Pedro Infante: Angelitos Negros

Pedro Infante sings Angelitos Negros, the heart-wrenching theme song from the 1948 film of the same name.

Watching this film, I was reminded of the American melodrama Imitation of Life, and it was interesting to discover that Juanita Moore, who played Annie, the long-suffering mother in that 1959 film, also played the long-suffering Mercé in the 1970 remake of Angelitos Negros.

The words to the song are from a poem by Andres Eloy Blanco

Here is the lyric, and a rough translation:

Angelitos negros

Pintor nacido en mi tierra,
con el pincel extranjero,
pintor que sigues el rumbo,
de tantos pintores viejos.

Aunque la virgen sea blanca,
píntale angelitos negros,
que también se van al cielo,
todos los negritos buenos.

Pintor si pintas con amor,
¿por qué desprecias su color?
si sabes que en el cielo,
también los quiere Dios.

Pintor de santos alcoba,
si tienes alma en el cuerpo,
por qué al pintar en tus cuadros,
te olvidaste de los negros.

Siempre que pintas iglesias,
pintas angelitos bellos,
pero nunca te acordaste,
de pintar un ángel negro

Little Black Angels

Painter, born in my land
with a foreign brush in your hand,
Following in the glory,
of artists who came before you.

Though the Virgin may be white,
paint me some little black angels,
for they go to heaven, too,
as all good black people do.

Painter of art, if you paint with any heart,
Why do you despise this color?
Knowing well that God in heaven,
Loves black people, too.

Painter of alcoves of saints,
if you have a soul within you,
why is it when you paint,
you forget to paint the black ones?

You paint all our churches,
and fill them with beautiful angels,
but you never do remember,
to paint us a black angel.

~ by lolarusa on June 4, 2010.

5 Responses to “Pedro Infante: Angelitos Negros”

  1. I think your translation is quite good. You might want to listen to the Eartha Kitt cover of ‘Angelitos Negros’. She is superb and so is the instrumentation.

  2. Hello Art,

    Eartha Kitt’s version is indeed fantastic.

  3. I shared your site because I remember watching this movie in the cinema in the Bronx. I love the song so much. Thank you for posting.

  4. I was introduced to this song at age 14 in my first Spanish Class. The message, delivered by poignant music, left a deep imprint on my being. I believe this was one of the significant milestones in my identity development: accepting my color as “also loved b God” and henceforth sustaining my life work in bridging gaps between people and healing our individual and collective hurts. My 11-yr-old grandchild is in her first Spanish Class–I believe I shall teach her “Angelitos Negros” soon.

  5. Reblogged this on Eslkevin's Blog and commented:
    I just waatched the movie

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