Riding with music
The horse, a noble animal that has accompanied humanity since the dawn of history. The horse has won, in its own right, an important place in the culture and history of almost all civilizations. This important place has been reflected in all the cultural expressions of the humanity, including music.
There are many references to our equine friend in architecture, painting, literature, poetry and music. These are just some of the areas of art where the horse has had a prominent place.
Focusing on music, there are many pieces inspired by the horse. In the world repertoire are numerous pieces dedicated to exalting the qualities of the horse. Venezuela is not an exception in this matter.
The Venezuelan “Llanero”
In the region of the Venezuelan plains, where the “llanero” is accompanied in its hard work with the cattle. The “llanero” fills his work with voices of strong and sentimental singing, and his faithful companion, the horse. This environment has been conducive to the emergence of inspired songs. Songs that tell stories that highlight the unbreakable bond of respect and love between the “llanero” and his horse. Other songs also arise that, in a roguish and metaphorical way, describe the very human aspects of the horse.
The “llanero” is the Venezuelan equivalent to the cowboy in other parts of the world. That tough man who rides a horse in the field while fighting against the wild elements of nature
This is exemplified by two iconic songs from the Venezuelan plain: La Muerte Del Rucio Moro, by singer-songwriter Reynaldo Armas, and Caballo Viejo, by maestro Simón Díaz.
Caballo Viejo (Music and lyrics by Simón Díaz)
Simón Díaz, one of the main exponents of Venezuelan sentiment, immortalized popular songs that have been recorded in the memory of many. Singer and composer of universal renown, the father of the immortal “Caballo Viejo” (in english “Old Horse”) managed to make many of his songs captivate hearts around the world. This song was translated into 12 languages and recorded in more than 350 versions; which places it among the 20 most recorded songs in the history of music.
This song whose lyrics are inspired by the horse, was born in the 1980s after a “contrapunteo” (duel of improvised songs) between Simón Díaz and a young man. This young man answered the verses dedicated by Simón Díaz to a very pretty young woman as a compliment during a meeting between friends. And thus interlacing verses with a loud voice and winning the “contrapunteo”, he disarmed the young man and all this material served as an input for his masterful composition.
The Death of the Rucio Moro (Music and lyrics by Reinaldo Armas)
On the other hand, La Muerte Del Rucio Moro, one of the most popular songs of singer-songwriter Reinaldo Armas, the song was recorded in 1987. It tells the sadness of the llanero for the loss of his horse, due to a bad move of fate. The singer tells that he was based on a traumatic experience that he lived with only 7 years old. That fateful day when he went to look for his horse for the daily chore and found him lying down. Thinking that he slept, I try to wake him up and his impression was great when he did not wake up. The pain before the loss of his faithful friend is reflected from the beginning in the first verses of the song:
Spanish – English
Caramba ñero – Hey Pal
se oscurecieron mis días – my days darkened
alzó en vuelo mi alegría – it lifted my joy
cuando menos lo esperaba – when he least expected it
triste mañana – sad tomorrow
sentí perder un tesoro – I felt losing a treasure
mi caballo rucio moro – my horse rucio moro
donde yo siempre coleaba – where I always coleaba
Lo hallaron en el potrero – They found it in the paddock
en el potrero – in the paddock
con la nuca reventada…. – with the neck burst …
This song was nominated as best folk album in the Latin Grammy in 2015. And this is how music expresses the feeling between man and such a noble animal. Intercalating with verses and verses memories, nostalgia and feelings opens the heart of man.
Through songs inspired by horses we discover a powerful link between men and their horses. More than a transport animal, the horse is a friend.
If you want to know more about Gustavo Mirabal or Equestrian Word, go to: