Happy international day of Flamenco! And we say happy because there's no doubt that it's a day to celebrate. All lasbienhechas have Andalusian roots and, even if it could sound like a cliché, flamenco culture is inside us. Of course, there's no need to be born in Andalusia to be able to appreciate this huge art.
Today, we don't want to recognize the importance of flamenco in general, but we also want to pay special attention to some big names that changed EVERYTHING outside and inside the stage. They're our folclóricas, the greatest ones.
Feminist and emancipatory tradition is being linked to flamenco long ago and has given us lyrics as transgressive as La Diputada or Compuesta y sin novio (entre otras):
La Diputada [The Congresswoman], sung by Amalia Molina in 1932:
"The time for feminism has come, and as I’ve always been Sharp, and everywhere I get something, I took the act of congresswoman. In the congress with Luis de Tapia, I’m playing the role of leader. Hurrah to the divorce! Hurrah for my hands that still have not seamed even a sock! And even in the hairdresser, they call me ‘Her ladyship’ and as Victoria Kent, I take the train for free".
[«Llegó la hora del feminismo, y como siempre fui avispada, y en todas partes me llevo algo, me llevé el acta de diputada. En el congreso con Luis de Tapia, estoy actuando de adalid, ¡Viva el divorcio! ¡Vivan mis manos! que aún no han cosido, ¡ni un calcetín! Y hasta en la peluquería, me llaman “Su Señoría” y como Victoria Kent, viajo de balde en el tren»]
Compuesta y sin novio [Full and without a boyfriend], sung by Juanita Reina and more recently by Martirio:
"Why you don’t get married, girl?, they say in the alleys. I’m full and without a boyfriend because I have my own reasons. Husband, mother-in-law, brother-in-law, three kids and one of breeding, the fair, the flu, your mom, my mom. Too much complications, single for ever".
[«¿Por qué no te casas, niña?, dicen por los callejones. Yo estoy compuesta y sin novio porque tengo mis razones. Marío, suegra y cuñao, tres niños y uno de cría, que en la feria, que la gripe, que tu mama, que la mía. Son muchas complicaciones, soltera pa' toa la vida»]
In addition to other songs that remained in hiding, as the real story of the well-known song Ojos verdes, that originally talked about the love of a man toward other man. This lyrics was written in 1931 with the collaboration of Rafael de León, Miguel de Molina and our beloved Federico García Lorca, even if the song that became known was a modified version.
Thanks to the trajectory of these brave people that dared to write and sing about freedom, many of the most contemporary folclóricas wanted to pick up the stack and follow the legacy. Because, in the middle of a dictatorial regime, they were the only women that, despite their humble origins, succeeded in performing the work they loved. They succeeded in having economic independence, knowing other cultures and, in many occasions, avoiding Francoist repression. ¡Con dos ovarios! It wasn't easy at all, because women life in that moment was socially destined to marriage and raising.
They're our Lola Flores, Sara Montiel, Carmen Sevilla, Rocío Durcal, Marifé de Triana… and many other, among which we want to highlight on of them par excellence: the amazing Rocío Jurado, who even was on hunger strike to be allowed to fulfill her dream.
La Jurado was a ray of sunshine for all the women who lived prisoner of censorship and of a rigid society. She became an example of free, independent woman, brave enough to dress like she wanted and with a voice that reached everybody's soul thanks to lyrics like these:
Si amanece [If it's dawn]:
"If it’s dawn and you see that I’m awake because I’m still not full of your love, love me again, love me again with the same intensity that the first time // If it’s dawn and you see that I’ve left: forget me, forget me, forget me because you have not impressed me".
[«Si amanece y ves que estoy despierta porque de tu amor aún no estoy llena ámame otra vez, ámame otra vez con las mismas fuerzas de la primera vez // Si amanece y ves que ya me he ido; olvídame, olvídame, olvídame que será que no me has convencido»]
Lo siento mi amor [I’m sorry my love]: "It’s been a while since I don’t feel anything when I do it with you, that my body doesn’t shake because it wants seeing you on fire, and your face, and your breast and your hands are like frost and your kisses, that yesterday excited me, are nothing for me. Because there is another love that I’m hiding, it’s hidden and shaking in my soul, and I want to shout it. I can’t hide it anymore, I can’t be quiet, I can’t, I prefer to say it and shout it instead of keep pretending".
[«Hace tiempo que no siento nada al hacerlo contigo, que mi cuerpo no tiembla de ganas a verte encendido, y tu cara, y tu pecho y tus manos parecen escarcha y tus besos, que ayer me excitaban, no me dicen nada. Y es que existe otro amor que lo tengo callado, callado escondido y vibrando en mi alma, queriendo gritarlo. Ya no puedo ocultarlo, no puedo callarlo, no puedo, y prefiero decirlo y gritarlo a seguirte fingiendo»]
Paloma brava [Brave pigeon]: "You think that I’m a lucky pigeon eating from your hands the bread you put when you want, that sometimes you want it from year to year // And I’m not as you think I am; I’m a brave pigeon and all the rain is not enough to quench my thirst. // You think I’m happy with almost nothing and you’re completely wrong; you have to treated me as God intended because there is too much woman in this body"
[«Tú piensas que yo soy una paloma dichosa de picar entre tus manos el pan que pones cuando se te antoja, que a veces se te antoja de año en año. // Y yo no soy como crees que yo soy; que soy paloma brava y para saciar mi sed toda la lluvia no basta. // Tú crees que soy feliz con casi nada y estás equivocado por completo; me tienes que atender como Dios manda que aún hay mucha mujer en este cuerpo»]
Rocío Jurado was a brave and fighting woman that answered without shamelessly before the most awkward questions. She stood with divorce, she declared herself feminist and even stood with homosexual people rights at a time in which those words were very important in society. La más grande knew that she would leave a legacy... Let's remember how she said to Lauren Postigo: «I think my nudity has been more artistic and corporal. I think nudity is much more important when it's mental».
Imposible not to remember her reaction to the question of the journalist Julia Otero: «Could you tell me your bra size?», to which she answered: «Me? The only bra I care is the mental one. You should wear it yourself so you wouldn't ask me this kind of questions».
You can see this amazing moment here:
For all this, we couldn't overlook this day to pay tribute to all the women who used flamenco to sing their truth and, at the same time, open the path for all of us to be freer.
We've still a lot to do, but here we re, braver than ever.
Thanks for being. Until we meet again, folclóricas.