Carnival songs resemble a tabloid newspaper in their verve, spirit and range of themes. They are a measure of social change and an annual summary of events and opinion. The songs involve considerable artistry and are renowned as well for their raucous humor and vulgar concerns. (Promiscuity and sexual misalliances are common subjects.) Banned by Franco during the Spanish Civil War, the Cdiz carnival began a revival in the 1960's following decades of repression. This fascinating book examines carnival song and society during the last years of the Franco dictatorship and the succeeding period of the new constitutional monarchy, when the Andalusians found their voice and Carnival enjoyed an extraordinary florescence. Songs from rural and urban carnivals in several locales throughout the province of Cdiz provide a compelling picture of Andalusian life in both troubled and more flourishing times.
Jerome R. Mintz Professor of Anthropology,Indiana University