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Chabuca Granda and her famous Fina Estampa song

Updated on October 05, 2015
Chabuca Granda playing guitar
Chabuca Granda playing guitar | Source

Even though she is mainly identified with the city of Lima, Maria Isabel Chabuca Granda was born in September 1920, in Cotabambas, which is in a copper mining area in the department of Apurimac, Peru. She began singing at the age of 12, in the school choir at the exclusive Colegio Sophianum, a girl's school in San Isidro, a wealthy district of Lima.

I have already written a few hubs about Chabuca, but now I am going to mention another famous song of hers called Fina Estampa. Chabuca sings to the old-fashioned and lordly Lima of the end of the 18th century and she evokes the romantic and elegant neighborhood of Barranco, with its grand French houses with impressive portals and winter gardens.

Her compositions were inspired by people, who she turned into characters for her songs, like her father was the gentleman in Fina Estampa ; her mother was the muse for Gracia and Jose Antonio was a family friend, who was a great lover and defender of the Peruvian paso horse; Cardo o Ceniza was dedicated to Violeta Parra, while Las Flores Buenas de Javier was inspired by the Peruvian poet Javier Heraud.

The main character for la Flor de la Canela , was Doña Victoria Angulo, a black lady from Lima, for whom Lima would have to cover itself with carpets, so she could promenade its streets again. It was 1950 when she composed this well known theme, which was her fifth song.

She was a chronicler of the Lima of her childhood and her songs overflow with sensitivity and love for her city. Towards the end of her career, Chabuca also incorporated Afro-Peruvian rhythms into her repertoire. Afro-Peruvian music was popular, although not considered high art due to the prevalent racism and reviling of Afro-Peruvian culture. Nevertheless, she managed to blend the African suggestive and colorful rhythms into her work, enriching Peruvian popular music in the process. Even after her death, Chabuca continued to make her presence felt, when Caetano Veloso, a well known Brazilian composer, singer, guitarist and writer, used her song Fina Estampa, as the title track of an almbum released in 1994.

Chabuca Granda died of heart problems in a clinic in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA, in 1983.

Magnolias
Magnolias
Red geraneos
Red geraneos
Claveles
Claveles
Cuculi
Cuculi
Old street lamp
Old street lamp

Fina Estampa lyrics

Chabuca Granda

Una veredita alegre

con luz de luna o de sol

tendida como una cinta

con lazos de arrebol.

Arrebol de los geranios

y sonrisas con rubor

arrebol de los claveles

y las mejillas en flor.


Perfumada de magnolias

rociada de mañanita

la veredita sonríe

cuando tu pie la acaricia


Y la cuculí se ríe

y la ventana se agita

cuando por esa vereda

tu fina estampa, pasea.


Fina estampa, caballero

caballero de fina estampa,

un lucero.

Que sonriera bajo un sombrero

no sonriera

más hermoso ni más luciera

caballero

Y en tu andar, andar

reluce la acera

al andar, andar.


Te lleva hacia los zaguanes

y a los patios encantados

te lleva hacia las plazuelas

y a los amores soñados.


Veredita que se arrulla

con tafetanes bordados

tacón de chapín de seda

y fustes almidonados.


Es un caminito alegre

con luz de luna o de sol

que he de recorrer cantando

por si the puedo alcanzar.


Fina estampa, caballero

quién the pudiera guardar

Fina estampa, caballero

caballero de fina estampa,

un lucero.

Que sonriera bajo un sombrero

no sonriera

más hermoso ni más luciera

caballero

Y en tu andar, andar

reluce la acera

al andar, andar.

Below are two versions of Fina Estampa, one is by Chabuca Granda, the composer and the second is by Peruvian tenor Juan Diego Florez.

Chabuca Granda. Fina Estampa

Map of Miraflores and Barranco, Peru

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    • Princessa profile image

      Wendy Iturrizaga 3 years ago from France

      Amazing hub, I remember the song and of course Mrs. Chabuca Granda an her heritage to our country.

    • sylvia13 profile image
      Author

      Sylvia Gadea de Beer 3 years ago from Shoal Bay, NSW, Australia

      Chabuca died a few years ago, but her songs have certainly left a heritage for Lima and Peru and they are now classics! Thanks for your comment!

    • profile image

      JayR 3 years ago

      Chabuca Grandas wrote Fina Estampa? Incredible. I knew this song was Southern American, but it is until now that I know it's a Peruvian song.

    • sylvia13 profile image
      Author

      Sylvia Gadea de Beer 3 years ago from Shoal Bay, NSW, Australia

      Yep, it's a Peruvian song and Chabuca also wrote many more, do read my hubs!

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