maandag 1 oktober 2012
El Condor Pasa (1917)
In 1913 Daniel Alomía Robles composed "El Condor Pasa", based on the traditional Peruvian folk song from the 18th Century "Soy la paloma que el nido perdió" ("I'm a dove that has lost the nest").
The words of "El Condor Pasa" were written by Julio Baudouin, under the pseudonym Julio de La Paz.
It was first performed on December 19, 1913 in Lima at the Teatro Mazzi. The song was composed as part of a zarzuela (Spanish operetta) of strong social content about Peruvian miners in Cerro de Pasco and their relations with the foreign mining company.
This zarzuela consisted of eight parts: introduction ("introducción"), male chorus ("coro"), sad Incan Andean music ("yaravi"), a duet of soprano and baritone ("dúo"), romance ("romanza"), king dance ("Kashua"), folk march ("pasacalle") and prayer ("plegaria").
The story is set in a mine in Cerro de Pasco, and deals with a tragic conflict between Indians and "Sajones" (Saxons), their European bosses. The exploitative Mr. King, owner of the mine, is killed by Higinio, but is soon replaced by another owner, Mr. Cup, and the fight continues. The Condor of the title symbolises the ideal of freedom.
The words are in Quechua, the language of the Inca Empire, which is still spoken by the indigenous people of Peru. The singer calls on the mighty condor of the Andes to take him back to the old Inca kingdom of Machu Picchu.
This zarzuela was not copyrighted until 1933, as Robles was staying as a cultural attaché in New York. He chose the music publisher Edward B. Marks Music Corp. and it was registered as "El Condor Pas (Inca Dance)" with BMI.
Read "The Originals" about this song
It was not until 1917, when 2 versions were recorded in Lima, Peru, which were released on the Victor-label.
Here's the first one:
(o) Orquesta del Zoológico 1917.
Recorded August 27, 1917 in Lima, Peru.
Released on Victor 69903.
Two days later, on August 29, 1917, Banda del Batallón Gendarmes No. 1 also recorded "El Condor Pasa" in Lima, Peru.
Released on Victor 72089.
In the early 1920's Manuel Fajardo recorded a song, which was called "El Condor Pasa" on the label (even crediting Robles).
But the song is not the same as the song we're talking about on this post.
Fact is that Manuel Fajardo was a friend of Daniel Robles and around the same period they even recorded as a duo (Fajardo Y Lopez) in New York. Andrés R. López being a pseudonym of Robles.
(c) Manuel Fajardo (around 1920)
(c) Banda De La Marina Americana (around 1930)
Released on Columbia 5217-X
Listen here: https://soundcloud.com/dario-mejia/el-c-ndor-pasa-banda-de-la
(c) Ensemble Achalay (1958)
In 1963 Jorge Milchberg adapted this traditional song for his group Los Incas and it became a worldwide hit.
"El Condor Pasa" was contained on the album BELOW, which was released in France on the Philips-label.
In France, Marie Laforêt performed her ""La Flûte Magique" in 1965 and with the same melody and different words as "Sur les chemins des Andes" (aka "Sur le chemin des Andes") in 1966. It is said to be based on Jorge Milchberg's adaptation.
In 1965 Paul Simon performed at the Paris Theatre del L'Est Parisienne. Los Incas were also performing there.
Simon was quite impressed with their performance and they gave him their LP with traditional South-American tunes as pictured above
Los Incas told Simon, perhaps through ignorance, that the song was a 19th century musical composition by an anonymous composer. Simon became interested in the song and composed new lyrics for the melody. The song appeared on Simon and Garfunkel's 1970 album Bridge over Troubled Water. The instrumental track on the S&G version was performed by Los Incas with full authorization of Philips Records.
BELOW a Youtube of the S&G version with some beautiful pictures of the Andean Condor.
In 1970 Alomía Robles' son, Armando Robles Godoy, filed a copyright lawsuit against Simon and demonstrated that song had been composed by his father and that his father had copyrighted the song in the United States in 1933. Robles Godoy said that the lawsuit was almost friendly and that he bears no ill will towards Simon for what he considers a misunderstanding
Here's a version by WAYNA PICCHU, a Latin Folk Band from Peru, they perform the song "El Condor pasa" with the ORIGINAL lyrics in Quechua, the language of the Inca Empire, which is still spoken by the indigenous people of Peru. The singer calls on the mighty condor of the Andes to take him back to the old Inca kingdom of Machu Picchu.
El Condor Pasa (Quechua)
Yau kuntur llaqtay orgopy tiyaq
Maymantam gawamuhuakchianqui, kuntur kuntur
Apayllahuay llaqtanchikman, wasinchikman chay chiri orgupy,
Kutiytam munany kuntur kuntur.
Kuzco llaqtapyn plazachallampyn suyaykamullaway,
Machupicchupy Huaynapicchupy purikunanchiqpaq.
El Condor pasa (English)
Oh mighty Condor owner of the skies, take me home, up into the Andes
Oh mighty Condor.
I want go back to my native place to be with my Inca brothers,
that´s what I miss the most, Oh mighty Condor.
Wait for me in Cusco, in the main plaza,
so we can take a walk in Machupicchu and Huayna-picchu.
After the hit-version of Simon & Garfunkel various versions followed:
In the UK Julie Felix took advantage of Simon and Garfunkel's decision not to release their version as a UK single, and had a UK Top 20 hit with it.[
In 1970 in Italy Gigliola Cinquetti covered it as "Il Condor" (Italian Lyrics Bruno Lauzi)
In 1970 in Germany Jürgen Marcus covered it as "Nur Du" (German lyrics Joachim Relin, Joachim Heider)
Also in 1970 Mary Roos covered it as "Der Condor zieht" (German Lyrics Michael Holm)
In 1971 the Canadian singer Michele Richard had a hit with her cover-version entitled: "L'Oiseau de Feu"
In 1971 Yma Sumac, born in Peru and nicknamed the Incan Princess, also covered "El Condor Pasa" on her album "Miracles".
In a 1980 episode of The Muppet Show, the song was given a parody treatment by The Great Gonzo, earning the mock ire of guest star Paul Simon.
From episode 511 (with Paul Simon) Gonzo messes with El Condor Pasa: El Gonzo Pasa
In 1994 Belgian singer Dana Winner covered "El Condor Pasa" (with new lyrics and title: "Jij En Ik")
In 2002 DJ Shadow sampled "El Condor Pasa" in "You can't go home again".