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Caminante Del Mayab




A treasure from “The Latin Album,” this hypnotic recording of tender love for the Mayan land and people seems at once comprehendible, even for those who only speak English.  So meaningfully does Travis Edmonson enunciate the Spanish lyrics and Mayan words, one is totally caught up in his spell.

The depth, gravity and descriptive nature of the Guty Cardenas song have always had a charm for the singer who first encountered it on a recording by the Trio Los Panchos in the 1940s.

It moved him from the start, and he acknowledges that his own feeling over all the time he's known it has been profoundly romantic, and says  “I have even programmed that song differently than almost any other in my repertoire - intentionally planning it to come up at the end of my program.  It meant so much to me, and I think it touched something in other people and meant much to them too.”

 He states that “the explanation of “Caminante Del Mayab” is as good as a translation.  In order to comprehend  that song, and to really appreciate it,  you have to understand what gave rise to it.”

The Mexican people have long had a fascination for their ancestors, the Mayans, and the great civilization they built.  Travis Edmonson explains that Caminante Del Mayab, “was born out of a natural need for the modern Mexican people to have some touch with the Mayans both culturally and naturally,” most particularly their forms of expression.

In fact, interest in the Mayans was at a high when Travis Edmonson first started performing the song. “It very easily fell into my repertoire from my teens,” he adds.

From the very beginning, Travis Edmonson's performances were received with exceptional enthusiasm by audiences, not only because his gifted interpretation so clearly evokes the spirit of this ancient people, but from a passion to establish some kind of connection to them - which this song so eminently does.

“The Latin Album” version is very different than the way he sang it a decade earlier, but  also measurably changed from his reading of it in the forties.  This evolution was also reflected in audience reception to the piece.  A most amazing case, since the melody of the song itself is so classic, actually Mayan in nature.

Travis Edmonson elaborates, “You must have some idea of the Mayans and what they were like . Imagine a very intelligent people -very artistic and descriptive - who were able to describe not only the simple things of their lives, but the complex as well.  And in this song they did it.  They spread themselves out a little in a romantic description of the world in which they lived, and in so doing, they touched what we think of as romance today - definitely, and very profoundly.  It was so richly done, and revived the feeling of romance of that time.”

He concludes, confirming what anyone who has heard his magnificent recording can attest to, “it has the feeling of taking you away to another time and another place, but intimately.  That's what that song possesses.”



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Caminante del Mayab
(Traveler in Mayan Lands)


Spanish
Literal English
Musical English
Caminante, caminante,


traveller, traveller

Oh wayfarer, oh wayfarer

que vas por los caminos,
you are going along the roads

You stray into an old place


por los viejos camino
through the old mayab paths

Where once lived such a great race


del Mayab.

The Maya.

The Maya
Que ves arder de tarde

You'll see in the afternoon

The ancient ixtacay soars high

ixtacay pronounced “athray'
las alas del ixtacay
The wings of the ixtacay

In azure Mayan skies

que ves arder de noche

At night you will see
And as the night approaches


los ojos del cocay.


lThe eyes of the firefly
Come twinkling fireflies


Caminante, caminante,


traveller, traveller
Oh wayfarer, oh wayfarer
tque oyes el canto triste

You will hear the sad song

Now, hear the blue dove calling

de la paloma azul,


of the blue dove
Her sad and lonely song


y el grito tembloroso

and the fearful cry

And then the pujuy's sharp cry

pujuy pronounced “hoo hoo”
del pájaro pujuy.

Of the bird called  Pujjuy
As you journey along


Caminante, caminante,


traveller, traveller

Oh wayfarer, oh wayfarer
me has de decir si viste aparecer

You must tell me if you saw it appear before your eyes

Please tell me if you see it - so bright and clear


como una nube blanca
Like a white cloud

Or a brief white cloud glowing

que vino y que se fue


that came and went
And then the breezes may

y si escuchaste un canto

And if you heard a song
Sing like a woman's soft voice


como voz de mujer.
Like the voice of a woman

That guides you on your way


Caminante, caminante,

traveller, traveller
Oh wayfarer, oh wayfarer
también en mi camino

lAlso on my journey
 When I too found those lost  paths


la nube blanca vi,

I saw the white cloud
The white cloud I did see


también escuché el canto

I also heard the song
And then I heard that sad song

pobrecito de mí.


 Poor me

It touched my heart . Deeply



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