Salsa music in Panama

OK I´m already late updating the blog, but I´ve been 5 days in the sea sailing from Panama´to Cartagena (Colombia)… I´ll write later about this great experience, but now it´s time for the first post about the Salsa.

The Salsa in Panama´city.

In Panama´, Salsa music is everywhere.
I mean that it´s enough to step on one of the colorful bus around the city (0.25$ a trip) to most likely find the radio tuned to a Salsa station, busting classics like “la vida es un Carnaval”, “Lloraras” or something from Hector Lavoe.

It seems like everyone around listen to Salsa music, that´s part of the colture in Panama like in many others countries in Latin America, I guess (I´ll verify myself during the rest of my walkabout ;))

To generate interest, it was enough to put on my FANIA t-shirt.
If you don´t know, FANIA Records is a very famous record label from New York that produced a lot of good Salsa music and put together the FANIA-All-Stars group where all the Salsa greatest musicians were playing together in the 70s & 80s.
In the hostel alone, 2 people recognized it “Fania! Salsa buena hermano! :)”

Panama is represented in the Salsa world by the famous Ruben Blades.
He´s really an icon here and everyone I asked about, knows him.

El senor Blades run for the presidential in 1994 for a left-centered party, and later in 2004 became minister of tourism for Panama.

He´s now well famous in all Latin America, as he was part of the mentioned FANIA-All-Star and is now busy with both music and movies.

In the video here he´s singing one his most moving songs, Patria, together with another music icon, the rock singer Robi Draco Rosa.

[youtube=]This song is about the meaning of the word “homeland”, a very important topic for Panamenians that had to fight hard to claim the Canal area back that was occupied by U.S. troups.

Below the lirycs both in Spanish and translated in English 🙂


Hace algun tiempo me preguntaba un chiquillo por
el significado de la palabra patria me soprendio
con su pregunta y con el alma en la garganta le
dije asi

Flor de barrio, hermanito Patria, son tantas
cosas bellas como aquel viejo arbol que nos habla
y renueva como el cariño que guardas
despues de muerta la abuela Patria son tantas
cosas bellas

son las paredes de un barrio de su esperanza
morena es lo que lleva en el alma todo aquel
cuando se aleja son los martires que gritan
bandera, bandera, bandera, bandera

No memorices lecciones de dictaduras o encierros
la patria no la define los que suprimen a un
pueblo la patria es un sentimiento en la mirada de
un viejo son la entera primavera brisa de
hermanita nueva te contesto, hermanito, Patria son
tantas cosas bellas


Some time ago a child asked me
About the meaning of the word homeland
He surprised me with the question
And with my heart in my hand
I said…..

Neighbourood flower, my little brother
Homeland is so many beautiful things!
Like the old tree mentioned in the poem
Like the love you still cherish after grandma died
Homeland is so many beautiful things!

It’s in the walls of our barrio, and it’s brown hope
Is carried in the souls of all who leave
It’s the martyrs’ who cry flag, flag, flag, flag!

Don’t memorize lessons of dictatorship or imprisonment
Because the homeland is not defined
by those who enslave a country

Homeland is a feeling like an old man’s gaze
like the sun in endless springtime
Like the laughter of a newborn sister
I tell you little brother
Homeland is so many beautiful things!


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Di Daniele

Hi, I’m Daniele! A human being from planet earth. I founded and I like dancing Salsa, running, and living a location independent lifestyle.