Chan Chan (song)  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

"Chan Chan" is a son composition by Cuban bandleader Compay Segundo, revolving around two central characters, 'Juanica' and 'Chan Chan'. The song was one of Compay's last compositions and was written in 1987. "Chan Chan" was recorded by Segundo himself various times as well as by many other Latin artists. A version of "Chan Chan" with Compay and other Cuban artists Eliades Ochoa and Ibrahim Ferrer is the first song on the album Buena Vista Social Club. This version of "Chan Chan" became a worldwide success and its first four chords are among the most well-known in Cuban music.


Compay Segundo textual cite:

"I didn't compose Chan Chan, I dreamed it. I dream the music. I sometimes wake up with a melody on the head, I hear the instruments, all very clear. I look over the balcony and I see nobody, but I hear it as if it was played on the street. I don't know what it was. One day I woke up listening to those four sensible notes, I put them a lyric inspired on a children tale from my childhood, Juanita y Chan Chan, and you see, now it's sung everywhere."

A fan that met Compay Segundo back on 1989, said that:

'Chan Chan and his girlfriend Juanica shake a jibe to sift sand on the edge of the sea. Juanica looked so sensual shaking the jibe that Chan Chan felt shame that other people saw them.'

The most complete explanation says: 'The song relates the story of a man and a woman (Chan Chan and Juanica) who are building a house, and go to the beach to get some sand. Chan Chan collects the sand and puts it on the 'jibe'. Juanica shakes it, and to do so she shakes herself, making Chan Chan ashamed. [...] The origin of this tale is a farmer song learnt by Compay Segundo when he was twelve years old.'

Alto Cedro, Marcané, Cueto and Mayarí, names are repeated several times, as are four towns near each other in Holguín Province, on the east side of Cuba.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Chan Chan (song)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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