Estrellitas y Duendes (1990) – Juan Luis Guerra

This latina song I could hear over and over and never grow tired listening to. Juan Luis Guerra has featured here many times, but if I had to pick just one song of his which I could have on repeat then Estrellitas y Duendes (Little Stars and Goblins) would be my choice. It is from his famous 1990 record Bachata Rosa which music has featured prominently here.

What is excellent about this song and different than just about any other is the rejection of the typical song structure. Luis just raises the verses from one to the other in intensity and makes the listener expectant of a chorus at some point, but it doesn’t arrive. I have always been a fan of songs which place more emphasis on verses, like Leonard Cohen’s meditative Alexandra Leaving. The chorus’ and bridges especially can take you out of the meaning of the song.
A loose English translation follows:

I will live in your memory
Like a simple downpour
Of stars and goblins
I will wander through your belly
Biting every illusion

You will live in my dreams
Like indelible ink
Like a stain of steel
The language is not forgotten
When two make love

This song gives rise to a thousand interpretations, each more diffuse. I’m still attached to its charm. Life reveals the phrases. Verses in consonant, and a dream band creating the saddest and most beautiful love song.

“The more I live, the more I learn. The more I learn, the more I realize, the less I know.”- Michel Legrand

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4 comments on “Estrellitas y Duendes (1990) – Juan Luis Guerra

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