Friday, December 2, 2016

What Should I Do: Los Tradicionales de Carlos Puebla and "Dilema"

Today's random song comes from a revolutionary band, in more ways than one. Along with his band Los Tradicionales (or sometimes Sus Tradicionales), Carlos Puebla defined the sound of Fidel Castro's Cuban Revolution. A largely self-taught musician on guitar, he began performing in the 1930s, and soon began singing about the hardships and oppression that existed in Cuba. In 1959, when Castro entered victorious into Havana, it made such an impression on Puebla that he began writing songs that chronicled the revolution and disseminated its values. His success in Cuba led to a tour of over 35 countries and the band's reputation as the unofficial musical ambassadors of Cuba. The departure of Che Guevara from Cuba in 1965 led him to write his most famous song, Farewell. Puebla retired due to ill health in 1988 and died a year later - the band's leadership passed to Octavio Abreua and the band renamed themselves Los Tradicionales de Carlos Puebla. This song, Dilema, is recorded by Los Tradicionales de Carlos Puebla, and is a reflection on seeing someone cry and the depth of feeling that results in the one who is observing the other's grief. It can be found on the 1997 compilation CD Putumayo Presents: Music from the Coffee Lands.