In Hear This, A.V. Club writers sing the praises of songs they know well—some inspired by a weekly theme and some not, but always songs worth hearing.
When my best friend and her partner had their first child, they made a mixtape to welcome him into the world—a mix of their favorite sweet love songs and get-up-and-dance songs, which included a swingin’ tune called “Si Corazón.” It was the first I’d heard of Los Zafiros, a Cuban doo-wop group from the ’60s and early ’70s. (The band’s name means “the sapphires.”) All their music is predictably delightful—you can’t really go wrong with bossa-nova-infused doo-wop—but this particular song lets loose with the unfiltered joy of a little kid stomping in rain puddles.
At heart, it’s just a simple love song. Translated, the song begins: “Come, my love / You don’t see that I can’t live without you / Your caresses, your kisses, your love / Have always made me happy.” But a jangly bass line surfs below gleeful doo-wop gibberish, and the “brrrraaaaaahhhhh” wailed between lyrics is unfettered bliss.
Los Zafiros is long gone—late guitarist and Buena Vista Social Club alum Manuel Galbán died two years ago, and most of the other members died young, leaving co-founder Miguel Cancios as the only survivor—but they left behind, appropriately enough, some calypso-hued gems. Of the songs my friends put on their new-baby mixtape, this one stands out the most, even as their son is about to turn 8. I can’t think of a happier song to celebrate life.