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Uruguay is the best countreeee — National joke becomes national hit

UruguayEsElMejorPais

Two classical musicians from Russia and the UK wrote an absurdist song singing the praises of this remote Latin American country, it went viral online locally and next thing you know the government has produced a tourism promo campaign with those musicians (literally) singing the attractions of the country.

Uruguayans have been tickled pink by musicians Aleksey Igudesman and Richard Hyung-ki Joo, of the classical music duo Igudesman & Joo since Tiranos Temblad, a weekly internet show which collects together all the mentions of “Uruguay” on the internet, discovered their grandiose-comic song “Uruguay es el mejor pais” (Uruguay is the best country) several months ago.

So much so, that in November 2013 the Ministry of Tourism actually brought them over to Uruguay, put them on the back of a truck with a grand piano, and hauled them down country roads and through Montevideo, to film what is actually a very funny and at the same time gorgeously panoramic view of the country.

Good for you, MinTur! Though we’ll be interested to see if a national in-joke becomes an commercial success for the Uruguayan tourist industry.

But what are they saying??

We provide a translation for your enjoyment.

Yo me voy a Uruguay
Porque me gusta la gente
Yo me voy a Uruguay
Es casi siempre caliente
Uruguay es el mejor paissss
Mejor que Francia
y mejor que Paris
Yo me voy a Uruguay
Me voy urgentemente
Vamos a UruguayTodos! Vamos!
Me voy a Uruguayyyyy
I’m going to Uruguay
Because I like the people
I’m going to Uruguay
Because it’s almost always hot!
Uruguay is the best country!
It’s better than France,
and it’s better than Paris!
I’m going to Uruguay
I’m going right now!
Let’s go to UruguayEveryone! Let’s go!
I’m going to Uruguayyyy!

Myth busting

The Latin music references and Igudesman’s accent are more Central American or Caribbean than South American.

Uruguay is not a tropical country and certainly not “almost always hot”.

The Spanish grammar is rudimentary! eg Referring to warm weather you say that “hace calor”, not that the weather is “caliente”.

All of the above make Uruguayans laugh all the harder 🙂

Igudesman is well-aware of all of this. As he says in the original YouTube video which was discovered by Tiranos Temblad he clarifies:

“Igudesman is very well aware that the “traditional” music in Uruguay is different. You have Tangos and Milongas, much like in Argentina. He has been there several times, loved the people and loved the music. The point is, he writes in his own style, which in this case happens to be Jewish-Russian-Latin American-weird mix.

He is also aware that it can get cold in winter, which is Europes summer and the other way round, or something.

Just because Igudesman sings something, it doesnt have to be the truth. As some people might have noticed, he uses “humour” which can ocassionally result in bending of facts.

And last but not least, he did love being there, thats why he wrote the song and performed it there and in other parts of the world in front of many people who seem to enjoy it.

Its better than writing an “authentic” Tango (this being a dance that is not authentic in the first place, since it is inspired by many cultures) or Milonga and saying that Uruguay is crap, don’t you think?”

1 Comment

  1. Mark Mercer

    November 28, 2013

    Absolutely wonderful, absurdity and all. The marvelously odd mix of things that go into my new little country is a big part of its outsized charm.

    Though that “always hot” thing… wish my electric and supergas bills for last winter reflected that alternate reality!

    Reply

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