Yo me soy la morenica


Susan, vocals;
Tina, bass viol;
Howard, lute

Cancionero de Uppsala


Yo me soy la morenica,
Yo me soy la morena.

Lo moreno bien mirado
Fué la culpa del pecado;
Que en mi nunca fué hallado,
Ni jamás se hallara.

Soy la sin espina rosa
Que Salomon canta y glosa….
Nigra sum sed Formosa
Y por mí se cantara.

Yo soy la mata inflamada,
Ardiendo ser quemada;
Ni de aquel fuego tocada
Que a los otros tocara.


I am the little dark one,
I am the dark woman.

The dark, handsome man
Was guilty of sin,
But sin was never found in me
And never will be.

I am the rose without the thorns
Of which Solomon sings, and says
I am black but beautiful;
For me they will sing.

I am the burning bush,
Blazing without being consumed.
Untouched by the fire
That will scorch all the others.


The only non-Sephardic song on our recording, found in the 16th century Spanish collection known as the Cancionero de Uppsala, the song has lyrics inspired by the Song of Solomon. The cancionero was published in Venice in 1556, but was eventually lost (presumably as Renaissance music fell out of fashion), only to be rediscovered in a library in Uppsala, Sweden, in 1907. The book contains fifty-four songs (canciones) and sixteen instrumental pieces. There are a fair number of Spanish Renaissance and Sephardic songs that feature morenas or morenicas, dark-skinned, beautiful girls or young women, some of whom are certainly Moorish.