Cuban Industriales Mascot (Photo courtesy of Vassar College)
My last few posts about Bryce Harper
and the songs about him got me thinking more about the sociology of music
– or rather, the baseball sociology of music. Music is linked to both society and baseball. In the same way baseball functions in the society, music can reflect a society or a subgroup of people, or it can even be used to address a social issue. So what happens when baseball, music, and cultural values collide? Really great songs about baseball.
I recently stumbled across the Cuban pop group, Buena Fe. The duo’s members, Israel Rojas and Yoel Martinez, have covered a variety of social and political issues in their music. Even baseball.
Both music and baseball are integral to Cuban society, so a merger of the two is only natural. Both represent Cuban nationalism. In the early 2000’s, Buena Fe wrote a song for the documentary, Fuera De Liga, which is about the Cuban team, Industriales. The documentary, produced by Cuban documentarian Ian Padron, was banned by the government of Cuba. At least at first. Government censors objected to the documentary’s portrayal of the conditions faced by Cuban players as well as interviews with players who defected to the United States, include Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez. Eventually, however, they relented and the film was released in 2008.
The song title, Soñar en Azul, means “dreaming in blue” and refers to the Industriales’ team color. But the song is likely about more than just baseball. Translated, the lyrics include:
Rise up against the onslaught of a cruel offensive or stay trapped in a game of strikeouts. Could it be that baseball resembles life? Is it possible that without it, we could not dream?
You can judge for yourself with the music video, posted below.