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Plena La Máquina

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. 

The “La Máquina” Plena

This song is about a train from the Puerto Rico that is traveling around the island.  The Puerto Rico rail system was created during the late 19th century and was significantly expanded during the early 20th century due to a growing sugar cane industry in the island. Passenger travel began to flourish in 1902 when the American Railroad Company from New York acquired the system.

La Máquina Lyrics

Composer: Manuel Jimenez “Canario”

La máquina patinaba
Cuando salió de San Juan.
Bayamón, el Dorado, Vega Alta,
En Vega Baja volvió a patinar.
La máquina patinaba
Cuando salió de San Juan.

Manatí que es mi pueblo querido,
Barceloneta de Sixto Escobar,
Arecibo, Camuy con Hatillo
En Quebradillas volvió a patinar.


Ya pasamos del río Guajataka
Y en el túnel ya vamos a entrar,
Luego viene Isabela, Aguadilla
y en Rincón ya volvió a patinar.


A Mayagüez vamos entrando de noche,
Ya cansados de tanto viajar.
San Germán, Hormigueros y Añasco,
Cabo Rojo con San Sebastian.


Ya llegamos a Yauco señores,
Guayanilla a la orilla del mar,
Y llegamos a La Perla que es Ponce,
donde queda la estación central.


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