The musical setting for this flamenco song, a tanguillos, is more modern, but the poetry dates back to 1905, describing an event that happened the year before in Cádiz. One summer morning, old 5 peseta coins (duros antiguos) stamped 1780 were found on the beach, presumably from a shipwreck. People came out in droves to seek their fortune. The song tells of a man watching his mother-in-law digging in the sand for days – 4 or 7, depending on the version of the song – without stopping. At the end she dies of pneumonia, but the song is actually considered very light and humorous.


Letras (lyrics):

Aquellos duros antiquos / Those old duros*
Que tanto en Cai dieron / That in Cádiz
Que hablar / Were so talked about
Que se encontraba la gente / That were found by the people
A la orillita de mar / At the seashore
Fue la cosa mas graciosa / It was the funniest thing
Que en mi vida he visto yo / That I have ever seen in my life

Alli fue medio Cai / There was half of Cádiz
Con espiocha / With pickaxe
Alli estaba mi suegra / There was my mother-in-law
Y eso que estaba ya medio chocha / And she was already half nuts
Con las uñas y el pelo / With her nails and hair
La vi escarbar siete dias seguido / I saw her dig seven days straight
Sin descansar / Without resting

Estaba la playa / The beach was
Igual que una feria / Like a festival
Válgame San Cleto / Bless me, St. Cletus
Lo que es la miseria / What misery
Algunos cojieron / Some got
Más de ochenta duros / More than eighty duros
Pero en cambio otros / But in exchange others
No cojieron ninguno / Didn’t get any

Mi suegra como ya dije / My mother-in-law like I already said
Estuvo allí una semana / Was there a week
Escarbando por la noche / Digging at night
De dia y por la mañana / By day and in the morning
Perdió la uñas y el pelo / She lost her nails and hair
Aunque bien poco tenia / Although she didn’t have much

Y en vez de cojer los duros / And instead of getting the duros
Lo que cojio fue una pulmonia / What she got was pneumonia
Y en el patio de las malvas / And in the graveyard
Ya está escarbando desde aquel dia / She’s been digging from that day on

* Five peseta coins