Irina Pino

Watching a video of George Harrison

HAVANA TIMES — To think while listening to music, to look back on the time that has passed, to engage in reflections that make us appreciate our existence more – this is not accidental, and it occurs when we enjoy things that make us more aware.

It is by no means dwelling on the past, but, sometimes, we can’t help ask ourselves how much we ought to retain from a past moment in our lives, what experience was actually of any value to us.

That is what I think about while I enjoy some old music videos that a good friend had the kindness of copying for me.

Hotel California, New Kid in Town (by The Eagles), Handle With Care (by the Travelling Wilburys), Carol King’s It’s Too Late, Cocaine, Leyla (by Eric Clapton), Something (by George Harrison), Chicago’s Saturday in the Park, The Doors’ Light my Fire, and Raise Your Hand, by Janis Joplin, which makes me raise my own hand and continue to bet on this music, which conveys a message to me and inspires me to be better.

In these loveless times, when, as my friend and colleague Warhol P says, people use one another to see what they can get out of a relationship, when higher spiritual interests that nourish human beings and make them soar are missing, I believe that friendship is something of a lifeline, something to help us face up to the challenge of surviving on the island, the place we live in and are unable to experience differently, for the time being.

Personal growth doesn’t just happen. It stems from self-teaching, books, cinema, music, cooking, traveling, knowing how to look. A philosophy of life that inspires us to share our experiences with others might be the key to allaying the anxieties that our daily concerns give rise to.

Friends can lend us a hand in this, making our days merrier – and so can a few, simple music videos.


Irina Pino

Irina Pino: I was born in the middle of shortages in those sixties that marked so many patterns in the world. Although I currently live in Miramar, I miss the city center with its cinemas and theaters, and the bohemian atmosphere of Old Havana, where I often go. Writing is the essential thing in my life, be it poetry, fiction or articles, a communion of ideas that identifies me. With my family and my friends, I get my share of happiness.

2 thoughts on “Enjoying Some Old Music Videos

  • I have discovered, especially from my Cuban wife, that many of the American songs that Cubans hold dear to their hearts have meanings slightly different from what their Cuban fans understand these songs to mean. This is due to the poetic license the songwriter took when the song was written. For example, Hotel California is a classic in Cuba. To most Cubans it is a song that calls forth images of a place to relax and be easy. When in truth, the real meaning of that song is about a heroin den. Lost in translation and local idioms, these songs nonetheless cause Cubans to harken back to a time in their lives maybe more romantic or less stressful. It may remind them of a former lover or a love that never was. Still, it amuses me when I ask my Cuban friends if they really understand what the song is about. Even when they don’t they still manage to enjoy it just the same.

  • Your last three paragraphs express much wisdom. Actually, there has never been a golden “Age of Aquarius,” save in our dreams. In all ages and epochs lovelessness, vulgarity, and exploitative relationships, where individuals seek only to exploit one another, is the norm. All the more important to cherish true friends. These, however, must have values, principles, morals, and an appreciation for aesthetic beauty; the ability to find such friends develops and is refined over a long period. Once found, however, such friends are the essence of life’s joy.

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