I want to understand these Spanish lyrics
July 25, 2012 2:07 AM   Subscribe

Can someone who speaks Spanish tell me what this song means?

The song is called "Ciudadano A" by Iván Ferreiro.

Here is the video

I absolutely love this song, and I am really curious as to the meaning of it, but I do not have any Spanish-speaking friends.

This wiki says the song is about former Prime Minister of Spain, José María Aznar.

I am looking for help to translate these lyrics, but more important to me is the meaning behind the song. For instance, why is José María Aznar referred to as "Citizen A"?

I have tried using a Spanish-to-English translation website for this, but the resulting lyrics don't make much sense.

Here are the Spanish lyrics:

"No suelo pensar
que los demás teman por mí
a lo mejor supones
que soy un animal
no más silvestre que esta piedra
que mi enojo el día que yo vi
lo miserable que podías ser lo miserable
no suelo pensar
que los demás me entienden ni un momento
y una vez que empiezo a hablar
mis vomitonas me convierten en un descarado
sí tienes razón
es complicado mantener el tipo en cualquier situación
ya ves
yo sobrevivo a base de basura y desencuentro
no podrás decir
que no te dije lo que había un día en su momento
mirarte bien
que estás inflado de mediocridad
no suelo decir
lo repugnante que resulta veros en la tele
haciendo bailar
los numeritos en las tablas
vuestras putas casas son de verdad
y a mí me da que todo es de mentira
vi como una vez
cambiabas todo en el telediario
vi a todos llorar
es imposible contenerme ahora no consigo
vi a tu mujer
cómo besaba a todos en Madrid en las calles
y a ti en Berlín
vendiendo Europa a los americanos
Todo lo que nunca tendré..."

And here are the results from the translation website:

"I usually do not think
of that the others are afraid for me
perhaps you suppose
that I am an animal
more wild than this stone
that my annoyance the day that I saw
how miserable the wretch could be
I usually do not think
that the others understand not even a moment to me
and once I begin speaking
my vomitonas turn me into a shameless person
yes you are right
it is complicated to maintain the type in any situation
you see already
I survive by means of garbage and misunderstanding
you will not be able to say
that I did not say to you what there was one day in its moment
to look at you well
that you are inflated of mediocrity
I usually do not say
the disgusting thing that proves to see you in the TV
making to dance
the numeritos in the stage
your prostitutes you marry sound really
and to I give that everything is of lie
I saw as once
you were changing everything into the news
I saw to weep for all
it is impossible to control myself now I do not manage
I saw your wife
how was it kissing all in Madrid in the streets
and to you in Berlin
selling Europe to the Americans
Everything what I will never have..."

Muchas gracias in advance!
posted by Eradicator! to Media & Arts (4 answers total)
Best answer: Okay, the following is worth what you paid for it, I am not responsible for any errors, contents may have settled during transit:

"I'm not used to thinking
That others fear for me
at best you assume
that I'm an animal
no wilder than this stone
I was angry the day that I saw
how sordid you could be how sordid
I'm not used to thinking
that others listen to me even for a moment
and once I start to speak
my vomitings turn me into someone brazen
yes, you're right
it's complicated to [maintain the rate?] in any situation
as you can see
I survive based on trash and disagreement
you won't be able to say
that I didn't tell you [that there was a day at the time?]
take a good look at yourself
you're puffed up with mediocrity
I'm not used to saying
how repulsive it turns out to be to see you [plural] on TV
[I think this is a pun? dancing on tables | making the stats in the tables dance]
your houses are really [whorish?]
and to me it seems that everything is lies
I saw how once upon a time
you changed everything on the newscast
I saw everybody cry
it's now impossible to restrain myself
I saw your mother
how she was kissing everyone on the streets of Madrid
and you in Berlin
selling Europe to the Americans
Everything that I will never have..."
posted by tel3path at 5:53 AM on July 25, 2012

Best answer: ...and it seems to refer to the colossal economic screwups of Aznar's second term. I would guess that the line about "maintaining the rate" refers to the high rate of inflation that caused hardship to ordinary Spaniards, as well as the high unemployment rate, and concerns about the effects of a hike in interest rates. The remark about surviving on trash is probably about unemployment.
posted by tel3path at 6:03 AM on July 25, 2012

Best answer: tel3path's translation is good. A couple nits:
  • In the fifth-to-last line, "mother" should read "wife" (as in the machine translation)
  • The line about houses I would translate as (literally) "your fucking houses are real" or (more loosely) "you have actual fucking houses." I believe this is referring to living in an American-style detached house with yard as opposed to a flat in a multi-story apartment building. A detached house, for urban Spaniards, is the height of unattainable opulence (and would have been more so during the real estate bubble.)

posted by dendrochronologizer at 6:39 AM on July 25, 2012

Response by poster: This is great!

Thank you both so much!
posted by Eradicator! at 9:11 PM on July 25, 2012

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