A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this Spanish song features some melodramatic lyrics about a love affair ("even if it costs us our lives") and poses some negative stereotypes of Romani (Gypsy/gitano) people ("I am your gypsy…I am your thief") in the lyrics. On the plus side, more crossover songs with big pop/R&B artists like Beyonce may encourage kids to take more of an interest in their Spanish studies.
What's the story?
Starting with a mix of traditional flamenco sounds (\"aiyee, aiyee\") and generic Gypsy Kings-style guitarra riffs -- and adding in a bit of pop -- the lyrics of AMOR GITANO move you right into melodramatic romantic ballad territory. Kids who know Spanish will pick up on the drama of the love affair: \"even if it costs us our lives\" and \"hurts as much as it does.\" And anyone of Romani (Gypsy/gitano) ancestry will probably be offended by the implications in the lyrics that they are akin to thieves: \"Soy tu gitano….Soy tu ladrón\" (\"I am your gypsy…I am your thief\").
Is it any good?
Oddly enough, '"Amor Gitano" is most popular in Spain where the Romani -- who brought the world flamenco -- are constantly fighting this negative stereotype. It's also the theme song for the popular telenovela (Spanish soap opera) Zorro: La Espada y la Rosa, which certainly doesn't hurt sales. With Beyonce doing a pretty good job of phonetically singing in Spanish (the occasional verb phrase doesn't blend), this is more about novelty than about being a great single.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what turned them on to this song. Is it Beyonce singing in Spanish for the first time? Is it flamenco guitar rhythms mixed with a pop beat? Why do you think Beyonce decided to sing in Spanish? Is it the same reason Shakira sings in both English and Spanish? Do you think more and more artists will try to appeal to Spanish and English speakers?