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Canción de cuna para dormir un negrito (1945)

Part of a series or song cycle:

Cinco Canciones Negras

Canción de cuna para dormir un negrito

Ninghe, ninghe, ninghe,
tan chiquitito,
el negrito
que no quiere dormir.
Cabeza de coco,
grano de café,
con lindas motitas,
con ojos grandotes
como dos ventanas
que miran al mar.
Cierra los ojitos,
negrito asustado;
el mandinga blanco
te puede comer.
¡Ya no eres esclavo!
Y si duermes mucho,
el señor de casa
promete comprar
traje con botones
para ser un ‘groom’.
Ninghe, ninghe, ninghe,
duérmete, negrito,
cabeza de coco,
grano de café.

Lullaby for a little black boy

Lullay, lullay, lullay,
tiny little child,
little black boy,
who won’t go to sleep.
Head like a coconut,
head like a coffee bean,
with pretty freckles
and wide eyes
like two windows
looking out to sea.
Close your tiny eyes,
frightened little boy,
or the white devil
will eat you up.
You’re no longer a slave!
And if you sleep soundly,
the master of the house
promises to buy
a suit with buttons
to make you a ‘groom’.
Lullay, lullay, lullay,
sleep, little black boy,
head like a coconut,
head like a coffee bean.
Translations by Jacqueline Cockburn and Richard Stokes published in the The Spanish Song Companion (Gollancz, 1992)

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Xavier Montsalvatge i Bassols was a Spanish composer and music critic.

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