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Pop, Singer-songwriter, Spanish (Español/Castellano), Uruguay

“Al Otro Lado del Río” (Jorge Drexler)

Country: URUGUAY
Language: SPANISH (ESPAÑOL)
Genre: POP, SINGER-SONGWRITER

GUITAR CHORDS:
(Better source for guitar chords here)
Verse: G9 / / / / / D/F# Em7 / Cm7 / F13 / Am7 D7b9 G9
Chorus: Cmaj7 / Bm7 / Em7 / A711 A7 Am7 / D79 / Am7 Cm7 F13 / Cm7 / F13 / G9

“Al Otro Lado del Río”

Clavo mi remo en el agua, llevo tu remo en el mío
Creo que he visto una luz al otro lado del río

El día le irá pudiendo poco a poco al frío
Creo que he visto una luz al otro lado del río

Sobre todo creo que no todo está perdido
Tanta lágrima, tanta lágrima y yo, soy un vaso vacío

Oigo una voz que me llama casi un suspiro
Rema, rema, rema

En esta orilla del mundo lo que no es presa es baldío
Creo que he visto una luz al otro lado del río

Yo muy serio voy remando muy adentro sonrío
Creo que he visto una luz al otro lado del río

“On the Other Side of the River” (Original English Translation by ORS, 2012)

I stick my paddle in the water, I carry your paddle in mine
I believe that I’ve seen a light on the other side of the river

The day will, little by little, come conquering the cold
I believe that I’ve seen a light on the other side of the river

Above all I believe that not all is lost
So many tears, so many tears, and I’m an empty glass

I hear a voice that calls me like a sigh
Row, row, row…

On this riverbank of the world, whatever isn’t a dam is wasteland
I believe that I’ve seen a light on the other side of the river

I, very serious, go rowing, deep inside, I smile
I believe that I’ve seen a light on the other side of the river

Vocabulary and Etymology

Clavar – to hammer, stick (related to the noun el clavo, the nail); from the Latin clavus (nail, spike), related to French le clou, Italian il chiodo (both mean “nail”)

El remo – paddle, from the verb remar (to paddle, row); from Latin remus (oar) from Greek ἐρέσσω; related to French ramer (la rame), Portuguese remar (o remo)

El suspiro – sigh, from the verb suspirar (to sigh, yearn for); from Latin suspirium (sigh); related to French soupirer (le soupir), Portuguese suspirar (o suspiro), Italian sospirare (il sospiro)

La orilla – shore of the sea, bank of the river, hem (as in clothing); from the verb orillar (to go around, to hem clothes); from Latin aura (breeze, wind) from Greek αὔρα

La presa – dam (also called la represa), also prey (as in hunting); related to the expression ser presa de (to be seized with, to be a victim of); related to Portuguese a represa

El baldío – waste land, vacant land; related to Portuguese terreno baldio (waste land)

Grammar and Other Notes

1.  Ir + Gerund

This song has two examples of the construction ir (infinitive “to go”) + gerund (~ing).  This construction roughly translates as “to go doing (something” or to proceed, to keep on, etc. 

El día le irá pudiendo poco a poco al frío
Lit. The day (to) it will being able little by little to the fio
(where the phrase puderle a means to be able to over take or conquer something)
The day will go on taking over the cold, little by little

Yo muy serio voy remando
I, very serious, go on paddling

The same type of construction can be used with the verb venir (to come) + gerund, which gives the sense that something has been coming up to this point.

(Yo) vine corriendo
I came running
2.  Tanta lágrima : So many tears?

The word tanto (such, so much, so many) can be used to modify both adjectives (where it adjusts only to the gender of the noun) and verbs.  However, tanto is often used in the singular form, although we often translate it as if it were plural using words like so many or so much.  Here are examples.

Tanta lágrima
Lit. Such tear –> So many tears

Example from “Me llaman calle” (by Manu Chao):

Me llaman calle…calle cansada de tanto amar
They call me street, tired street from so much loving


Discussion

One thought on ““Al Otro Lado del Río” (Jorge Drexler)

  1. It is a beautiful song and thanks for the guitar chords for this song. Upon listening the song, I figured that instead of Em7, the chord is E major. Please correct me if I am wrong.

    Posted by Livia la presa | October 8, 2015, 11:44 am

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