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Plena songs

Plena Music

Plena is one of Puerto Rico’s native music rhythms. It is the music of southern, coastal Puerto Rico, especially around the city of Ponce. First appearing around the end of the 19th century, plena lyrics concentrate on providing information about contemporary events so it’s nickname became “el periodico cantao” (the sung newspaper). Originally plena was a sung accompanied by Spanish tambourines called panderos; later frame drums and guiro were added, and more contemporary plena saw the addition of horns. Plena songs are characterized by the repetition of phrases. 

Plena Songs

We have compiled several plena songs that describe situations and stories that are engrained in our cultural tradition.  They include:

La Máquina

Mosaico Número Uno

Julia Lee

Karacatiski

Carbón de Palito

Tanta Vanidad

Cuando las Mujeres Quieren a los Hombres

Cortaron a Elena

Santa María

Fuego, Fuego, Fuego

Temporal

Isidora

Ay Lola Lola

Que bonita es!

Los muchachos de Cataño

El obispo

Tintotera de la mar

Ya llegó

La guagua

Contemporary Plenas

Voy subiendo, voy bajando

Christmas Plena Songs

Plena Una Noche se Oyó en Borinquén

Related links

Plena and Censorship in the early 1900s

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