Mia: Shaken Not Stirred

The true life stories of a NYC female.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

It Has A Good Beat and You Can Dance To It

We were on our way off the dance floor for a much needed break when the DJ put the one song on in the entire universe capable of making Puerto Ricans of all ages lose their mother fluffing minds. The opening guitar chords made my heart skip a beat. I knew what was coming and it made me smile with anticipation. I’d seen it happen before. It is definitely a ‘must see’ moment. For my non-Hispanic friend however this was a new experience.

The song being played, 'Preciosa' was written in 1937 by one of Puerto Rico’s most prolific and talented composers, Rafael Hernandez . The song is considered to be one of his masterpieces as well as his love song to Puerto Rico. Since it was first published the song has always held a special place in the heart of Puerto Ricans. My generation was reintroduced to Preciosa by Marc Anthony and it’s his version that has loomed large for years now. Preciosa means beautiful and precious in Spanish.

As the opening lyrics blasted over the lounge’s sound system the crowd froze and let out a joyous shout. Guay yanked me back onto the dance floor no way anyone was sitting this song out. Even the non-Spanish speaking Nuyoricans in the crowd knew the words to the song and they joined the Spanish speakers in song. While the song was still at ballad pace my Caucasian friend leaned towards me and with a look that can only be described as amazement asked, “What is it about that damn song that drives you Ricans crazy?” I fluttered my fingers over my heart in response and began to sing along with the crowd as I danced. The tempo picked up and my friend shook her head and laughed. Our joy was infectious she said as she swayed her hips. “Oh my gawd!” she exclaimed when she saw several people with tears in their eyes as they sang, I had goose bumps.

The crowd began jumping up and down as they voices echoed the composer’s feelings. They danced salsa with bomba and plena moves thrown in (traditional dance) for good measure. The crowd went wild singing even louder as if trying to send our message of undying love back to the island via the night. Our voices formed a unified chorus, I was certain we could be heard beyond the closed doors and onto the moonlit street. Just what the world needed over 200 loud ass Puerto Ricans united in song I thought.

I looked over and my home girl Guay was emotional as hell, tears in her eyes she sang at the top of her voice. She was red faced and thumping her chest as if she were kick starting her heart. female is gonna kill herself. I caught Guay’s eye and smiled. I knew how she felt.I still carry enough Puerto Rican blood in me to feel a thrill in my heart whenever I hear the song. I decided right then and there that in the event Guay succeeded in beating her heart out of her chest I’d gladly stuff it back in with a smile on my face. My Caucasian friend smiled at me not quite understanding the mass wave of love we all felt for this tiny island but totally into our emotional display.

Because it's now that I understand
Because it's now that I understand
that regardless of what happens
I will always be Puerto Rican
I will always be Puerto Rican
Because wherever I walk, oooohhhh
Because I carry it in my blood
Because of my parent's heritage
And with pride I repeat
I love you Puerto Rico
I love you Puerto Rico”

When the song was over my friend leaned towards me again, “wow that was amazing…so Mia tell me what is it about that song that makes you all lose your mind?!” I thought about it for a second. “It has a good beat and you can dance to it.”


Posted by @ 11:45 PM
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