Listening to songs while carefully following the written lyrics is an enjoyable way to increase one’s knowledge of a language. Song number four in my book, “Love Songs in Spanish for Enjoyment and Learning” features Nat King Cole singing “Quizas?” There is a story explaining how this happened. I have quoted directly from my book, p. 19.
During a trip to Germany in the early 1950s Nat went to a nightclub and heard a German sing uncannily well in English a few of Nat’s songs. When the German joined the Coles at their table he needed an interpreter to communicate with them. Cole was astounded. This experience led eventually to Cole’s studying Latin-American songs carefully enough that he could deliver them clearly and with great poise on his recordings and on his 1958 trip to Cuba and South America. (The Cubans were so taken with Nat’s delivery that many of them went around town speaking Spanish with Cole’s accent.) Months later, in Brazil, about sixty thousand people turned out for Nat’s concert in a soccer stadium. Many of those who attended could hardly afford it. Nat realized this and was profoundly moved by their generous reception. He later said that this was the most gratifying event in his life.
It is a pity that Americans and Canadians for the most part were unaware of Cole’s triumphant tour south and knew little if anything about the many excellent songs in Spanish which he had recorded. They might have known the versions in English but these are a pale reflection of the Spanish originals.
The song opens as follows and please pardon my lack of Spanish accents.
Siempre que te pregunto que cuando, como y donde
Whenever I ask you when, how and where
Tu siempre me respondes, Quizas? Quizas? Quizas?
You always answer me, Perhaps. Perhaps. Perhaps.
Y asi pasan los dias y yo, desesperando,
And thus the days go by and I, despairing
Y tu, tu contestando, Quizas? Quizas? Quizas?
And you, answering, Perhaps. Perhaps. Perhaps.
Estas perdiendo el tiempo, pensando, pensando.
You are wasting time, thinking, thinking.
Por lo que mas tu quieras, hasta cuando,, hasta cuando?
For heaven’s sake, how long? How long?
Then repeat lines 3 and 4. Search for Nat’s recording on YouTube and listen to it while you follow the words above. Visit my site (www.godwinbooks.com) to find out more about my book “Love Songs in Spanish for Enjoyment and Learning.” (October 2015)