To these sad men - A estos hombres tristes

"To these sad men"
vinyl record of Almond
Album Almond I
Publication 1969
Recording 1969
Gender Progressive rock
Duration 5:56
Record label RCA Vik
Writer (s) Luis Alberto Spinetta
Producer (s) Luis Alberto Spinetta
Original language español
Almendra Songs I
" Prayer for a sleeping child "
"To these sad men"
" That the wind erased your hands "

" To these sad men " is a song composed by the Argentine musician Luis Alberto Spinetta , who integrates -as track 7- the album Almendra I from 1969, by the rock band Almendra , an album that has been placed in sixth position among the best in the history of Argentine rock . [ 1 ]

Almendra was made up of Luis Alberto Spinetta (guitar and lead vocals), Edelmiro Molinari (lead guitar), Emilio del Guercio (bass and backing vocals) and Rodolfo García (drums).

The song has been included in the top ten in Spinetta's songbook. [ 2 ] In 2009, Spinetta chose three songs from the album Almendra I to include them in the historical recital Spinetta and the Eternal Bands in which he reviewed all his work; one of them was "To these sad men", while the other two were " Human Color ", by Edelmiro Molinari, and " Fermín ".


The album Almendra I was recorded in 1969 by the rock band Almendra in which the brilliant creativity of Luis Alberto Spinetta appeared, who was only 19 years old at that time and recorded his first album. [ 3 ]

It had a foundational impact on Argentine popular music. In 1985 the journalist Carlos Polimeni conducted a survey among journalists and prominent Argentine rock musicians on the most influential Argentine rock albums. Of the 31 musicians who answered, [ Note 1 ] 23 of them chose Almendra's first album, followed far by Charly García's Going from the bed to the living room with 12 choices and in third place another Spinetta album, Artaud , with 10 . [ 4 ]

The album also opens with the song " Chica (ojos de papel) ", considered the second best song in the history of Argentine rock, both in the ranking made by Rolling Stone magazine and MTV, and in the one made by the site . [ 5 ] [ 6 ]

In the second half of the 1960s, rock had exploded worldwide as a youth counterculture: The Beatles , the hippie movement , long hair, jean , the miniskirt and unisex , the sexual revolution , the opposition to the Vietnam War ... . [ 7 ] [ 8 ] [ 9 ] At that time the rock was a genre essentially Anglo - Saxon, which was only exceptionally sung in Spanish and when it was done, it suffered from media and social devaluation, in addition to almost always lacking musical originality and lyrical depth. In Argentina, in the second half of the 1960s and especially after the success of the single " La balsa " by the band Los Gatos in 1967, an original rock trend began to appear, known as "national rock" , sung in Spanish, which acquired a growing mass and a strong capacity for identification among young people. [ 10 ]

The album Almendra made an impact in that context, defining the originality, massiveness and quality of the so-called Argentine "national rock" in the making.

This is the album that opened a new dimension in Argentine song, that of songs with harmonies of a marked beatle stamp fused with elements of tango, jazz and folklore, which would later be passed on by Charly García, Fito Páez, Andrés Calamaro and many others. .
Juan Francisco Gentile.[11]

The codes of the man in the cap

The songs on the album are classified according to three figurative codes, referring to the man on the cover: the eye, the tear and the arrow of the soup. To "These sad men" corresponds to the eye, as does " Human Color ". The inner envelope indicates that the eye corresponds to the "songs sung by the man with the cover passed out in the void."

The song

"To these sad men" it is the seventh track, third in the B side of the album Almendra I . It is the second longest track on the album, with almost six minutes, during which it presents a complexity of rhythm variations and melodic lines of unclassifiable style, with some tango air , [ 12 ] that exemplifies the "new type of urban song" that brought the album and that Spinetta would develop in the future. [ 13 ]

The song begins with a solo on drums and bass that lead to a one-minute instrumental-choral section until the beginning of the song. The song then proceeds through a complex sequence of melodic and rhythmic modules. Like " Figuración ", the theme anticipates the complex songs that Spinetta would reach in Pescado Rabioso and especially in Artaud , which led him to "pulverize the Latin pop song". [ 14 ]

The lyrics show a second-person narrator who questions the sad man of the title, "these" sad men: "save your skin", "put on color", "let them run" (at your feet), "let them grow" ( to your hands ")," let them fall "(to your words)," live in blue "... This is a manifesto aimed at those who listen, a harangue to set sad men in motion." Laugh at last " , command, order Spinetta. The song ends with an evidence and an open possibility:

How much city,
how thirsty
and you a single man .
To these sad men

In 1984 Spinetta spoke on the subject, saying that it had its origin in the Sundays of his childhood, in the feeling of loneliness and sadness that he felt on those Sundays, "that tremendous Argentine Sunday":

There's also the code from when we were kids: Sunday was always a sad day, I don't know why. At the same time it was cheerful, because there was football, the family gathered, there was delicious food. The importance given to the weekend in our country in those years was tremendous. But personal loneliness at that time was very clear, and I used it to say, for example, "live in blue, because you don't have Sunday blue." After Yellow Submarine, blue became an forbidden color for happiness, but that does not mean that it is a beautiful color, and to be able to say that, having a color, you could break that tremendous Argentine Sunday.
Luis Alberto Spinetta [ 15 ]

Spinetta reference to the color blue as a color banned for happiness after Yellow Submarine , it refers to the animated film of the Beatles which was released the year prior to the album Almendra I . There appear the "damned blues" (The Blue Meanies), who hate music, color, and joy, making Pepperland (Pepperland) a blue and sad world. Spinetta, like the young Argentines of that time who were giving rise to "national rock", had in the Beatles an essential cultural reference and the album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band , whose songs are performed in Yellow Submarine, It was not only the maximum work of the Liverpool group, but it was also the conceptual model that Almendra took to compose his first album.

All my songs from that time are heavily influenced by the album Sgt. Pepper and other Beatles work.
Luis Alberto Spinetta [ 12 ]

Spinetta uses the reference to the color blue in many of his lyrics, covers and back covers of Spinetta's work (" Blue Comet ", " Yellow Bridges Cantata ", " Blue Bomb ", " Precious Blue Lady ", " Aunt Amanda ", " Tear the soul ", " Iris ").


Among the many versions of the song, those made by Silvina Garré , in Reinas de pueblo grande (1986), Liliana Vitale in Listen to me between noise (2006) [ 16 ] and Tomás Gubitsch in Al Flaco give thanks (2007).

See also



  1. ^ «100 Best National Rock Albums» . Rolling Stone Magazine . Argentina. 2007.
  2. «TEN essential songs by“ Flaco ”Luis Alberto Spinetta, one year after his death» . Info News. February 8, 2012 . Retrieved September 12, 2013 .
  3. ^ Berti, Eduardo (1988). Spinetta: chronicle and illuminations . Buenos Aires: Editora AC. p. 44.
  4. ^ Polimeni, Carlos (July 21, 1985). «Twenty years of Argentine rock» . Argentina: Clarín (reissued by Archived from the original on October 15, 2013 . Retrieved October 6, 2013 .
  5. Guerrero, Gloria et. to the. (March 2002). "The 100 hits of Argentine rock". Rolling Stone (Buenos Aires) (48). ISSN 0329-5656 .
  6. «The 100 of the 40» . 2007. Archived from the original on September 22, 2013 . Retrieved October 9, 2013 .
  7. ^ Cosse, Isabella (2007). Culture and sexuality in the Argentina of the sixties: uses and resignifications of the transnational experience . Buenos Aires: Interdisciplinary Studies of Latin America and the Caribbean from Tel Aviv University.
  8. ^ Cirigliano, Gustavo; Ameghino, - Ana Zabala (1979). Young power . Buenos Aires: Library of Nations.
  9. «On hippies and other herbs» . Testimonials, Magical Ruins . Retrieved October 7, 2013 .
  10. ^ Rozada, Natalia (April 19, 2005). "Interview with Ricardo Soulé in Córdoba" . Archived from the original on October 13, 2013 . Retrieved October 6, 2013 .
  11. ^ Gentile, Juan Francisco (August 6, 2012). "Elephants know how to rest, they will die of peace . " Argentina: March. Archived from the original on September 28, 2013 . Retrieved October 6, 2013 .
  12. ^ A b Berti, Eduardo (1988). Spinetta: chronicle and illuminations . Buenos Aires: Editora AC. p. twenty-one.
  13. ^ Cocaro, Grabiel Martín (December 14, 2009). «The origin of the new urban song» . Common Reader. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016 . Retrieved September 27, 2013 .
  14. ^ Monteleone, Jorge. "Spinetta / Artaud (summer of 73)" . Common Reader . Retrieved September 27, 2013 . Article included in Enrique Foffani (ed.) (2010). Controversies of the modern: secularization in Latin American cultural history . Buenos Aires: Katay Editions.
  15. ^ Víctor Pintos and Guillermo Quintero (1984). "The world in the hands (Report on Luis Alberto Spinetta" . Page 12 (reproduction of an interview from 1984) . Accessed on February 20, 2012 .
  16. ^ Vitale, Liliana (interpreter) (2015). To these sad men . Argentina: CYCLE3.


  • Berti, Eduardo (1988). Spinetta: chronicle and illuminations . Buenos Aires: Editora AC. p. 44.

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