Yesterday, we went to see him and Joan Manuel Serrat, the two most important Spanish singer-songwriters (‘cantautores’) of the 60s/70s/80s, in concert at the huge Bilbao Exhibition Centre. Sabina is now 64 and Serrat is now 70. About ten years ago, Sabina had a stroke and Serrat had cancer, so there was a sense that this was a special occasion – possibly a last chance to see these ‘national treasures’ perform. However, on last night’s evidence, they’re still going very strong.
One of my favourite Sabina songs is ‘Nos sobran los motivos’, a song which is very much in the Spanish tradition of dramatic songs about the devastation of failed love. I can’t find a decent translation, but it’s a game of metaphors, and includes the line ‘My heart so bruised and battered is closed for demolition”. You can see him singing it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TnOWTQUSzs