Veinte Años — Español-English

Young Woman, Windblown

Veinte Años is an habanera style song written and premiered in 1935 by María Teresa Vera (1895-1965), with lyrics by Guillermina Aramburu. It is one of the eternal classics of Cuban music, being specifically a work of trova, which is troubadour music written for guitar and voice, and originally performed by duos, trios and small ensembles. Veinte Años has been very widely performed and recorded since 1935, no doubt because the song is so beautiful that it perennially inspires people all over the world.

María Teresa Vera (1895-1965)
http://www.ecured.cu/Mar%C3%ADa_Teresa_Vera

Maria Teresa Vera – Veinte Años
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ja0HBp2hL-Q
[habanera, con letra de Guillermina Aramburu, 1935]

Veinte Años

Qué te importa que te ame
si tú no me quieres ya.
El amor que ya ha pasado
no se debe recordar.

Fui la ilusión de tu vida
un día lejano ya,
hoy represento el pasado,
no me puedo conformar.

Si las cosas que uno quiere
se pudieran alcanzar
tú me quisieras lo mismo
que veinte años atrás.

Con qué tristeza miramos
un amor que se nos va,
es un pedazo del alma
que se arranca sin piedad.

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Twenty Years

What’s it matter that I love you
if you no longer care for me.
The love that passed between us
is a long lost memory.

It was me that you once lived for
in distant yesterdays.
I’m your forgotten past now,
it can be no other way.

If the things that one could wish for
were all possible to know,
you would still love me the same as
you did twenty years ago.

With what sadness we look back on
hopes of love never to be,
it is a piece of my heart that’s
been ripped out so piteously.

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Veinte años (Twenty Years) – María Teresa Vera (Subt. en Español & English)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a603B8G5ppw
[subtitles in both Spanish and English, same recording as one above]

El Trovador Codina – Veinte Años
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZ5p8fDUGMc
[1930s-1940s]

Barbarito Díez – Veinte años
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ufr21-4WuGk
[1940s-1950s]

Los Guaracheros de Oriente – Veinte años
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DJx9F9myTIw
[1960s-1970s]

Irene Atienza e Douglas Lora (Veinte Años) no Programa Casa do Som
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ryLp-Otci-o
[From Brazil, 2016, very sweet guitar playing, very rich dusky singing.]

Veinte Años (Live, CA)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tHx4KluuiGs
[From California, 2015, very delicate and tasteful recreation of 1930’s feeling by a trio]

Veinte Años: Jorge & Marc (gonzj49 & dartfrog99)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bc-3t9BDs2Y
[From USA, 2010, beautiful guitar duet with voice; an internet combo.]

Maykel’s Quartet – Veinte años (Variaciones 24-09-2011)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zcKjYHN7ack
[virtuoso variations on a tres]

Veinte años [todos!]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bUiolZzqGOs
[public singing!]

Buena Vista Social Club – Veinte Años (La Habana)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O6Z-sDhzq-k
[1997, Omara Portuondo and Compay Segundo sing, Eliades Ochoa first guitar]

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One thought on “Veinte Años — Español-English

  1. A literal > word – to – word-meaning < translation:

    Veinte Años
    Twenty Years

    Qué te importa que te ame
    what – to you – it matters – that – to you – I love

    si tú no me quieres ya.
    if – you – don’t – me – you love – already.

    El amor que ya ha pasado
    The – love – that – already – has – passed

    no se debe recordar.
    don’t – it – should – recall.

    Fui la ilusión de tu vida
    I was – the – illusion – of – your – life

    un día lejano ya,
    a – day – long distanced – already,

    hoy represento el pasado,
    today – I represent – the – past,

    no me puedo conformar.
    don’t – me – able to – conform.

    Si las cosas que uno quiere
    if – the – things – that – one – wants

    se pudieran alcanzar
    it/they – could be – reach

    tú me quisieras lo mismo
    you – me – would love – the – same

    que veinte años atrás.
    as – twenty – years – back.

    Con qué tristeza miramos
    with – what – sadness – we look

    un amor que se nos va,
    a – love – that – it – we/to us – go

    es un pedazo del alma
    it is – a – piece – of the – soul

    que se arranca sin piedad.
    that – it – rip out – without – pity.

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