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   The Boricua Musical Corner 

Updated February 10, 2001
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Catholic Christianity, one of the legacies of the previous colonial status of Puerto Rico and protestant Christianity, a legacy of the current colonial status have provided the Puerto Ricans with a deep sense of religious tradition that has been expressed in the form of religious holidays and in the music composed for these occasions. Puerto Rican aguinaldos, based on religious themes such as Christmas, together with the Seis are considered by many to be the most authentic Puerto Rican form of early musical expression.

Los Tres Reyes Santos

For the Puerto Rican children the Epiphany is celebrated in Puerto Rico with the same sence of expectation that Christmas is celebrated by children in the United States. The arrival of the three kings in January 6th, the date of the Feast of Epiphany,  with gifts for the children is a tradition more in line with Catholic roots than the Santa Claus tradition in North America.

Sequenced by William Bellber Betancourt

Si Me Dan Pasteles  

"Pasteles" a treat in the Puerto Rican diet which is made in the same way that a Mexican tamale but using green bananas instead of corn has become a typical Christmas plate.

Sequenced by William Bellber Betancourt

Cantares de Navidad

An account of the arrival of the Christmas season as a tradition in Puerto Rico.

Sequenced by William Bellber Betancourt

De Tierra Lejana

This aguinaldo, also known as "Los Reyes de Oriente, is an account of the arrival of the wise men to the manger were Jesus Christ was born from the mouth of the wise men.

Sequenced by William Bellber Betancourt

De la Montaña Venimos

Traditional aguinaldo, written by Bobbi Capo, used as arrival song for the famous "trullas".

Midi courtesy ofRene Ramos

Si no me dan de beber (If I'm not given a drink)

To be offered a drink (as well as food) is a symbol of hospitality when the "trulla" arrives to the last stop for the "asalto". The host is supposed to offer the visitors the amenities of space, drinks and food and the visitors bring the music and the people to make the party. Naturally, the host do not produce the people will be sad. So the thret of sadness if there is non compliance is the theme of this aguinaldo.

Midi courtesy ofRene Ramos

A Las Arandelas

"Abreme la puerta, ábreme la puerta que estoy en la calle y dirá la gente que esto es un desaire, y dirá la gente  que esto es un desaire." The call for the owner of the house not to reject the visit of the carolers.

Midi by courtesy of

Caminan Las Nubes

"Chencha, que chavienda todos los años la misma gente y la misma mier..."

Midi by courtesy of


Dios Bendiga El Santo Nombre De Jesus (God Bless the holy name of Jesus)

We can not forget that above all Christmas is a Christian celebration about the arrival of Jesus Christ among us. Aguinaldos that are centered on the life and times of Jesus and the themes of Christianity are at the beginning of this music genre and will be at its end.

Sequenced by Rene Ramos

Rosa Blanca

This is a traditional aguinaldo that uses the Christmas season as a backdrop to carry the traditional message of a man that falls in love with a woman. It is sung often as part of the repertoire of the "parranda" group when access has been gained to the house and there is a need to entertain the host with some nice numbers.

Midi by courtesy of Giovanni Cardona Mena