si no tiene nada, nada nos dará, que lo que queremos es cariño y bondad.

Los Aguadillanos – Si Me Dan Pasteles

Last December, Chicago, everything freezing. Wayne took me to a cafe around the corner from his place — it was a Puerto Rican spot, and they were playing this beautiful music — aguinaldos. Lighthearted Christmastime songs with nimble acoustic guitars. Villancicos are the religious-themed carols. Los aguinaldos are their somewhat secular counterpart, entangled in a tradition of roving night parties called parrandas (not unlike carolling? do people still carol? did they ever? where?) .


[Navidad en el Tropico: Los Trovadores de Puerto Rico album cover]

A strong distinction between aguinaldos & villancicos doesn’t exist, although the terms aren’t as expansive as the nearby American category of ‘Christmas songs’ which can range from deeply religious hymns to adolescent sing-a-longs about flying livestock and a fat white man, old but mythically fertile, who surrounds himself with children in the wilderness, counting superhuman moral acumen among his many talents. The subject matter overrides the music’s stylistic genre too, and it’s seasonal. We have nothing else like it.

here’s a gift of several aguinaldos from Puerto Rico and an old Spanish villancico.

– ? (Spanish Villancicos LP rip)

Jose A. Salaman – La Mania (“listen to me, buddy – stop being neurotic, dance with your girl, I dance with mine… I’m warning you, for that obsession, many have ended in a cold grave”)

Julita Ross – Esta Navidad

Tonin Romero – De Tierras Lejanas

Ramito – A Los Boricanos


De Tierras Lejanas


Si Me Dan Pasteles