The word couplet , originating in the Latin word copulation (understood in Spanish as "Union" or "link" ), is used to refer to a metric structure . The term is used to identify the poetic text organized as a string and where you can also see a romance quartet or a round, among other possibilities. This composition , as you know, usually serves as a model to give content to popular songbooks.
For example: “I've spent the whole night listening to songs at the bar”, “Doña María drinks a few drinks and starts singing songs”, "The town is mentioned in several popular songs".
It began to be cultivated during the 18th century in Spain and later it was spread in various parts of the world , reaching great popularity in Latin America. They consist of four stanzas that can contain octosyllabic verses, such as Romance (where the second and fourth verse rhyme) or the round (where the first and the fourth rhyme and so do the second with the third) or interspersed eptosyllabic and pentasyllabic verses, such as seguidilla (where the second and fourth verse rhyme).
The metric structure resembles the couplet to Romance (one of the most frequent genres of Spanish poetry). Antonio Machado , Rafael Alberti , Luis de Gongora and Federico García Lorca They are some of the authors who approached these poetic possibilities.
It should be noted that many couplets were adopted by the people, losing the name of their authors and moving on to be part of the popular songbook . The couplets tend to become popular as they appeal to a colloquial and direct language, sometimes with two-way comments to produce a comic effect.
The Andalusian couplet
It is known as Andalusian couplet to the type of song that was spread in Spain from the 40s. It is usually about passion and emotions. Those who interpret them stand out for their powerful voice, dominated by vibrato, and emphasize the Andalusian accent (although the interpreter has a different origin).
Unfortunately during the Franco dictatorship this art was used as a synonym for National identity and he was inevitably associated with the regime, although his origins They had little to do with him.
This led to that in the transition period the people were detaching themselves from this characteristic music, to manifest their rebellion with respect to what happened in recent decades in the country; in this way, the couplet was relegated to one side and the Anglo-Saxon music came to take its place, robbing it of all popularity.
Some of the authors who most stood out in this gender they were Quiroga, Quintero and León.
During the 80's many singer-songwriters they regained their interest in the couplet , getting many people to do it too. Today, some authors merge this style with different musical trends. Among the singers who have cultivated it are: Lola Flores, Miguel de Molina, Sara Montiel, Pasión Vega and Pastora Soler .
In this genre, passionate, sad and emotional stories are told; They are characterized by having an absolutely narrative character that mixes with musicality to express deep experiences of human encounters and disagreements. It consists of a metrics structured as follows: ABCB, that is to say that the second and the last stanza have the same number of syllables and similar rhyme.
Over the years many couplets have gained a marked popularity , among them we can mention: "María de la O" by León y Valverde, "Torre de Arena" by Gordillo, Sarmiento and Llabrés, "La Zarzamora" and "La Niña de Fuego" by Quintero, León and Quiroga.