Piel Canela — Español-English

Piel Canela is a popular song for dancing to, written before 1952 by Félix Manuel Rodríguez Capó (January 1, 1922 – December 18, 1989), a Puerto Rican singer and songwriter who had a long and fruitful career under the name of Bobby Capó. He was a prolific songwriter and very popular crooner with a mellifluous voice and elegant style of singing. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bobby_Cap%C3%B3

Piel Canela was first recorded when Bobby Capó was the singer with the legendary Cuban band Sonora Matancera, in Havana. Rogelio Martínez, the bandleader of Sonora Matancera, had chosen Piel Canela for recording from out of numerous unpublished songs Capó had shown him (in 1952).

The story of Bobby Capó, in Spanish, is given at the following web page.

Bobby Capó, “El Ruiseñor de Borinquen”
(la historia de su vida, en español)
http://sonoramatancera.com/bobby-capo.html

Piel Canela
[Bobby Capó]

—> [instrumental breve]

Que se quede el infinito sin estrellas
O que pierda el ancho mar su inmensidad
Pero el negro de tus ojos que no muera
Y el canela de tu piel se quede igual

Si perdiera el arco iris su belleza
Y las flores su perfume y su color
No seria tan inmensa mi tristeza
Como aquella de quedarme sin tu amor

Me importas tú
Y tú y tú
Y solamente tú
Y tú y tú

Me importas tú
Y tú y tú [coro]

Y nadie mas que tú

Ojos negros piel canela
Que me llegan a desesperar

Me importas tú
Y tú y tú
Y solamente tú
Y tú y tú

Me importas tú
Y tú y tú [coro]

Y nadie mas que tú

—> [instrumental]

Me importas tú
Y tú y tú
Y solamente tú
Y tú y tú

Me importas tú
Y tú y tú [coro]

Y nadie mas que tú

Ojos negros piel canela
Que me llegan a desesperar

Me importas tú
Y tú y tú
Y solamente tú
Y tú y tú

Me importas tú
Y tú y tú [coro]

Y nadie mas que tuuuuuú

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Cinnamon Skin
[a translation of the lyrics sung by Bobby Capó]

—> [brief instrumental]

Let the infinite sky lose all of its star-shine
And the oceans wide lose all their immensity
But that gleam in your black eyes must always cheat time
As that cinnamon in your skin should always be

If the rainbow were to lose all of its beauty
And the flowers all of their perfume and color
Though sad I would find each a minor tragedy
Compared to that of never being your lover

I care for you
for you, for you
So totally for you
for you, for you

I care for you
for you, for you [chorus]

And no one else but you.

Your black eyes and cinnamon skin
Drive the desperation that I’m in.

I care for you
for you, for you
So totally for you
for you, for you

I care for you
for you, for you [chorus]

And no one else but you.

—> [instrumental]

I care for you
for you, for you
So totally for you
for you, for you

I care for you
for you, for you [chorus]

And no one else but you.

Your black eyes and cinnamon skin
Drive the desperation that I’m in.

I care for you
for you, for you
So totally for you
for you, for you

I care for you
for you, for you [chorus]

And no one else but youuuuuu.

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Piel Canela

Bobby Capó
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wA4Tim43g0
[The songwriter singing his song, a recording both of its time and for the ages. Bobby Capó’s singing was so velvety smooth, caressingly warm, and yet so clear, fluid and briskly paced; this is a recording of his sound in the early 1950s.]

Eydie Gormé y Trio Los Panchos
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IVNf_CfdamM
[The wonderful Eydie with Los Panchos in a meltingly happy rendition, both bright and elegant, from 1964.]

Natalia y La Forquetina
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jS85aKyRxhw
[A little girl voice and a band with sci-fi spacey electronic sounds hip-hopping through Piel Canela in 2005. Massively popular. Great songs live through every generation’s stylings because they are pure at heart.]

Bobby Capó canta Piel Canela con la Sonora Matancera
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhNPzLLv4l8
[Bobby Capó at an outdoor concert celebrating the long life of Sonora Matancera, this being 1989 and their 65th year. Bobby Capó remained the smooth elegant crooner to the end.]

La Sonora Matancera (65 aniversario, concierto completo)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ooI8M7Ks_yk
[This video with a playing time of 1:45:15 shows the complete 65th anniversary concert by Sonora Matancera with many singers in New York City’s Central Park in the spring of 1989. Bobby Capó’s entrance to the stage begins at 1:11:27 and his set ends at 1:19:00. Daniel Santos follows and continues till 1:27:14, then Celia Cruz powers through to the finish. Rogelio Martínez had joined the band in 1926 and became its director in the 1930s. For traditionalists, Rogelio Martínez’s death in 2001 marked the end of the band, as few of its musicians from the 1950s remained. Javier Vásquez, who had joined Sonora Matancera in 1957, carried on with a younger group in Las Vegas, Nevada, continuing with the name “Sonora Matancera.”]

Linda Ronstadt
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AKVPKRFMIrw
[Linda Ronstadt does a lovely job with Piel Canela in 1992, with a very polished big band.]

Manny Manuel
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6BUWLcdMBv0
[A stylish reimagining of a dance club of the late 1940s and early 1950s with a performance of Piel Canela, for Puerto Rican TV in 1997. This video is just one segment of an entire program of Bobby Capó music, called “Siempre Piel Canela – La Musica de Bobby Capó.” Totalmente borinqueño.]

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