Daily Song Study

Quizas (Perhaps) x 3…

In songs on July 5, 2011 at 2:56 pm

Sometimes a song can travel a very bumpy road throughout its life. Take for example the tune Quizas, Quizas, Quizas by Cuban songwriter Osvaldo Farres, who wrote it in the 1930s, obviously in Spanish. A few years later the lyrics were rewritten (not translated, rewritten) in English by Joe Davis. The song was a hit many times by many different artists in both languages. Then in the 1970s the chorus was stolen for the Abba hit Fernando, again with the lyrics rewritten.

Which brings us to 1996, the first time I heard the tune, this time performed in English by the masterful weirdo-rock band Cake. That version is below, and is only one of the bazillion ways the song, in whatever form, has been interpreted.
Then in 2004, I discovered a little band in Brooklyn called Las Rubias del Norte, who returned the song to its Spanish roots…sort of, as you will see from the arrangement.
As songwriters, obviously we hope that our work survives us. And sometimes the only way it will do so is by getting tossed around on the high seas of creative interpretation, hitting bumps here & there, but finally reaching receptive ears decades down the line in one form or another. It’s one of the most unpredictable, and thus interesting, parts of the craft.

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