De Colores

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De Colores is a common folk song in the Spanish-speaking world. Today it is the anthem of the United Farm Workers movement.

History[change | edit source]

No one knows for sure when the song first began to be sung in the Americas. The melody is thought to have been used in North and South America since the 16th century, having been brought over from Spain in the colonial era.[1][2] However, the version of the lyrics sung today is thought to have been created by a group of Cursillo participants in Majorca, Spain, after one of the earliest Cursillo retreats the 1940s.[3][4]

Today, in addition to being used as the unofficial anthem of the United Farm Workers movement, and as an inspirational song in Cursillo workshops, the song is often taught in schools in the United States—from elementary school to community colleges—as an example of a common American folk song.[5] [6] [7] It often appears in collections of children's songs.

Common song words[change | edit source]

De colores is usually sung in Spanish, but there are different English translations of the song. The song has also been translated into other languages. The lyrics depict an expression of joy and a celebration of all creation with its many bright colors. Below are four of the most commonly heard verses. Many additional verses (and variations of these verses) are known to exist, some including Christian references and some including more specific to farm life or labor union issues to be used as a rallying-song for farm-laborers.

Spanish Version:

     De colores, de colores
Se visten los campos en la primavera.
     De colores, de colores
Son los pajaritos que vienen de afuera.
     De colores, de colores
Es el arco iris que vemos lucir.

     Y por eso los grandes amores
De muchos colores me gustan a mí.
     Y por eso los grandes amores
De muchos colores me gustan a mí.

     De colores, de colores
Brillantes y finos se viste la aurora.
     De colores, de colores
Son los mil reflejos que el sol atesora.
     De colores, de colores
Se viste el diamante que vemos lucir.

     Y por eso los grandes amores
De muchos colores me gustan a mí.
     Y por eso los grandes amores
De muchos colores me gustan a mí.

     Canta el gallo, canta el gallo
Con el quiri, quiri, quiri, quiri, quiri.
     La gallina, la gallina
Con el cara, cara, cara, cara, cara.
     Los pollitos/polluelos, los pollitos/polluelos
Con el pío, pío, pío, pío, pí.

     Y por eso los grandes amores
De muchos colores me gustan a mí.
     Y por eso los grandes amores
De muchos colores me gustan a mí.

     Jubilosos, jubilosos
Vivamos en gracia puesto que se puede.
     Saciaremos, saciaremos
La sed ardorosa del Rey que no muere.
     Jubilosos, jubilosos
Llevemos a Cristo un alma y mil más.

     Difundiendo la luz que ilumina
La gracia divina del gran ideal.
     Difundiendo la luz que ilumina
La gracia divina del gran ideal.

     De colores, de colores
Sí, de blanco y negro y rojo y azul y castaño.
     Son colores, son colores
De gente que ríe, y estrecha la mano.
     Son colores, son colores
De gente que sabe de la libertad.

     Y por eso los grandes amores
De muchos colores me gustan a mí.
     Y por eso los grandes amores
De muchos colores me gustan a mí.

English Version[source?]

     In colors, in colors
The fields are dressed in the spring.
     In colors, in colors
Are the little birds that come from outside.
     In colors, in colors
Is the rainbow that we see shining.

     And that is why I love
The great loves of many colors
     And that is why I love
The great loves of many colors.

     In colors, in colors
Brilliant and delicate is dressed the dawn.
     In colors, in colors
Are the thousand gleams the sun treasures.
     In colors, in colors
Is dressed the diamond we see shining.

     And that is why I love
The great loves of many colors.
     And that is why I love
The great loves of many colors.

The rooster sings, the rooster sings
With a cock-a-doodle, cock-a-doodle-doo.
     The hen, the hen
With a cluck, cluck, cluck, cluck, cluck.
     The chicks, the chicks
With a cheep, cheep, cheep, cheep, cheep.

     And that is why I love
The great loves of many colors.
     And that is why I love
The great loves of many colors.

     Joyous, joyous
Let us live in grace since we can.
     Let us quench, let us quench
The burning thirst of the King who does not die.
     Joyous, joyous
Let us bring to Christ a soul and thousand more.

     Spreading the light that illuminates
The divine grace from the great ideal.
     Spreading the light that illuminates
The divine grace from the great ideal.

     In colors, in colors
Yes, black and white and red and blue and brown.
     All the colors, colors
From people laughing, and shaking hands.
     All the colors, colors
From people who know freedom.

     And that is why I love
The great loves of many colors
     And that is why I love
The great loves of many colors.

References[change | edit source]

  1. Serge Séguin (Feb 23, 2012). "Cursillo Movement FAQ: What is the origin of "De Colores"?". French Speaking Cursillo Movement of Canada. http://cursillos.ca/en/faq/f12-decolores.htm. Retrieved April 15, 2012.
  2. Kidd, Allison. "Union Access to Migrant Farmworkers: The Mt. Olive Pickle Company, Cucumber Farmers, and Farmworkers". The Labor Lawyer 20 (3 (Winter/Spring 2005)): 339–361.
  3. Template:Cite thesis
  4. Release notes for De Colores.
  5. McGuire, Kenneth. "Common Songs of the Cultural Heritage of the United States: A Compilation of Songs That Most People "Know" and "Should Know"". Journal of Research in Music Education 48 (4 (Winter 2000)): 310–322.
  6. Lum, Chee-Hoo; Shehan Campbell, Patricia. "The Sonic Surrounds of an Elementary School". Journal of Research in Music Education, 55 (1 (Spring 2007)): 31–47.
  7. Trapp, Elizabeth. "Break down Inhibitions and Build up Understanding with Music, Music, Music". Hispania 74 (2 (May 1991)): 437–438.