Tueday Tunes: Yasmin Levy

I love the music of Ladino singer Yasmin Levy. Born In Israel, her songs are part heart wrenching Fado, part Flamenco and part rhythmic Middle Eastern belly-dancing-soul.

Ladino is a lesser known ancient language of Spanish Jews who were exiled from Spain in 1492 and settled throughout the Ottoman Empire.


Levy’s use of language(s) is lyrical poetry at it’s best. She skillfully sings of love and heartbreak, spirituality and devotion with a raw vocalization so profound, it feel like she is singing into your soul.

Here are the lyrics to one of my favorite of her songs, La Alegria in Spanish and English:

Yo bebo y bebo y bebo para olvidarte
Yo duermo y duermo y duermo para no pensar
Maldito mundo
Vivir para pagar por el pecado de amarte
Maldita tú

Te digo que vida no tengo
Y es por tu culpa
Las noches igual que los días
De soledad
Oh Dios mío
Ayúdame para matar este amor
Que está en mi corazón
Bendito Dios

Solo caminando en el camino de este mundo
Y no tengo más fuerza para luchar
Yo pensaba que amarte fue el remedio del dolor
Pero el dolor se hizo grande más y más
Te dejo para siempre, vida mía, no te olvides
Que soy hombre que existe para ti
Y el cante de mi vida te regalo para siempre
Hasta que llegue el día del morir

I drink and drink and drink to forget
I sleep and sleep and sleep to avoid thinking
damn world
Living to pay for the sin of loving you
damn you
Let me go

I tell you I have no life
And it’s your fault
Nights like day
of loneliness
Oh My God
Help me to kill this love
That is in my heart
Praise God
Save me

Just walking in the way of this world
And I have no strength to fight
I thought that love was the cure of pain
But the pain became more and more large
I leave you forever, my darling, do not forget
I’m there for you man
And the song of my life I give you forever
Until the day of death