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The Guantanamera

Guantanamera (“woman from Guantánamo”) is a Cuban song, maybe the most known in the country.

The most known lyric, adapted by Julián Orbon, is based on the first strophes of the Versos Sencillos, of the Cuban poet José Martí. The musical composition is officially attributed to Joseito Fernández Díaz.

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Some specialist indicates that the contagious melody of Joseito Fernández, died in Havana in 1979, has its origin in the “Son Oriental”, specifically the one that they play in Guantánamo region.

According to the musical investigator Natalio Galán, the “Guantanamera” music found its roots in the “pasacallo”, that is a modification of the Spanish “pasacalle” from 1730.

So according to Galán the “Guantanamera” is a modification of the “Son Oriental”, specific from Guantánamo zone, and the technic utilized (with its modifications) comes from Spain.

The other important influence in the song is the “Montuna”, and the fusion of there two styles results in the Guajira Guantánamera.

In 1966, the North American troubadour Peter Seeger knows about the Guantánamera with the version of the Versos Sencillos of José Martí, by a Cuban radicated in the Unites States.

The North American troubadour translate into English the poetry of the Cuban national Heroe, that had put instead of the lyric by Joseito, the famous guitarist Leo Brauwer. Seeger's recording went around the planet, and the Cuban author could no earn, even a cent by his work.

The piece of music is considerated by the critic as a Cuban Symbol, has been recordered by many Cuban Musicians and others from different countries.

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Numerous Cuban shows took to different stages the world have had as center or closing this composition. That way many spectators from different part of the planet have danced keeping time with this melody.