Pasa Rio / La Zandunga

Paso Rio*

La Zandunga The Zandunga *
Lyrics by Máximo Ramón Ortiz – Mexico (cir. 1853)

Ay Zandunga
Zandunga mamá por Diós
Zandunga no seas ingrata
Mamá de mi corazón

Antenoche fuí a tu casa
Tres golpes le dí al candado
Tu no sirves para amores
Tienes el sueño pesado

Ay Zandunga …(refrain)

Me ofreciste acompañarme
Desde la iglesia a mi choza
Pero como no llegabas
Tuve que venirme sola

Ay Zandunga … (refrain)

Al orillas del Papaloapan
Estaba bañando ayer
Pasaste por las orillas
Y no me quisiste ver

Ay Zandunga …(refrain)

*Paso Rio is a very old chant from Spain. I choose to not include lyrics because its meaning for me stands apart from the literal translation.

Oh Zandunga
Zandunga, mother for God’s sake
Zandunga don’t be ungrateful
Mother of my heart

Night before last I went to your house
I knocked three times
You are no good for lovers
You sleep so heavily

Oh Zandunga …(refrain)

You offered to accompany me
From the church to my hut
But since you didn’t arrive
I had to come home alone

Ay Zandunga …(refrain)

Near the banks of Papaloapan **
I was swimming/bathing yesterday
You were walking along those banks
And you didn’t want to look at me.

Ay Zandunga … (refrain)

* “Zandungais also spelled “Sandunga”. It’s a word used to describe a beautiful woman. It also can mean elegance or gracefulness. It is the name of a beloved song and dance that is featured at fiestas in the region of Oaxaca, Mexico.

** Papaloapan is the name of a river that flows in Southern Mexico between the states of Veracruz and Oaxaca. Its name is derived the Nahuatl (indigenous language) “papalotl” (butterfly) and “apan” (river).