Saturday, October 06, 2007

Cuban band battles censorship

Cuban band battles censorship
Posted: Friday, October 05, 2007 12:59 PM
Categories: Havana, Cuba
By Mary Murray, NBC News Producer

A top Cuban rock band – "Moneda Dura" – is in trouble with government censors. Someone decided their newest song is too controversial. Presumably it’s been perceived as too unfavorable to the Cuban government – so it’s been banned on all state-run airwaves.

But, the songwriter feels his work is misunderstood. "We did something important, that mattered to the people who listen," said Nassiry Lugo, the band leader.

VIDEO: Cuba censors hit song

The song is entitled "Mala Leche" – Cuban slang for "evil intentions." It’s the title track on their latest CD, released this summer on the island’s Egrem label.

Despite the official ban – or maybe helped by it – Mala Leche is gaining fame.

Local fans are downloading the contraband from YouTube – and then, sending it straight to the Cuban underground.

Proof that in today’s high-tech world, censorship is no match for a good song.

VIDEO: "Mala Leche" music video

And here is a translation of the "Mala Leche" lyrics:

Evil Intentions

It’s 4 o’clock, the bus is still not here

People around me won’t stop talking

and they drive you nuts

Sweat rolls down my ears

I’m talking about just another typical day

It’s 6.45, I get on the crowded bus

Nauseated by the bad smell of the guy beside me

People pushing all the time

People with evil intentions

Others who hammer my ears

We’re a mixture of grease and iron

We’re like cows hurrying to the slaughter-house

We’re like ants going into a hole

We’re a ball of fire

I find people who live to make things worse for me

People who don’t talk, only bark

People who spit words

If I don’t hurt you, don’t pick on me

If I don’t hurt you, why your evil intentions?

Ah! Tell me what I did to you to make you target me

Relax and cooperate,

Can't operate on the fat in your brain

Don’t take it so hard, your shouting unnerves me

Ah! But tell me, tell me

Why your evil intentions?

7 o’clock in the morning, I slowly eat breakfast

As if I lived in a palace

(Instead of) this tenement and its noise

The lights are still not on

Without a doubt, today will be fun

I spend 15 minutes spying on my neighbour

I get turned on and she doesn’t even look at me

The electricity bill is killing me

But what can I do, if living is also killing me

Now my brain is in a coma

Now my life is a car without tires

Now I was so happy with my vices

All is well when I'm immoveable

I don’t bring solutions, I don’t give surprises

Why am I to be blamed because of your headaches

If we're doing the same, don’t obsess on me

Give your brain a chance to relax

We come from a unique lineage

If we're the heat that burns deeply,

Why don’t we treat each other as brothers

My heart beats when they call me Cuban


Las 4 de la tarde, la guagua que no llega

La gente que no para de hablar y que se desespera

Gotas de sudor que caen por mis ojeras

Te cuento de otro día normal

Las 6:45 me subo apretado

Revuelto por el mal olor que trae el tipo de al lado

La gente que te empuja todo el tiempo

Gente sin pena, otros que taladran fuerte en las orejas.

Somos una masa de grasa y acero

Somos como vacas que se apuran hasta el matadero

Somos las hormigas que van al agujero

Somos una braza de fuego

Y todavía me encuentro con gente que vive

Para ponérmela más mala

Gente que no habla, solo que te ladra

Gente que escupe las palabras

Si yo no te hago daño, no es pa’ que te despeches

Si yo no te hago daño

¿Cuál es tu mala leche?

Ay! Pero dime qué te hice para que me toques las narices

Relájate y coopera la grasa en el cerebro no se opera

Oye no es para tanto, tus gritos ya me vienen estresando

Ay! Pero dime, dime, dime

¿Cuál es tu mala leche?

7 de la mañana desayuno despacio

Como si estuviera en un palacio

El barrio con su bulla

La luz que no ha venido

Hoy va a ser, sin duda, un día entretenido

Paso 15 minutos espiando a mi vecina

Yo que me enveneno y la muy zorra no me mira

La cuenta de la electricidad me está acabando

Pero qué voy a hacer si es que vivir me está matando

Ahora que tengo mi cerebro en coma

Ahora que el carro de mi vida está sin gomas

Ahora que estaba tan tranquilo con mis vicios

Ahora que todo sale cuando me encapricho

No traigo soluciones, no regalo sorpresas

Qué culpa tengo yo de tus dolores de cabeza

Si estamos en lo mismo, no te ofendas no te reprendas

Dale un chance a tu cerebro pa’ que se distienda

Venimos de una estirpe única en el mundo

Si somos el calor que quema desde lo más profundo

Dime por qué no nos tratamos como hermanos

Me late el corazón cuando me dicen cubano.

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