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"Setecientos setentaisiete (Seventeen Seventy-Seven)," #156 Swapping Stories
Irvan Perez, Poydras, Louisiana


This décima was composed by Irvan Perez and his wife Louise in 1976, to commemorate the two hundredth anniversary of the Canary Islanders' voyage to Louisiana.


Setecientos setentaisiete,
varias familias dejaron las Islas Canarias,
para la costa de Cuba,
del sur de la Luisiana.

En sur de la Luisiana
y en tierra regalada,
se pusieron de jardineros,
para mantenerse estas familias.

Varios fueron de soldados;
pelearon por su libertad.
También salieron victoriosos
y encontra de Inglaterra.

íViva España y su bandera!
Que con todo mi corazón,
sé que somos americanos,
pero sangre de español.

Cuando el tiempo se les puso duro,
cuando no podían más,
se fueron de estas tierras
y con otros españoles,
se pusieron a la pesca.

Entre el pato y la rata,
entre las aguas y las plerías,
con la ayuda de las mujeres,
se buscaron la vida.

Con penas y tormentos
y la voluntad de Dios,
así se pobló la costa
de la Parroquia de San Bernardo.

íViva España y su bandera!
Que con todo mi corazón,
sé que somos americanos,
pero sangre de español.


Seventeen Seventy-Seven (English Translation)

In seventeen seventy-seven,
some families left the Canary Islands,
for the shores of Cuba
and Southern Louisiana.

In Southern Louisiana
and on land that was given to them,
they became farmers
to maintain their families.

Some became soldiers;
they fought for their freedom.
They were also victorious
fighting against England.

Long live Spain and her flag!
For with all my heart,
I know we're Americans,
but our blood is Spanish!

When times got tough for them
and they couldn't hold out,
they left their land,
and with other Spaniards,
they became fishermen.

What with ducks and muskrats,
with the water and the marsh,
with the help of the women,
they earned their living.

With sorrow and trouble,
and by the will of God,
that's how they settled
the towns of St. Bernard.

Long live Spain and her flag!
For with all my heart,
I know we're Americans,
but our blood is Spanish.


Notes to the Teacher: Inspired by a new Isleño cultural awareness and deep pride in their distinctive Hispanic origins, the song is, without doubt, the only décima that uses data taken from written history, in offering a succinct historical overview of the Isleño community's beginnings, travails, and subsequent development. For another rendition by Irvan Perez, see Armistead (1992, 37-38).

About the Transcriptions


National Endowment for the Arts.

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