Performed by Celeste Mendoza & Los Papines, written by Ignacio Piñeiro


Yes, Papines?
Here I am.

Sad, I get sad,
when I don’t hear
the rumba.

forget your worries,
I feel like . . .

Like what, Celeste?

Like having fun!

Don’t let the mood drag
because the rumba
is coming on strong.
Seize the moment
or you’ll regret it later.

I went to a saints’ celebration,
and a powerful saint
saved a girl from death,
protecting her with his cloak.
And amazed
I had to sing to the saint like this:

Papá Ogún, what is this, Papá Ogún?

Papá Ogún, what is this, Papá Ogún?
You free me of all evil.
You cover me with your cloak.
But who is it that’s calling me?
Ogún Arere**, Ogún Arere.

María Belén***.

*Ogún: god of iron in the Orisha belief, a traditional Yoruba religion brought to Cuba and Brazil, also known as santería.
**Ogún Arere: Ogún the blacksmith.
***Maria Belén: common name in Afro-Cuban folklore often associated with rumberas (women rumba performers) and santeras (priestess in Orisha religion).

© 1978 Cubasong Music, BMI for the U.S.
(p) 1966 EGREM