Video of the week: Cuando dos almas
This blog post will attempt to make justice for this great song and a great singer.
This past Monday, the 24th, was the twelfth anniversary of the death of Lola “La grande” Beltrán. I vaguely remember her death and some of the memorial programs for her on T.V. I never heard her much on La Ranchera 930 and never really listened to her until this year, when I looked for her videos on YouTube and found a lot of great recordings of her, most from her later years. The song of hers that has struck me the most has been “Cuando dos almas”.
From what I’ve been able to glean from simple internet research, “Cuando dos almas” is a folk song from Coahuila. Like any good folk song, there is no known composer. I had never heard this song before I looked for Lola Beltrán videos on YouTube a few months ago. The moment I saw the first video of the song, I knew I liked it. It’s a simple song of one lover singing to the other, imploring for their love to not end after the death of one of them. The singer asks their lover to take to their grave some flowers as a way to remember their love.
This song is great on so many levels: the singer is accompanied by the guitar only, the guitar intro is short yet emotive without being flashy, and la Grande’s voice and performance makes her version of “Cuando dos almas” stand above the others I have heard. I have spent the past few hours learning the guitar parts and I have most of them down. If my dad, uncles, or anyone, really, ever wants me to accompany them when singing this song, I’d do it.
I’m going to put up two videos: the first one has the intro guitar part included in the video. It was recorded at one of her performances in el Palacio de Bellas Artes.
This next version is my favorite. The video begins with her singing, but the main differences of this video is the key change (from G to A) halfway through the song and Lola’s performance. No matter how many times I see this video, I cry. You have to see it.
Si vas al campo donde los muertos reposan ya
Busca mi tumba y allí solita la encontrarás
Llévame flores, muchas gardenias y un rosal
Que sean violetas y no me olvides y nada más