SONG: Lagrimas Negras
ARTIST: Trio Matamoros
Listen to it here:
Lagrimas negras (Black Tears) was written in 1930 by Miguel Matamoros and is categorized as Bolero-son. Miguel and his group Trio Matamoros recorded the song the following year in 1931, when Miguel was on his way home from Santo Domingo and heard a woman crying. He initially recorded it as a tango, but the version was seen as the vanguard of a new genre – bolero-son. The lyrics are typical broken-hearted fare – if you leave me, my true love, I will die.
Trio Matamoros was a cuban trio of composers and singers who performed extensively around latin America and Europe. There is not a ton of information on them, but it is noted several times that they are seen as the pioneering artists of the genre known as ‘son’- a type of Latin-African music to come from the eastern Cuban highlands in the 19th century. Also known as son-Cubano, it is the building blocks of more modern music genres/dancing, including American Rumba and Salsa.
Historical/fun/personal info about the artist. Have we heard/heard of them before? Where did we first hear this song?
This is the kind of song I expect to hear strolling down the street when I finally make it to Havana. The original version is fine, but I found myself very fond of the version recorded by Cuban legend Celia Cruz. It’s a nice song – nor life changing or earth shattering, but a pleasant listen.
This song grew on me bit by bit with every listen. There have been a trillion covers of this song, and like lots of latin music, I felt like maybe I’d heard it before. But I always think it’s cool how latin singers have this great ability to change the feel of the music with subtle changes in tone and vibrato. I also think it’s interesting how timeless this sounds (aside from recording quality). This is not life altering, but it’s nice. It’s a nice song.
Average mark out of 10:
Other notable versions of this song:
Cuban master Celia Cruz’s version:
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Link to 1,001 Songs to Hear Before You Die spotify playlist: