I remember walking into an ethnic restaurant in the Mid Island Plaza mall some time in the late 70s and hearing Charo sing Eres Tu and thinking what the hell is this? Not in an angry way but an intrigued yet confused way. I swore she was singing It is Two… I see, I see, It Is Two. Made prerfect sense to me and I would look forward to every Love Boat episode with Charo peering out the porthole hoping to get a lispy, barely understandable performance and quick ‘cuchi-cuchi’ from her. The story and lyrics of this song make even less sense.
Mocedades was a sextet from Bilbao, Spain, which began as a vocal trio of sisters and a handful of guitar players. They were originally names Voices & Guitars, because dammit they didn’t have time for catchy band names. They only had time to spread their upbeat folk song through the streets of Madrid. One of their demo tapes ended up in the hands of Jose Carlos Calderon, who quickly named them Mocedades, which translated means Youths, cause dammit he was too busy too.
Calderon had written a catchy little love song named You Are or in Spanish, Eres Tu, and decided to have Mocedades record it and enter it into the 1973 Eurovision song contest representing Spain. The band placed second with their performance, but the song came under fire from critics because it sounded too much like this song. There’s definitely a similarity there in the verse of Brez Besed and the chorus of Eres Tu. But no one officially called out or sued Mocedades or Calderon and in fact many current groups in Spanish & Slavic countries will do both songs as a medley.
It’s amazing that this song was hit in the U.S., as it reached the Top 10 in 1974. The group recorded an English version but DJs and the public were only interested in the full Spanish version. In fact it is to this day, the only song to make Billboard Top 10 that is fully sung in Spanish. Eres Tu succeeded as it was recorded [and many versions exist today] which is a good thing. Because once the English go involved they destroyed the song. First of all they added the Touch the Wind in parenthesis to the title, which has absolutely nothing to do with the song. It’s like having the song Bohemian Rhapsody and adding the subtitle, Crackers are Silly. To top it off the English version is a completely different song with lyrics that don’t relate or translate to the original lyrics at all. Take a listen.
Not that the originally translated Spanish lyrics are anything to write home about. This is the translated chorus:
You are like the water of my source (Something like that, you are)
You are like the fire of my home
You are like the fire of my bonfire
You are like the wheat of my bread
The wheat of my bread? Why can’t I ever write a Valentine with smooth lines like this? Now you know why we stuck with the Spanish. Next time you’re out for a drive, load this song up, sing along and wonder what Vegas would have been like if it was owned by Mexico.