La Rosa Blanca

La rosa blanca –

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Featured Recording
Chamber Singers of Sherwood High School, Sandy Spring, MD
William C. Evans, conductor

Jose Marti (1853-1895) was the literary leader of Cuba’s revolution for independence from Spain at the end of the 19th century, though he died three years before the country’s liberation in 1898. He is still considered one of Cuba’s greatest writers. Marti wrote these stanzas from a Spanish prison to a friend who had betrayed him to the police.

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Cultivo una rosa blanca
en julio como en enero,
para el amigo sincero
que me da su mano franca.

Y para el cruel, que me arranca
el corazon con que vivo,
cardo ni ortiga cultivo;
cultivo la rosa blanca

I grow a white rose
in July as well as January
for the honest friend
who gives me his sincere hand.

And for the cruel one, who tears out
the heart with which I live,
neither thorn nor thistle I grow;
I grow the white rose.

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