August 4, 2020

'I stay with you': the infinite life of the song with which Rosalía devastated the Goya | Culture



Rosalia in a moment of Saturday's performance. In the video, the different versions of the theme. Juan Naharro (WIREIMAGE).

Next to anthological and emotional speech of the actor Jesús Vidal after winning the best actor award for his role in Champions, if for something it continues giving talk and accumulating thousands of daily visits, the last gala of the Goya awards, is for the unexpected version that would make the media and successful Rosalia accompanied by Cor Jove de l'Orfeó Català and the good offices of the Canarian producer El Guincho, from that legendary original song by Los Chunguitos that is I stay with you. (Also known as If you give me to choose)

It is a song that is reborn in another of its multiple lives, now stripped of the suburban air and rogue of the original to dress with flamenco melismas, mystical solemnity and choral games, well prepared to go novel in search of all these sensitivities that they are declared in the comments and forums absolutely captivated by the proposal of a talented and risky singer who, of course, leaves no one indifferent.

From the marginal life to the world

But it is not the only one, nor will it be the last one, of the many and varied lives that this beautiful song written at the end of the seventies by Crescencio Ramos Prada and Enrique Salazar, edited for the first time in 1980, within the titled album Pa ti and pa your cousin de los Chunguitos, that trio, that together with the Chichos, would invent a genuine form of musical expression taking the rumba to the outskirts of Madrid, and walking it without complexes through the popular town of the shanty towns where, at the same time, the young gypsies were looking for their lives, bewitching and suffering the consequences from a marginal way of life, they also loved each other and fell in love enough to write songs as beautiful and passionate as the one that concerns us, that sneaked between the usual prison laments or drug addictions to get out of the lumpen and bristle the skin and the heart of everyone who lends an ear to him, whether they are payos or gypsies, purists or hangers-on, consumers of vinyls in renowned specialty stores or occasional onlookers in gas station displays or petrol stations.

Much of the spell of that song, in addition to the rare inspiration of the authors, would have to be given to the master Alfredo Doménech who conceived an arrangement that, without departing from the usual flamenco style that enthroned the introductory palms, also featured exquisite and emotional electric guitars that they carried that refrain to the shores of the most captivating and commercial pop of that moment before ending in an unpredictable solo of sax that spilled feeling and sensuality in abundance.

Despite going on the B side of the first single from the album that had as a star theme a forgotten I have freedom, that song would end up turning Los Chunguitos, at this time, into other kings over the slow tanda in the nightclubs, competing with the most disparate ballads of the time (from Kenny Rogers to Triana, from Perales to The Korgis) and leaving to the Chichos, Los Calis, Bordon 4 and other colleagues in the field, with the desire, dead of envy, banished to the festive section of last minute, when it's time to say goodbye with some rumbitas.

It would not be, however, until a year later, when the song was chosen for the soundtrack from the film by Carlos Saura Hurry, quickly, when the subject would go beyond all borders, converting Los Chunguitos into a group to be taken into account in areas as closed to the cause as the very same radioformulas or television itself. Paloma Chamorro would interview them at this time in his famous The Golden Age, as if it were a group of the movement completely misplaced in that fair of vanities and postmodernity. With his usual detractors, Saura's film will surely be the most remembered and successful of all the films within that film genre that someone would baptize as quinqui cinema and that would frequent until the satiety of directors such as De la Loma or Eloy de la Iglesia with an argument that always began and ended with a gang of juvenile delinquents whose lack of expectations threw them into the arms of drugs and easy money. That film would become a great success both as a criticism (Golden Bear of Berlin) and as the public, constituting in the end the best trick for the promotion of a song that was beginning to become a classic, surviving even the dismal intimacies of its legitimate owners in SGAE: Enrique Salazar would die in 1982, with only 24 years old, victim of a hepatitis, being replaced in the group by his cousin Manuel.

Manu Chao and others

Far from the voices of Los Chunguitos and Rosalía, other musicians and throats have come to add prestige to a song that refuses to close the trunk of memories over it, where the large songbook that went out of style is piled up.

That song would end up turning Los Chunguitos into other kings over the slow tanda in the nightclubs

One of them is the one of Spanish franc Manu Chao, one of the musicians more attentive to the future of the Spanish rumba flamenco, declared fan of formations such as Lole and Manuel, Los Chichos or Los Chunguitos, whom he covered at the beginning of his career, years previous to the world-wide ball that supposed its Clandestine, although its only recorded version would not be edited until many years later, in the direct Baionarena registered for posterity in the bullring of Bayonne in the summer of 2008. It would be this one, a version that has its antecedent in which years ago the French combo Ricky y Amigos had made, a formation that started as a French garage and ended captivated by the most rogue sounds of the Catalan gypsy rumba (Peret, El Pescaílla, Los Amaya, Gato Pérez) and other artists belonging to the so-called Caño Roto sound. Close friends of Manu Chao, who on his second album released in 1988 entitled Delusions, would include to conclude the work a hooligan and very fast I stay with you, closer to the rock than to the coordinates of the same rumba.

Many light years away from this French version, peacefully fragile and elegant would be the whispering version given to us by the singer Ana D, dressed and slowed down with a minimalist toy keyboard arrangement. It would appear on his only disc satelite edited by the small label Elefant in 1997. A work with a fascinating cover based on a pencil portrait of the singer, made by the porter Javier Aramburu. A disc that time has ended up becoming one of the most chosen references of the indie of the late nineties, composed of songs by Ana D and her partner of those years, the also poet, singer and musician Javier Corcobado.

Another unforgettable version would be the great Antonio Vega, recorded in 2004, for his album Getaways, a work that brings together some of the timely and food collaborations of Antonio Vega scattered in the works of other artists (Amaral, Elephants, Jarabe de Palo or Ketama or tributes to Serrat, Hombres G or Los Secretos) and with which his label Emi, he tried to counteract with a new delivery the slow creative rhythm of Antonio in one of those times when the tyranny of his addictions kept him away from the muses and the recording studios. I stay with you it is surely the most memorable and justifiable moment of that album, with the most pop version that has been recorded on the subject, although at that time Antonio's voice sounded brittle and painful, quite far from his best moments.

With the film by Carlos Saura Hurry, quickly the theme would go beyond all borders, turning Los Chunguitos into a group to take into account

Finally, another of the most unknown jewels that return to procure us the validity and virtuality of this song is what would make the Catalan singer-songwriter María Rodés, a couple of years ago, a version that begins with the arpeggios of a Spanish guitar in a language close to the author's song and that becomes lighter and melodic in the refrains with a string arrangement that is enveloping the emotional and heartfelt version of a sweet voice singer and extraordinarily warm. The version would be expressly recorded to enrich the soundtrack of a Spanish film, specifically Villaviciosa next door, a friendly comedy in the antipodes of Hurry, quickly, directed by Nacho G. Velilla, where the men of a locality try to charge, without the reprisal of their partners, the tenth prize winner they have acquired in the local nightclub. An argument in the antipodes of the dramatic and realistic "Deprisa, apreisa" that made the original song so popular and that also corroborates the multiple utilities and readings of one of the most inspired and fortunate Spanish songs of all time and that seems destined to be eternal.

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