I remember accompanying my mom to see Spanish vocalist Rocio Durcal perform at Madison Square Garden in the '80s. Known as La Española Más Mexicana, she sang beautiful rancheras and heart-breaking ballads that would always elicit tears from the audience. The song “Amor Eterno” still makes me choke up. Mexican composer Juan Gabriel wrote it for Durcal after her son drowned in Acapulco and it features some of the most moving lyrics I’ve ever heard:
Como quisiera ahhh / Que tu vivieras / Que tus ojitos jamas se huvieran cerrado nunca y estar mirandolos
(How I wish / That you were alive / That your little eyes had never closed and I could look into them)
And though the Spanish songstress passed away in 2006, her music and spirit live on in her daughter, Shaila Durcal. The 29-year-old, who was born in Madrid, inherited her mom’s love of Mexico. She just released her fourth album, Corazon Ranchero (EMI), a collection of covers from greats like Marco Antonio Solis, Joan Sebastian, Juan Gabriel and old-school mariachi Vicente Fernandez, who reportedly told the young artist, “You have to sing what your mother sung,” a request that was echoed by fans. So it’s no surprise that her favorite track from the album is the poignant “Dos Coronas a Mi Madre,” a sad song about taking flowers to her mom’s tomb on Mother’s Day.
You can see Shaila Durcal on Premios Juventud tomorrow night (Univision; 8 p.m. EST).