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Chabuca Granda and Zeño Manué

Updated on September 5, 2012
Painting of Zeno Manue
Painting of Zeno Manue
Zeno Manue
Zeno Manue
Plaza de Acho in the Lima suburb of Rimac.
Plaza de Acho in the Lima suburb of Rimac.
Silver and gold scapularies from the Lord of Miracles bullfighting fair
Silver and gold scapularies from the Lord of Miracles bullfighting fair

Zeñó Manué song

Chabuca Granda used to say that the Zeñó Manué song was inspired by the life and work of Manuel Solari y Swayne, a distinguied Lima journalist, who stubbornly tried to rescue what was beautiful and meaningful in Peruvian cultural traditions. Manuel Solari always tried to conserve the appearance of the beautiful city of Lima, which was destroyed by some earthquakes in the past. Chabuca composed this song in 1956 and when she first sang it to him, Manuel Solari, was upset, as people would discover his pseudonym of Zeno Manue, or Z.M. Later he was proud, that Chabuca had composed such a beautiful waltz for him.

Manuel Solari y Swayne was a bullfighting crític, writer, hispanophile and creator of the Senor de los Milagros (Lord of the Miracles) Bullfighting Fair. He wrote about bullfighting topics for half a century in the El Comercio newspaper, where he made popular the Zeno Manue pseudonym. In 1945 he proposed the creation of the October Bullfighting Fair, better known as the Lord of the Miracles Fair. The Spanish government later awarded him posthumously, an order for promoting common cultural values.

Manuel Solari had a dream. With an intensive campaign in his column Toros y Toreros (Bulls and Bullfighters) in El Comercio, he was able to have the old Plaza de Acho bullfighting ring expanded, so it could offer longer seasons, without really modifying the historic atmosphere of the ring in the Lima suburb of Rimac.

The Plaza de Acho, in Lima is the oldest and most prestigious bullfighting ring in the Americas and one of the largest in the world . Its construction began on January 30th, 1766 and it was rebuilt in 1946. The annual bullfighting fair held in honor of the Señor de los Milagros (Lord of the Miracles) takes place at the plaza on Sundays through October and November.

The gold and silver scapularies are the distinctions awarded to the matador and the breeder that had the best performance during the fair.

Beautiful video showing the old-fashioned city of Lima that Manuel Solari Swayne used to love so much! 

Zeñó Manué

Original lyrics translated into English
(Zeno Manue is an abbreviated way of saying Señor Manuel)

This is the link to view the original lyrics in Spanish language:

Hey you, zeno Manue,
and we are being left,
without that Lima of yore
so pretty and so lady like!
Her streets, like in the ballad,
are streets like any other,
are streets like any other,
on the way to anywhere.

They no longer take us to the park,
or to the tree lined avenue,
the small plazas are already dying,
as they light their sadness,
the Arabian jasmine has no perfume,
and the jacaranda no longer leans over
and the huisache tree does not blossom
when Christmas comes around.

Hey you, zeno Manue,
in love with Lima,
who for your lover you knit
a tender lace
with your beautiful words,
and a golden wreath,
let's close the eyes
to imagine the tune.

Let's go to the fountain together,
for it to sing to us its memories
so that the light of the street lamp
gives love to our fantasy,
and the cherimoya flower,
and the reseda perfume,
make lies get drowsy
and bring us the truth.

They say that there was once,
a charming Lima,
carpet, jacaranda,
that had its illusion,
sunned close to the hills,
and moist next to the sea,
they say that sometime there was,
a Lima of the flag

The beautiful large houses had
wide open doors,
barred windows with a slab
soft for walking.

Screen with happy noise,
medallion halls,
large lace windows at the end
to look at a garden, foliage
and an orchard for ripening.

The large houses
have their doors open wide.
From a lighted fireplace,
smoke from the lavender,
they ask you not to be loud,
as there is a child asleep,

And feel, zeno Manue,
that the air has
the smell of mixture
and it is served on a tray.

And look, zeno Manue,
how a piece of the sky
is leaning down to have a look
just in case the small girl appears,
beyond the kitchen,
in the patio where the embroidered bands
are drying in the sun
and the hens are pealed off

Go on then, see Manue,
lets go to the fountain border.

A markerPlaza de Acho, Rimac, Peru -
Plaza De Acho, Huaigayoc, Lima, Peru
get directions


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