sweet happiness was such
    That I could not find greater joy than the sea.
    Long live the sea, Long live the sea

    The cruel horrors of the war
    In silence she would make me watch
    How many times she told me don’t cry
    The pirates must not cry
    The pirates must not cry
    Long live the sea, Long live the sea

    You can find Jorge’s lullaby with “arrurú” instead of “duérmase” on Mama Lisa’s Cuba page with an English translation.

    Jorge’s song “Estaba una pastora”

    A shepherdess was watching laran laran larito
    A shepherdess was watching her (little) flock
    The cat was watching her laran laran larito
    The cat was watching her with naughty eyes
    If you scratch me/”nail your nail” laran laran larito
    If you scratch me, I’ll cut your tail
    (soon on Mama Lisa’s World)

    Margarita’s lullaby means

    Sleep, my baby, sleep my love, sleep piece/part of my heart (though there’s not such an English expression). This baby’s crying because of an apple for it fell over the window. Little gold apple, if I ever found you, I’d give you to Junior (baby’s name) so s/he wouldn’t cry

  8. Mily Oti Says:

    Monique, this is it! I realize that I remember many of the lyrics even though I was confused about some others. I know that in oral tradition words get changed now and then. On top of that, I was five and still living in Cuba when I last heard this. Thanks so much for finding it. Do you happen to know its origin?
    Mily

  9. Monique Says:

    Mily, not at all. I couldn’t even find an author’s name. Could you please record it (else on your computer or on an mp3 player/usb key and email it to Lisa? and then we’d post it on Mama Lisa’s World with music and all.

  10. Alexandra Says:

    I found a slightly different version for the last verse that says

    De la guerra los crueles horrores
    (The horrors of cruel war)
    en silencio me hacía contemplar
    (I was quietly contemplating)
    cuantas veces me dijo no llores,
    (How many times I did not cry,)
    los piratas no saben llorar,
    (Pirates do not know how to mourn,)
    los piratas no saben llorar,
    (Pirates do not know how to mourn,)
    viva la mar, viva la mar.
    (Long live the sea, Long live the sea)

  11. Prudencio Celaya Says:

    Al reflejo de la pálida luna
    En un barco pirata nací
    El oleaje mecía mi cuna
    Y a luchar de mi padre aprendí

    Muchas veces los rudos afanes
    Del combate me hicieron temblar
    Otras tantas me dijo me padre
    Los piratas no saben llorar

    Sé pirata, me dijo mi padre
    Yo te lego venganza y valor
    De la dicha al libre albedrío
    La aventura que juzgues mayor

    Yo contaba tres lustros y un día
    Cuando apenas se oía una voz
    Era mi padre que en lenta agonía
    Entregaba su espíritu a Dios

  12. Lisa Says:

    Thanks! Here’s a rough English translation I did with Monique’s help:

    In the reflection of the pale moon
    On a pirate ship I was born
    The waves rocked my cradle
    And from my father learned to fight on

    Many times the rough toil
    Of combat made me tremble
    Many others my father left me
    Pirates do not know how to cry

    Be a pirate, my father told me
    I’ll bequeath to you vengeance and courage,
    Everything from happiness to freewill,
    And the adventure you judge most important.

    I was fifteen years old and one day
    When scarcely a voice was heard
    My father was in slow agony
    Delivering his spirit to God.

  13. Byron Says:

    From The Books of Pirates, and the Saga of “[i]El Vengador: El Marqués de Torre Bermeja[/i]”, and “[i]Morgan, The Devil[/i]”:

    Al la Luz de una pálida Luna!
    En un Barco Pirata nací
    Fue la voz de abordaje a mi cuna!
    Que de escuchar de mi padre aprendí…

  14. Mily Oti Says:

    I find it interesting that Prudencio Celaya wrote the version I remember. My mother’s maiden name was Celaya and my grandfather’s name was Prudencio.

    Thanks to Byron for the references.

  15. Pablo Says:

    I learned form my father, of cuban origin, the followinf slightly different version:
    A la luz de la pálida luna
    en un barco pirata nací, nací,
    y la voz de abordaje en la cuna
    de mi pabre el pirata aprendí.

    Cuando aún era un niño
    los tristrs horrores
    de un fiero combate lloré al presenciar;
    ¡Cuántas veces me dijo mi padre
    los piratas no saben llorar!

  16. Mario nicolás Says:

    la estrofa que falta es : “abordar fue la voz que en mi cuna”
    de mi padre pirata aprendí.

    En colombia aprendí esta versiín de mi padre un gran marinero:

    Soy pirata y navego en los mares,
    donde todos respetan mi voz;
    soy feliz entre tantos pesares
    y no tengo más leyes que Dios,
    y no tengo más leyes que Dios,
    viva la mar, viva la mar.

    A la luz de la pálida luna
    en un barco pirata nací;
    a bogar fue la voz que en mi cuna
    escuchando a mi padre aprendí,
    viva la mar, viva la mar.

    De la guerra los crueles horrores
    en silencio me hacía contemplar
    cuantas veces me dijo no llores,
    los piratas no saben llorar,
    los piratas no saben llorar,
    viva la mar, viva la mar.

    Cuando niño a rezar me ponía
    y mi madre empezaba a cantar,
    era tanta mi dulce alegría
    que no hallaba más dicha que el mar
    que no hallaba más dicha que el mar
    viva la mar, viva la mar.

    Yo tenía quince años y un día
    Cuando apenas se oyó una voz
    era mi padre que en lenta agonía
    La entrega de su espíritu a Dios.

  17. René Says:

    Alguien sabe donde encontrar la música de esta canción?

  18. Prudencio Celaya Says:

    Mily, it is logical that this version seems interesting to you. Your grandfather was the father of my grandfather and your mom was my mother’s aunt-godmother. I used the name of Prudencio Celaya as a tribute to the man who taught me this song among so many other things. So that, through time and worlds, his voice continues to transmit all the tenderness of grandfather that he put in that lullaby that rocked my first childhood dreams. I’m not speak English and I used a computer translator. I do not think the result is very happy. I’m sorry and I apologize for that. Also for my imposture, which must have caused a shock and for the time elapsed. My intention was to help the person who was looking for the lyrics of the song and I never returned to the forum. I am deeply sorry. This time I sign with my real name:
    José Armando Celaya

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