The Wall / La Muralla (Listening Exercise)

The Wall / La Muralla (Listening Exercise)

It is the name of one of Pink Floyd´s most popular albums. In Spanish, we usually say “Pared” or “Muro” to translate“Wall”, but we also use “Muralla” for certain cases; like The Great Wall of China, which is translated “La Gran Muralla China”. This word (muralla) is mostly related to forts, castles and any wall erected with defensive purposes, like “Rampart”, in English.

As Pink Floyd depicts it, the word itself carries a weight beyond its physical size and material, it’s related to defense in times of violence or danger and, for that, tons artists use it as a way to illustrate both unity and strength.

In 1959, “El Poeta Nacional de Cuba” (Cuba’s National Poet), Nicolás Guillén – one of the most representative writers in Caribbean Culture and Spanish Language –published a poem that, today, still holds one of the most precious messages for the times of difference and intolerance we still live in, a poem that calls the hands of all people with no distinction of race, sexuality, religion or color, to face and reject the only common enemy that we have ever had.

Today, we brought you; from the author’s own voice, “La Muralla”:

Para hacer esta muralla,
tráiganme todas las manos:
Los negros, su manos negras,
los blancos, sus blancas manos.
Ay,
una muralla que vaya
desde la playa hasta el monte,
desde el monte hasta la playa, bien,
allá sobre el horizonte.

¡Tun, tun!
¿Quién es?
Una rosa y un clavel…
¡Abre la muralla!
¡Tun, tun!
¿Quién es?
El sable del coronel…
¡Cierra la muralla!
¡Tun, tun!
¿Quién es?
La paloma y el laurel…
¡Abre la muralla!
¡Tun, tun!

 

¿Quién es?
El alacrán y el ciempiés…
¡Cierra la muralla!

Al corazón del amigo,
abre la muralla;
al veneno y al puñal,
cierra la muralla;
al mirto y la yerbabuena,
abre la muralla;
al diente de la serpiente,
cierra la muralla;
al ruiseñor en la flor,
abre la muralla…

Alcemos una muralla
juntando todas las manos;
los negros, sus manos negras,
los blancos, sus blancas manos.
Una muralla que vaya
desde la playa hasta el monte,
desde el monte hasta la playa, bien,
allá sobre el horizonte…

 

~ English  ~

 

To make this wall
Bring me all the hands:
The black, their black hands,
The white, their white hands.
Oh!
A wall that goes
from the beach to the mountain,
from the mountain to the beach,
so far upon the horizon.

Knock, Knock!
Who’s there?
A rose and a Carnation…
Open the wall!
Knock, Knock!
Who’s there?
The Colonel’s sword…
Close the Wall!

Knock, Knock!
Who’s there?
The dove and the bay leaf…
Open the Wall!

 

Knock, Knock!
Who’s there?
The scorpion and the centipede…
Close the Wall!!

To the heart of the friend,
Open the wall;
To the poison and the dagger,
Close the wall;
To the myrtle and the mint,
Open the wall;
To the fang of the snake,
Close the wall;
To the mockingbird on the flower,
Open the wall!

Let’s raise a wall
Using all the hands;
The black, their black hands,
The white, their white hands.
A wall that goes
from the beach to the mountain,
from the mountain to the beach,
so far upon the horizon…

Luis Cardozo

Luis Cardozo is a successful language instructor for executives and busy professionals, and has more than 25 years experience teaching Spanish. In 2002 he launched SpanishNYC, offering customized instruction and translation services. -- Luis has taught group and individual Spanish classes at companies such as NBC, Univision, Nickelodeon, the Miss Universe Organization, The New York Times, Bloomberg, Sprint, Citicorp, JPMorgan, Deloitte & Touche and Pfizer. -- Luis Cardozo has developed his own method for teaching Spanish; the Natural Conversational Approach (NCA). -- With my method, you hear and understand Spanish from the first moment, whatever your level is. I create a relaxed practicing environment, where learning takes place easily and pleasurably. Instruction is totally focused on your specific background, based on the idea that everyone has unique talents, interests, strengths and challenges. -- My techniques allow us to intuit your needs, keep you motivated and insure that your instruction is effective. -- You will absorb the language consciously and unconsciously, just as you did when you learned your native language. -- You, the student, dictate how I should adapt to your way of learning, day by day. -- My main goal is that you enjoy the whole process and have fun learning Spanish.

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