Moliendo Café (Martin Zarzar)

Pink Martini’s percussionist Martin Zarzar sings Moliendo Café, a song by popular Venezuelan composer Hugo Blanco (September 25, 1940 – June 14, 2015). From his solo album named “Two Dollars to Ride the Train” which released in 2012.

Blanco wrote this song in 1958, when he was 18 years old. The song was first recorded by Mario Suárez (born January 29, 1926 in Maracaibo, Zulia), the Venezuelan folk singer. Here the Suárez version below:

Many consider Cuban coloratura soprano Xiomara Alfaro’s (born May 11, 1930 in Havana) version to be the definitive Spanish-language version.

And here is the Hugo Blanco version below:

Hugo Blanco

Hugo Blanco
Hugo Blanco (September 25, 1940 – June 14, 2015)

Blanco was born in Caracas, Venezuela. He purchased his first musical instrument known as a cuatro at the age of 15 and learned to play it listening to the radio. Blanco created a new Venezuelan music style ‒ a fusion of Cuban music and joropo ‒ called “the orquídea” in honor of the Venezuelan national flower.

In the 1960s, Blanco composed many popular gaitas with Simón Díaz called Gaitas de las Locas. He also founded what is widely considered to be the first Venezuelan ska group, Las Cuatro Monedas.

In the 1970s, he founded the Venezuelan group, Los Hijos De Ña Carmen.

His song La Vecina was featured in an episode of the popular TV series Miami Vice.

“Moliendo Café” became a popular chant by football fans around the world. The chant is widely known as Dale Cavese and has the same tune as the song.

Moliendo Café lyrics

Moliendo café

Cuando la tarde languidece renacen las sombras
En las que tú los cafetales vuelves a sentir
Escucharas esta canción de la vieja molienda
Que en el letargo de la noche parece decir

Cuando la tarde languidece renacen las sombras
En las que tú los cafetales vuelves a sentir
Escucharas esta canción de la vieja molienda
Que en el letargo de la noche parece decir

Una pena de amor una tristeza
Lleva el santo Manuel en su amargura
Pasa la noche cansado moliendo café

Cuando la tarde languidece renacen las sombras
En las que tú los cafetales vuelves a sentir
Escucharas esta canción de la vieja molienda
Que en el letargo de la noche parece decir

Grinding coffee

When the afternoon languishes, the shadows rebirth
In the stillness the coffee fields return the feeling
The old song, from the old mill is heard
That in the sluggishness of the night seems to moan

When the afternoon languishes, the shadows rebirth
In the stillness the coffee fields return the feeling
The old song, from the old mill is heard
That in the sluggishness of the night seems to moan

A love sorrow, a sadness
Carries “Sambo” Manuel in his bitterness
Spends the rest of the night grinding coffee

When the afternoon languishes, the shadows rebirth
In the stillness the coffee fields return the feeling
The old song, from the old mill is heard
That in the sluggishness of the night seems to moan

Sources