EDWARD LEIN: Un Dulcito ("A Little Sweet")
Latin American Dances for Violin & Cello
3: La llorona: Waltz in the form of a Chaconne, based on the folksong combined with the Dies Irae chant
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No.3: La llorona (Waltz, in the form of a Chaconne)
Max & Alexei
Copyright 2009-2018, E. Lein
LA LLORONA, THE WEEPING WOMAN
The legend of the Weeping Woman (more of a ghost story really) varies throughout Latin America, and there are even some American versions of the tale (including one set in Kansas City). Essentially, a beautiful woman sets her sights on a wealthy man, but he rejects her because he doesn't want to be saddled with her several children. She decides she really, really wants the man, so she drowns her children--in some versions the man rejects her again, horrified by her monstrous behavior; and in others she is overcome by remorse and grief at what she has done. In all versions, she ends up drowning herself, and her spirit is doomed to wander the waterways in search of her children, tearfully wailing throughout eternity. (The story usually ends as a cautionary tale for other children--behave and don't venture near the water or La Llorona ["la yah-ROHN-nah"] may mistake you for one of her own children and pull you beneath the waves!)
There are a number of different versions of lyrics for the tune, which mostly don't describe the legend, but seem more to commiserate with La llorona's sorrow. Here are 5 verses, in English translations by me (©2009, 2015, E. Lein).
The Weeping Woman They all call me the somber one, Llorona, somber, yet tender-hearted still. *Though I burn, like jalapeños, Llorona, (*literally: "I am like the green chile, Llorona, there's sweetness when you take your fill. Burning hot yet delectable.") They think I don't feel the pain, Llorona, because they can't see me cry. But even the dead are tearless, Llorona, and their sorrow is greater than mine. O pity me, Llorona, Llorona, and down to the river let's go. Hold me closely inside your shawl, Llorona, for I think I shall die in the cold. If the heavens above were mine, Llorona, for you I’d pull all the stars down. I’d place the moon there at your feet, Llorona, and take the sun’s rays for your crown. To a Savior who bore the world's pain, Llorona, I confided my horrible grief. But my sorrowful suffering was such, Llorona, that it made even Jesus weep.