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    Land of winds > Music > Lyrics | Issue 17 (Jan.-Feb. 2014)
    By Edgardo Civallero | Sara Plaza

Arpaschallay, violinchallay

(Traditional. On "Flor de fango". Dúo Los Apus, 2006)

Arpaschallay, violinchallay

This song, which mixes Quechua and Spanish words, is a traditional tune from the department of Ayacucho (Peru) and surrounding areas. It is usually titled by its opening verse, "arpaschallay, violinchallay" (in Quechua, "my little harp, my little violin").

It has been popularized by performers from Ayacucho such as Manuelcha Prado and Hugo Carrillo, who often present it as an "ayla de Puquio". The ayla is a dance performed during the Water Festival or Sequía Tusuy (draught dance), which is celebrated in August in several parts of Ayacucho, including the village of Puquio. The coplas (stanzas) that make up this song can, circumstantially, be used in an ayla; adding onto that, the song is not unique to this region, and it can also be found in the traditional repertoires of Huancavelica and Apurímac departments. Besides, its first copla (the most characteristic one) has been used by several authors as the ending of other huaynos.

Generally speaking, the song consists of a variable number of coplas whose structure may vary slightly from performer to performer. Below, the two most popular coplas and some possible variants of them are included.

Arpaschallay, violinchallay
miskita [tristita] waqaykamuy
kumarichaywan, kumparichaywan
tusurikunaypaq.
[hermanallaywan, compadrellaywan
kausarikunaypaq].
[kuyay mamaywan, kuyay taytaywan
tumarikunaypaq].

[My little harp, my little violin,
will sweetly (sadly) cry
for me to be able to dance
with my comadrita, with my compadrito.
(for me to be able to live
whith my little sister, with my compadrito).
(for me to be able to drink
with my dear mummy, with my dear daddy)].

Traguschallay [alcolchallay], vinuschallay
veintigraduschallay
ch'irichapipas, wayrachapipas
[llakiypipas, kusiypipas]
[yarqaypipas, nocheypipas]
compañamintuyllay.

[My drink (my alcoholic beverage), my wine
of twenty degrees
are my only company
in the cold, in the blizzard
(in my sorrows, in my joys)
(in my starvation, at my nights)].

Finally, from the set of possible "fugas" (endings) that traditionally close the huaynos, any of the following examples can be added to this song.

Ingenieroy, ingenieroy,
carreterata mandakamuy.
Apuntallay dinamita
rumichallata wiqchuchisun.

[My engineer, my engineer,
tell us to build the road.
By using dynamite
we will throw off the stones].

Puquianullay subprefecto,
ordenchata apachimuy.
Ayla Huayllu comunllaqa
debertaqa ruwasaku.

[Sub-prefect of Puquio,
give the order.
The comuneros of Huayllu
will do our duty].

[Comunero meaning local community member].


Video 01. "Arpaschallay, violinchallay", by Estudiantina del Sur.
Video 02. "Arpaschallay, violinchallay", by Puqio Encanta (Manuelcha Prado, Sila Illanes and Edwin Montoya).
Video 03. "Arpaschallay ", by Dúo Los Apus.
Video 03. "Arpaschallay, violinchallay", by Hugo Carrillo.


Picture A.


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