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Avre Tu Puerta Cerrada >>
We chose this as the first song of this CD because it reflects our desire and hope that you will open your heart and soul to the music that was carried along by the Sephardic Jews to the countries they migrated after their expulsion from Spain in 1492. In this song a young man is pursuing the “love of his life,” Rosa. Serenading her, he asks that she open her locked door and turn on the light on her balcony. He pleads with Rosa to come away with him for he is a deserving and faithful lover who only asks for her beauty that is so pure.

Arvoles Yoran Por Luvias >>

This is a Ladino love song of longing and nostalgia. Trees cry for rain and mountains for winds, and so my eyes cry for you, my beloved. I keep thinking, about what will become of me. In foreign lands, I shall die. It is said that when the Sephardic Jews were deported to the concentration camps in distant lands, they adopted this song as they were being led to the trains.  We hope that the opening chords of our arrangement, reminiscent of a train slowing down to a full halt – convey this message.  This song as sung by the Choir, expresses the mood of utter despair felt by the people on these trains as they have, in their heavy hearts, grave doubts of ever returning to their homes and the lives that they were leaving behind.

Ir Me Quero Madre>>

Jerusalem has been in the hearts of Jews the world over since they were exiled by the Romans after the destruction of the Holy Temple. In this song, the longing for Jerusalem is expressed by the supplicant to her mother.

Quando El Rey Nimrod >>

A favorite song among the Sephardim – is about the birth of Abraham. Upon becoming pregnant,  his mother was well aware of the “treasure” she was carrying. The King, Nimrod, had also seen the Holy Light in the skies above the “Juderia” (The Jewish quarter) that signaled the birth of Abraham, our father, the light of Israel.

Adio Querida >>

A Ladino love song of passion and embittered love. It is a farewell to an unfaithful lover who does not possess a heart that can love another. Giuseppe Verdi, whose patron was a Sephardic Jew, heard the song sung by this family and fell in love with the melody. He adapted it into his Opera La Traviata, also as a farewell song.

Morenica >>

A song of love and flirtation – They call me the “dark one”, but I was born fair. I became this way from the summer sun. The pretty maiden dreams of being called away by the sailors, or maybe even the son of the King, should they become charmed with her beauty and dark eyes.

A La Una Yo Naci >>

Is a song depicting the quick passage of time, from the birth of a child up to when she finds a lover and marries. The young woman’s suitor would like to get to know her and protect her, but he is on his way to war. All he can do as he departs is to throw two kisses into the wind, one for his mother and one for his beloved.

La Serena >>

The Mermaid – A love song about a girl who lives in a tower in the middle of the sea and who loves sailors. In turn, one of the sailors desires to climb up to her nest and be her lover.

Scalerica De Oro >>

Is a wedding song about a bride who will ascend to the TEVA (Pulpit) up a little stairway of gold and ivory to take her marriage vows. The wedding guests have all come to see her and wish her joy, happiness, and prosperity. The bride may have no money and no dowry, but everyone hopes that the couple may have good luck.

Los Bilbilicos >>

This love song from the Romanceros repertoire is very popular among the Sephardim.  The nightingales sing with sighs of love in an enchanted garden where the roses bloom in the month of May, echoing the sufferings of a lover under the spell of his beloved.

Yo M'enamori D'un Aire >>

A man tells of his falling in love with a charming woman who is like the wind, a very lovely woman, the beauty of his heart. However, he becomes enamored with her at night and is deceived by the moonlight. If he falls in love again, it would be by day when the sun shines.

Durme, Durme Mi Anjeliko >>

A mother sings a lullaby to her son, her little angel, who knows no pain, and she hopes that he will never know the world’s pain which she herself so deeply feels.

La Vida Do Per El Raki >>

A favorite song, particularly among those that love to drink the Raki.  They like to drink until they lose their senses, but it helps them go through life with laughter and tears as the alcohol gives one the feeling of being grandiose and superior, or better yet, of being a millionaire.

Mama Yo No Tengo Visto >>

This is another song of unrequited love where the lover is likened to a beautiful blue-eyed bird with cinnamon-colored hair and skin as fair as jasmine. However, this bird after trying to win the heart of the lover, has forsaken her/him for another. The broken-hearted lover hearing the news is bitter and full of tears saying, “You should have at least sent me some candies.”

O Dio Mio >>

This song was adapted into Ladino by Jak Salan from the well-known Israeli song “Al Kol Ele” by Naomi Shemer. It is a personal prayer asking God to guard all that is precious to us and to protect all our People from fear, war, and sorrow, and most of all to let us see that our People are united in the Land of Israel.

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