HomeQ&A"Volver" - The Song - The Lyrics

"Volver" - The Song - The Lyrics

5
votes

Almodovar's movie "Volver" features a song (of the same name) that is really beautiful. The lyrics are beautiful, the singer (Estrella Morente) is beautiful and sings beautifully and Penelope Cruz is beautiful and lip-syncs beautifully (even though I know better, when I watch a video clip, I still can't tell that she's not really singing it). There are several versions on YouTube. One ("Volver song by Raimunda") is taken directly from the movie (with the movie's soundtrack) but is only the second half of the song. Another ("Volver - Estrella Morente - y Letras") contains the full song and captions/subtitles for the lyrics (with one small error). A web search can turn up several other versions of the lyrics but some of them have lots of mistakes.

For me this song is somewhat unusual. I'm a big fan of Flamenco (especially the songs) but, for the most part, they they seem to consist of a few short verses and a chorus (with everything repeated). In this case (although there is a chorus that is repeated), the body of the song resides in verses that are not repeated. The tempo and style of singing result in what would normally be called Bulerías (however, because she is from Granada, one could also say Granaínas).

A note about pronunciation: Morente sings with a "medium" Andalusian accent (according to some information posted to YouTube, she is from Granada) so there are a lot final "s" that you won't hear.

Movie Clip Full version with sub-titles

Yo adivino el parpadeo
De las luces que a lo lejos
Van marcando mi retorno.

Son las mismas que alumbraron
Con sus pálidos reflejos
Hondas horas de dolor.

Y aunque no quise el regreso
Siempre se vuelve
Al primer amor.

La vieja calle
Donde el eco dijo:
"Tuya es su vida."
"Tuyo es su querer."

Bajo el burlón mirar de las estrellas
Que con indiferencia
Hoy me ven volver.

Volver...
Con la frente marchita,
Las nieves del tiempo
Platearon mi sien.

Sentir...
Que es un soplo la vida,
Que veinte años no es nada,
Que febril la mirada
Errante en las sombras
Te busca y te nombra.

Vivir...
Con el alma aferrada
A un dulce recuerdo
Que lloro otra vez.

Tengo miedo del encuentro
Con el pasado que vuelve
A enfrentarse con mi vida.

Tengo miedo de las noches
que, pobladas de recuerdos,
Encadenan mi soñar.

Pero el viajero que huye,
Tarde o temprano
Detiene su azar.

Y aunque el olvido,
Que todo lo destruye,
Haya matado
A mi vieja ilusión,

Guardo escondida
Una esperanza humilde,
que es toda la fortuna
De mi corazón.

Volver...
Con la frente marchita,
Las nieves del tiempo
Platearon mi sien.

Sentir...
Que es un soplo la vida,
Que veinte años no es nada,
Que febril la mirada,
Errante en las sombras,
Te busca y te nombra.

Vivir...
Con el alma aferrada
A un dulce recuerdo,
Que lloro otra vez.

83896 views
updated MAY 6, 2010
edited by samdie
posted by samdie
"Volver" is not just a song. It's a famous "tango". - 00e657d4, NOV 19, 2009
Thank you for sharing this Samdie - Izanoni1, NOV 19, 2009

7 Answers

2
votes

When I was in high school (impelled by my hormones) I attempted to write some poems. I quickly realized that I have no talent as a poet. I can enjoy reading poems but when it comes to writing, I am a disaster. I would not presume to attempt a "poetic" translation of the lyrics of this song (if anything, I tend to believe that they can only be appreciated in Spanish). Nonetheless, I will attempt a non-poetic (fairly literal/straightforward) translation in the hope that it will convey the meaning.

I notice the blinking Of the of the distant lights That measure my return.

They are the same ones that lighted With their pale reflections Hours of profound sadness.

And, although, I didn't want to return One always goes back to ones first love.

The ancient street where the echo said "His life is yours". "His love is yours."

Under the mocking gaze of the stars Which look on me with indifference Today they see me returning.

To return, With a withered brow, The snows of time Silvered my temples.

To feel ... That it's a life's puff of breath. That twenty years are nothing. That the the feverish look Wandering in the shadows, Seeks you and names you (points you out).

To live ... With the soul bound To a sweet memory Which I lament again.

I'm afraid of the meeting With the past that has returned to confront my life.

I fear the nights Which, peopled by memories Enchain my sleep.

But the traveler who flees Sooner or later Ceases his wandering.

And although the forgetfulness That destroys everything Has killed My old illusions.

I keep hidden A simple hope That is the the only treasure In my heart.

To return, With a withered brow, The snows of time Silvered my temples.

To feel ... That it's a life's puff of breath. That twenty years are nothing. That the the feverish look Wandering in the shadows, Seeks you and names you (points you out).

To live ... With the soul bound To a sweet memory Which I lament again.

updated MAY 6, 2010
posted by samdie
1
vote

Carlos Gardel—the father and soul of tango.

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alt text

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He was an international celebrity known from the Gaucho fields in Argentina to the big city lights of Paris and New York – pretty impressive considering it was the 1920’s. Gardel was a successful writer, composer, producer, and actor.

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Gardel is responsible for writing and composing some of the most lasting pieces of music in Latino history. When one thinks of tango, Volver is immediately thought of with the famous line “Veinte años no es nada” (twenty years is nothing). Few have written and sang with the same passion that Gardel had to his “tierra” with Mis Buenos Aires Querido.

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Lyrics of Volver in English and in Spanish: here

Carlos Gardel singing Volver (1935): here

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(Cover versions/sequels/second parts are almost never better!!!) wink

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updated JUL 26, 2012
posted by Benz
0
votes

Thanks for sharing, Samdie smile I loved the film and I really liked the song, too.

updated MAR 5, 2010
posted by Issabela
0
votes

Hola samdie smile

La grabación de YouTube es primitiva porque es del año 1936, en que se estrenó la película "El día que me quieras" (filmada en Long Island, NY). En dicha película Carlos Gardel interpreta: "Sol tropical", "Sus ojos se cerraron", "Guitarra, guitarra mía", "Volver", "Suerte negra", y "El día que me quieras", con final a dúo con Rosita Moreno.... Por eso la calidad es tan mala, es la versión original, y muy vieja smile

.

"Volver" tiene muchas versiones, samdie...

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Andrés Calamaro, un cantante de rock Argentino también le dio su estilo y cantó "Volver". El hecho, y lo que yo intenté aclarar, es que "Volver" es originariamente un tango... y el tango, como leí en algún lugar, lleva consigo un patrimonio cultural como expresión artística del alma del pueblo argentino. Sin duda, más que música, más que un baile, más que una tradición, el tango es un sentimiento... Y Carlos Gardel cantando "Volver", "El día que me quieras" y "Mi Buenos Aires querido" es un ícono de dicha cultura...

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Me pareció que valía la pena aclararlo... simplemente eso

updated MAR 5, 2010
posted by Benz
0
votes

¡Hola: Mercedes!

Te agradezco los enlaces y la información (y me fijé en tu explicación reciente de la frase "Andá a cantarle a Gardel!"). Como mencioné al principio del hilo, conocí la canción por primera vez porque salió en la peli de Almodovar. Cuando busqué más información en la red seguramente habrá leido el nombre de Carlos Gardel como autor de la canción. Si me hubiera dado cuenta de lo famoso que era, habría mencionado su nombre con los demás datos.

En cuanto a los enlaces -- Desafortunadamente la cualidad de la grabación de Gardel es pésima.(muy primitiva). Supongo que la letra es autoritiva pero por alguna u otra razón, hay algunas pequeñas diferencias en la letra que canta Morente. Las diferencias no causarían problemas para un hispanohablente pero, dado que éste es un sitio para aprender, me sentí obligado a poner la letra tal como ella la canta.

Lo de cuál versión es mejor me parece simplemente cuestión de gustos. Los dos cantan muy bien pero con estilos muy distintos. Me chifla el estilo flamenco-gitano y no me gusta mucho el estilo romántico de la época de Gardel (por bien hecho que sea).

updated MAR 5, 2010
posted by samdie
0
votes

Thank you for sharing this, Samdie!

updated NOV 19, 2009
posted by --Mariana--
0
votes
This is the meaning!!!
I guess the flashing Lights in the distance Van marking my return.

Are the same as lit With their pale reflections Hondas hours of pain.

And although I did not return It always comes back At first love.

The old street Where the echo said: 'Tuya's his life. " 'Yours is his will. "

Under the scornful look of the stars With indifference Today I come back.

Back ... With the face fades, The snows of time Plated my temple.

Feeling ... That is a breath of life, That twenty years is nothing, That feverish gaze Wandering in the shadows We are looking for and you name it.

Living ... Her soul clung A sweet memory I cry again.

I'm afraid of meeting Returning to the past To cope with my life.

I'm afraid of the nights which populated by memories, Strung my dream.

But the traveler who flees Sooner or later Stop your chance.

And though oblivion Which destroys everything, Have killed In my old illusion,

I keep hidden A humble hope, that is all the fortune From my heart.

Back ... With the face fades, The snows of time Plated my temple.

Feeling ... That is a breath of life, That twenty years is nothing, That feverish gaze, Wandering in the shadows, We are looking for and you name it.

Living ... Her soul clung A sweet remembrance I cry again.

updated NOV 19, 2009
edited by spanishlover1234
posted by spanishlover1234
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