Qué Pasa, Raúl

Hosted ByRaúl Guerrero

A podcast for Spanish learners and music lovers. Your host, visual artist Raul G, uses pop songs to help you learn useful language, grammar and simple phrases. in the process you will also discover great singer-songwriters, famous in the Hispanic world.

Balada triste de Sing Sing

In this episode we learn about Los Nikis, an 80’s band from Madrid, and their song from 1986 Diez años en Sing Sing.

The song title and chorus reference a classic prison drama from 1932, 20000 Years in Sing Sing, starring Spencer Tracy and Bette Davis. It was not unusual for Spanish bands of that period to quote old books and movies in their lyrics or even in their album covers.

In a letter to his sweetheart Margaret, the narrator reminisces nostalgically about his past life as a baseball star with the Detroit Tigers and imagines a blissful future playing banjo at a farm in Colorado, both vignettes set in harsh contrast against his present-day reality as a convict in the infamous New York prison.

This set-up is ideal for a useful examination of the imperfect, future and present tenses. Expect also a brief essay on that Swiss knife of a verb, if there ever was one: llevar.

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