Bare feet, white dreams (Pies Descalzos, Sueños Blancos)

English translation

Bare feet, white dreams

You belonged to an ancient race
of bare feet
and white dreams.
You were dust, dust you are
Think, because iron
that remains under the heat is weak.
 
You bit the apple
and gave up paradise
and sent a snake to its demise
 
even though you were the one who wanted it so.
Millennia after millennia
you remained naked
and battled dinosaurs
under a roof but no shield.
And now you're here
wanting to be happy
when you didn't care**
about your destiny.
 
You belonged to an ancient race
of bare feet
and white dreams.
You were dust, dust you are
Think, because iron
that remains under the heat is weak.*
 
You built an exact world
of such perfect finishes
Every little thing calculated
in its own little space and time.
And I'm such a complete mess
the entrances and exits
the names and measurements
can't fit into my brain.
And now you're here
wanting to be happy
when you didn't care
about your destiny.
 
You belonged to an ancient race
of bare feet
and white dreams.
You were dust, dust you are.
Think, because iron
that remains under heat is weak.
 
Saying 'hi' to your neighbor
Going to bed at a certain time
Working every day
to live life.
And answering 'that' only
and feeling just 'this'.
And may God save us
from bad thoughts.
Doing your homework,
going to school,
what would the family say
if you're a failure?
Always put your shoes on
Don't make noises at the table,
wear pantyhose and
ties at parties.
Women get married
always before 30
otherwise they'll only get to dress saints#!
even if they don't want to.
And on your 15th birthday$
you better not forget
a fine champaigne
And to dance the waltz well.
And to dance the waltz well.
 
Submitted by vastaga on Wed, 03/11/2010 - 03:46
Last edited by vastaga on Tue, 16/05/2017 - 02:57
Author's comments:

**Thank you for your feedback, user BeaverBrook!
*"Think, because iron that remains under the heat is weak."

This was a tricky phrase to translate (the lack of punctuation in the provided lyrics doesn't exactly help either...)
It may also be translated to "Think that iron under the heat/fire is always weak" but I chose the latter because it seems to make more sense in context.

# "Women get married / always before 30 / otherwise they'll only get to dress saints..."

To be "left dressing saints" is a saying in Spanish-speaking countries used to talk about a woman will never get married. It might literally mean that this woman, who is past marriageable age (over 30), although forever single, is also completely chaste and dignified.

$ "And on your 15th birthday you better not forget a fine champaigne and to dance the waltz well."

This is a reference to the customary quinceañera party that is so common in Latin American countries. It is a coming-of-age celebration that takes place on a girl's 15th birthday. It involves a huge, often lavish party with the girl's family and friends present. She wears a fancy dress and customarily dances the waltz with her father.

Also, music video.

Spanish

Pies Descalzos, Sueños Blancos

videoem: 
Comments
algebra    November 3rd, 2010

I like your translation. Good times of Shakira...

vastaga    November 3rd, 2010

Thank you! Regular smile

Those were the times, indeed.

algebra    November 3rd, 2010

By the way, Andrea, as native in Spanish, do you imagine what sueños blancos can mean? Teeth smile

avalanche    February 1st, 2011

Thank you vastaga for your translation. I love the figurative meanings contained in this song and how we can see/understand a lot of things regarding women in this song. This song is so meaningful.
Again, thank you. Regular smile

Beaverbrook    August 24th, 2016

Shouldn't "Cuando no te importó un pepino tu destino" be translated as, "When you didn't care a bit about your destiny."?

vastaga    February 14th, 2017

Hey, I'm sorry for my late reply. I just saw your comment!

I chose "didn't give a crap" because I wanted to keep the informal tone that goes with "te importa un pepino". I understand that "giving a crap" is a bit more vulgar than the Spanish phrase we're discussing, but it's the closest informal approximation I could think of.

Beaverbrook    February 16th, 2017

I understand what you are saying. and, on its own, that is a reasonable translation, but when it comes to the overall beauty and poetry of this song, I don't think it fits in this case, especially because one of Shakira's greatest strengths is her ability to convey a powerful message, without using vulgarity, which the word "crap" is.
Although it is about as slight a vulgarity as possible, I don't think it fits in with Shakira.

vastaga    February 23rd, 2017

Thanks for your feedback. I applied it to the translation Regular smile