Tony Bennett left his heart in San Francisco, New York was so good they named it twice, and if you say the sun doesn’t shine, Ralph McTell will walk you through the streets of London to show you something that will make you change your mind. Songs and cities seemed inextricably linked, yet no immediate hit comes to mind for Spain’s capital city. However, songs about Madrid exist. Plenty of them. We know. We researched them and we listened. Some of the of the listening was pleasant; some of it wasn’t very pleasant at all. You can draw your own conclusions by checking out this month’s selection. All lyrics are in Spanish unless stated otherwise.
‘Aqui no hay playa’ by The Refrescos
Released in 1989, this is a Ska-style track, ‘There’s no beach here’, which promotes all the positives about Madrid in comparison with the one big negative of the title. This clearly pre-dates the Manzanares development – albeit some will argue the song title still rings true. The first verse sums up the sentiment, saying you can have the Retiro, Casa de Campo, thousands of cinemas, and so on, but come August… cue the title. It’s very catchy, fun, and hearing it once will put the tune in your head all day.
‘Bailando por ahí’ by Juan Magan
This 2011 ‘Electro/Latino’ track, by multi-talented DJ, record producer, rapper, and singer Juan Magan hit the number one spot in Spain. The title translates, more or less, as ‘Dancing Around’, but even though the Madrid connection is limited by the lines, ‘Yesterday I saw her, dancing around, with her friends on a street in Madrid’, its beat pretty much makes it a winner. Juan Magan has worked with Paulina Rubio, Pitbull and Nelly Furtado amongst a host of others.
‘Calles de Madrid’ by Quique González and Rebeca Jiménez
‘Streets of Madrid, Saturday night, you have enough not to sleep’ begins this lament, and it’s a sentiment anyone who has visited the city will no doubt share. González is a prolific singer/songwriter, who has often shunned big recording labels for independence. This track comes from his album Kamikazes Enamorados, and his style here sounds very much like the morning after the night before.