The night before last as we sat around the campfire in the mountains, I marveled at the peace and stillness of the night. I felt the serenity that surrounded us. As I looked up at the stars, a long ago memory stole into my mind.

When I was a small boy we loved to play on the lawns in the cool of the night. Sometimes we sat to enjoy the stillness around us. I remember the sound of two high tenor voices singing into the night. Undoubtedly two young men returning from the Cantina were walking along the track, raising their voices in two part harmony singing from the depths of their sole into the still night.

We learned some of the songs they sang, and as my brother, Wesley, and I laid in our bed in the Northwest bedroom in our old Bowman home in Dublan. We loved to sing as we laid there in the two part harmony that we herd in the stillness of the night.

Thinking of the stillness of the soft dark night the words of one of those songs came into my mind and I began to sing the words that I remembered from over 75 years ago.

Una Noche Serena y Obscura

Una noche serena y obscura
Cuando en silencio nos juramos los dos
Cuando en silencio me diste la mano
Y de testigo pusimos Dios

Las estrellas, el sol y la luna
Son testigo que fuiste mi amada
Pero hoy que vuelvo te encuentro casada
Ay que suerte e infeliz me tocó.

I will try to translate "Una Noche Serena y Obscura", even though it is impossible to translate the beauty and simplicity of the poetry.

One Dark and Serene Night

One dark and serene night
When in silence we promised each other
When in silence you gave me your hand
Putting God as our witness.

The Stars, Sun and the Moon
Are witnesses that you are my love.
But on my return I found you married
Oh, what an unhappy lot was mine.

Another of the songs that my brother Wesley and I loved to sing as we laid in our bed in the night was a little song named "Pajarillo". As we sang with all our hearts the beautiful melody and the poetic words, I could almost see a young Mexican boy singing his heart out in hopeless love to a beautiful young maiden living in the canyons of Mexico.


Pajarillo, Pajarillo,
Pajarillo barranqueño
Que bonitas ojos tienes
Lastima que tengan dueño.

Que pajarillo es aquel
Que canta en aquella lima
Anda dile que no cante
Que a mi corazón lastima

Que pajarillo es aquel
Que canta en aquella higuera
Anda dile que no cante
Que se espere a que me muera

The English translation spoils the rhythm and the translation.

Little Bird

Little bird, little bird
Little bird of the canyons
What beautiful eyes you have
Too bad they belong to someone else.

What little bird is that
That sings on the big lime tree
Go tell it not to sing
For it bruises my heart

What little bird is that
That sings on the fig tree
Go tell it not to sing
Have it wait till I die.

Among the Spanish songs that I taught my students when I was teaching 7th & 8th grade in the Dublan Grade School long ago, this little song was one of the favorites. Even today they mention the memory of those songs and in particular "Pajarillo". Among those students were Kiko & Mary, Estella Garcia, Ortensia , Rose and Oscar Chinolla . That is the Mexican way to express in song and metaphors the deep feelings of the heart. When they are sung, they are sung with all the heart, usually in beautiful two part harmony.

Wesley and I could sing either part. When he would begin to sing the first part I would join in with the second. When I would start with the first, he would come in with the second. In Spanish they are called Primera y Segunda.

This morning I remembered those memories of long ago and thought I might record the words of this little song.