Dos cabalgan juntos
Juntos is an uplifting, life-affirming love song. In recent years, the 1982 hit from Madrileña singer Paloma San Basilio has come to be seen as something of a gay anthem, which has helped to keep the song alive and relevant for new, younger audiences.
It is very much a ‘gay’ song in the old sense of the word as well. There’s even something slightly subversive in the tune, as we’ll find out, though it all sounds so pure and naive that you might not even notice. Loosely based on Bye Bye Blackbird, an old jazz standard popularized by Miles Davis among others, the song does sound like something coming from a gentler, more innocent era.
In the lyric, the singer enumerates all the day-to-day little things she shares with her darling one. He is a unique wizard – un mago diferente – who can turn the quotidian into magic. The two love birds are actually living together – viviendo juntos. With no mention of them being married or even engaged, this strikes one as a touch risqué for 1982 Spain, with Franco’s cadaver a recent memory and the old Catholic world still maintaining much of its centuries-old grip on society’s morals.
In 2020, during the Covid-19 pandemic, Paloma San Basilio went back to her old hit to make a new version, with changed lyrics that made indirect references to a much grimmer reality – lockdowns, restrictions, face masks – in a yearning for all of it to be over soon so that we could again be juntos. Thus, the song finally becomes a celebration not just of free love but of togetherness itself.