Monday, July 21, 2008

Geosong of the Week: Kevin Johansen's "La Falla de San Andrés"

Sorry for the long hiatus, guys! (Is two weeks a long hiatus?) I was on the east coast visiting people that I pretty much only get to see twice a year, and this was not conducive to much internet time. Which was, probably, a good thing, but I still missed mah intarwebz. And now I am back in California and have more time on my hands, but also more geology to talk about, so I will try to be less dead.

But I will start back in with a song.

I have a friend in England who delights in sending me very strange music. One of the all-time strangest she's sent me is a Finnish humppa-rock song about a town where cows say cuckoo and cuckoos give milk. She's also sent me songs in Hungarian, Estonian, German, and Latvian. When I moved to California, though, she said she had the perfect song for me, in Spanish and English. The song in question is by a guy called Kevin Johansen, and it's called "La Falla de San Andrés." (Yes, there are a lot of SAF songs on this playlist.)

Kevin Johansen is Argentinian-American, was born in Alaska, and moved to Buenos Aires at the age of 12, but the gap between birth and that move was spent in the San Francisco Bay area. This gave him more than enough time, apparently, to pick up some seismic lore and plant the seeds for this song. It is not, however, a serious song about earthquake damage or the emotional impact thereof. Johansen instead opted for a type of lyrics that, from what I read, resonates well with the geoblogosphere: puns.

Yes, this is a song that is an elaborate setup for a dreadful geoscience pun in two languages.

No fue mi culpa esta vez! Fue la Falla de San Andrés!
This time it wasn't my fault! It was San Andreas' Fault!

What's not to love?
(I suspect this also works in other Romance languages. But definitely not German or Russian.)

As if this wasn't gloriously goofy enough, the story that leads up to the singer placing the blame on the Fault is punctuated by sound effects. My favorite, hands down, is when the singer describes the Earth opening up, and there's a creaky door noise; the other sound effects are equally ridiculous, in the best possible way.

The music itself is bouncy and Latin - a little bit mariachi, a little bit cumbia. One of the other people in the mariachi band at school thinks we should adapt this to be entirely mariachi, so we can play it with me singing. Yikes! If that happens, I will probably hide from the recording, if there is one.

Kevin Johansen, however, used to have a free MP3 of this song on his website. It no longer seems to be there, which makes me sad, because now it is harder to inflict the song on people. It is, at least, still on his Rhapsody page.
And here are the complete lyrics.

1 comment:

Silver Fox said...

That's definitely a neat song - Spanish and English. It reminds me a bit of a couple Jimmy Buffet songs.