Aqui me pongo a cantar
al compas de la vihuela
Jose Hernandez

Sound in the color of the pampas

vast and empty, the rolling hills,

the sameness, endless days and nights;

Sometimes it is the sweet smell of the honeysuckle,

the vihuela of the South American Goucho

strumming you off to sleep, catching the wind;

Here! it is an instrument with six strings,

its sound box the shell of an armadillo.

In Spain, where the instrument was popular,

but has now been replaced by the guitar,

the animal is also practically extinct.

Those who sang to the music it produced,

and in whatever country, were similarly left

to die, and their remains were scattered.

Laws were promulgated. Women bit their lips

so as not to be prosecuted.. Book burnings

Vihuela burnings, musicians being put to the torch,

were as common then, under the auspices

of the Christian establishment

as amputations are today

among fundamentalist Moslems.