Thursday, November 5, 2009

Juan Luis Guerra-Ojala Que Llueva Cafe

People often say it's the small things in life that count. That it's about the smiles, the winks. That it's about sitting around a room with your best friends, talking about nothing, but having a helluva time. That it's knowing that no matter how far someone is, that they can still feel like they're right next door. I feel that a lot of times, big city living has people forgetting about the little things, pushed aside in favor of long run benefits. What I love most about going to the country; whether it be rural Alachua County, Florida, or in the middleofnowhere Andhra Pradesh, India, is that people still focus on the small things, those bits of sunshine, instead of the cloudy day.

Juan Luis Guerra has got some serious jams, but none more so than this true jam and a half, Ojala Que Llueva Cafe. I first heard this song in my junior year of high school, when my Spanish professor played this song as part of his weekly song quiz. Each week we were given a new song in Spanish that we had to memorize, and even though my taste in music wasn't very eclectic back then, I knew this was a jam and a half....

Juan sings as a poor Dominican campesino, living in the countryside, working to make a meager but decent living. "Ojala" says Juan over and over again. May it. Ojala. But what this farmer hopes for isn't a fatty benz, or a mansion next to hansen, he wishes for little things like less suffering on the farm, being able to plant sweet potatoes and strawberries, and to plow the fields with his loved one. This farmer has it figured out. Even though he lives a life that many of us would consider impossible, he's living with dignity, he's happy, and the only thing he wants are a couple of things that we consider everyday goods. He's got it good.

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