La Montana

Lyrics: Hart plus ?
Music: Hart plus ?

This is one of the new songs played on the Mickey Hart Band tour in summer 2000.

De la montana (from the mountain)
Viene la musica (the music comes)
Gorda y brava (fat and mean) (note 1)
Oye te pido (listen I ask you)
Oigas mi canto (hear my song)
Raises puras (pure roots)
Que tiene mendo (that have soul)
Palos duros (hard sticks)
Ritmos puro (pure rhythms)
Cambian su forma (they change their form)
Y se transforman  (and they transform)
Tienen su chambo (they have soul)
Oye mi canto (listen to my song)
Wolololo lolololai (note 2)
Tienen mendo (the ancient rhythms transform they still have soul)
(1) this is the literal meaning. But in this context it refers to the thickness and the force with which the song arrives.
(2) according to Mickey:
"This is in the's called a diana, and it's used to establish the rhythm in a rhumba form. It's usually used at the beginning of a rhumba. It announces the rhumba. Rhumba is an idiom of cuban music that uses the 3/2 clave signature riff. And it has its roots in both the congo and spain."
Mickey gives this account of the background to the song in his road journal
"This song is for the mountains, and about the mountains. The inspiration comes from the mountains. We were playing a 6/8 groove at my studio when this creature raised its head. It's a bembe groove, a religious rhythm to the elements. It is a rhythm that is set aside to honor nature. An ancient rhythm, and in this particular song we are saying that the rhythms transform and become modern out of the heart. The rhythm is like the earth, it is round and it goes around like a clock. So we are calling them pure root rhythms that are grounded in earth. We are saying that they have mendo, which means a soul. Pure rhythms that have soul. From that point on they have soul and the rhythms have the power to transform. Bobi says 'palos duros' which means hard sticks. But it means, in a religion in Cuba called Palo Monte which is based in the Congo, a very pure form of Congolese folklore in Cuba. So to say 'palo duro' is to say Africa. So Bobi is asking you to listen to this song that has soul. The song talks about the flavor and feeling of the tradition there. The mountains are a very important part of the tradition of Palo Monte. The mountain represents Obatala. He is knowledge, owner of all heads. He is responsible for peace on earth. He is the main orisha. He is called father of the white cloth. That is why he represents peace on earth. Purity is his attribute. An orisha is a spirit of nature. The orisha is a selected head of God almighty. There are many orishas. The god of iron, ogun. The god of thunder, Shango, the god of the hunt, Ochosi. Orisha Oko, the god of earth. In this song we talk about orisha Oko and orisha Obatala. So from the comes the music. Like the mountain is oozing sounds...rhythms. Which fly through the air. The air is called oya, and it comes thick and strong. It says ancient rhythms that convert, turn and become modernized in the heart. Hard sticks with a lot of soul. Spiritually strong, magical. That's why they are hard sticks."


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