Tune of the Day: Los peces en el río
“Los peces en el río” (“The Fishes in the River”) is one of the the most popular Spanish carols. The song draws a contrast between the fishes in a river, who are excited about the birth of the baby Jesus, and the Virgin Mary, who goes about doing the chores of daily life.
The Virgin is combing her hair
between the curtains;
her hair is of gold
the comb of fine silver.
But look how the fish in the river drink!
But look how they drink to see the God who is born!
They drink and they drink and they return to drink,
the fish in the river to see God be born.
The writer of the song is unknown, although the tune shows some Arabic influence (remember that most of Spain was dominated by the Arabs for at least seven centuries, until 1492).
The carol was notably covered by the Gipsy Kings in their 1996 album Tierra gitana.
Thanks to Jennifer for suggesting this piece!