Aurora en Pekin

Aurora en Pekin

  The song ‘Aurora en Pekin ‘ is an enigma. The opening line, translated from the Spanish, goes..”When I heard that Aurora was in Peking, I swore to God that I would follow her.”. However later in the song the singer suggests taking a tram in order to find her. It’s not really possible to take a tram from Havana, Cuba, to eastern China, not now, and not in 1927 when this song was originally written by Alfredo Bolona.

Sexteto Boloña 06

Alfredo Bolona was only one metre tall but in his native Cuba he was a musical giant. His band, the Bolona Sextet, was one of the hottest, most creative combos in Havana in the ’20s. He wrote many popular songs, they are well documented in libraries and on the internet. But on the subject of ‘Aurora en Pekin’ there is almost no information.

Forgotten Fish Memory Orchestra decided to record this wonderful song and to feature it in their live set but faced a difficult problem, it’s almost impossible to find a copy of the original lyric, and eventually had to resort to listening over and over to the 1927 scratchy original with pen and paper and a team of Spanish friends.

So who is Aurora? And what is Pekin? We are bold enough to suggest that Pekin (Peking) was maybe a pleasure district in Havana’s chinatown in the early part of the 20th Century, or perhaps an actual club, speakeasy or ‘house of entertainment’. In order to find his girl, Alfredo had to take the tram downtown.

 

 

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About makmedthemiller

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3 Responses to Aurora en Pekin

  1. OutaSpaceMan says:

    On the strength of FFMO’s performance of Aurora en Pekin I purchased the Sexteto Bolona’s album ‘Echale Candela’. I was not disappointed yet now have the Son clave patten indelibly stamped on my psyche .

  2. eldesquicio says:

    ← King Cannibal and the Headhunter荒城の月 Kōjō no Tsuki The Moon over the Ruined Castle →
    Aurora en Pekin
    Posted on May 1, 2014 by makmedthemiller
    Aurora en Pekin

    The song ‘Aurora en Pekin ‘ is an enigma. The opening line, translated from the Spanish, goes..”When I heard that Aurora was in Peking, I swore to God that I would follow her.”. However later in the song the singer suggests taking a tram in order to find her. It’s not really possible to take a tram from Havana, Cuba, to eastern China, not now, and not in 1927 when this song was originally written by Alfredo Bolona.
    Sexteto Boloña 06

    Alfredo Bolona was only one metre tall but in his native Cuba he was a musical giant. His band, the Bolona Sextet, was one of the hottest, most creative combos in Havana in the ’20s. He wrote many popular songs, they are well documented in libraries and on the internet. But on the subject of ‘Aurora en Pekin’ there is almost no information.
    Forgotten Fish Memory Orchestra decided to record this wonderful song and to feature it in their live set but faced a difficult problem, it’s almost impossible to find a copy of the original lyric, and eventually had to resort to listening over and over to the 1927 scratchy original with pen and paper and a team of Spanish friends.
    So who is Aurora? And what is Pekin? We are bold enough to suggest that Pekin (Peking) was maybe a pleasure district in Havana’s chinatown in the early part of the 20th Century, or perhaps an actual club, speakeasy or ‘house of entertainment’. In order to find his girl, Alfredo had to take the tram downtown.

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    About makmedthemiller
    multidiscipline artist
    View all posts by makmedthemiller →
    This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.
    ← King Cannibal and the Headhunter荒城の月 Kōjō no Tsuki The Moon over the Ruined Castle →
    2 Responses to Aurora en Pekin
    OutaSpaceMan says:
    May 1, 2014 at 7:33 pm
    On the strength of FFMO’s performance of Aurora en Pekin I purchased the Sexteto Bolona’s album ‘Echale Candela’. I was not disappointed yet now have the Son clave patten indelibly stamped on my psyche .
    Reply
    makmedthemiller says:
    May 1, 2014 at 7:50 pm
    Forgotten fish also use the same basic clave. the Sexteto Bolona version is extraordinary by its expressionistic use of congas
    Reply
    Leave a Reply

    Have you been able to transcribe the lyrics of Aurora En Pekin?
    All I could find was this (but some lines are missing or just incorrect):

    Cuando me enteré
    Que Aurora estaba en Pekín
    Juré por Dios cuando te perdí
    Rallarme los ojos
    Borracho el semblante
    Que tomaba el tranvía
    Que compré por ti

    Cuando me enteré
    Que Aurora estaba en Pekín
    Rumbera por Dios cuando te perdí
    Rallarme los ojos
    Borracho el semblante
    Que tomaba el tranvía
    Que compré por ti

    Oigan la dulce voz
    Del Sexteto Boloña
    Buscaba hacer bien
    Melodía y mi voz.

    I’m trying to transcribe it but it’s driving me crazy. I can hear in theres a variation in the first verse when he says “rumbera por dios” instead of “juro por dios”. I think your theory is fantastic and makes a lot of sense.

    Muchas Gracias!

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