In Dominican Popular Music, Fear of Witchcraft Persists

One of my favorite Dominican artists is Amarfis, who calls his band: "the attack band." Though Amarfis sings about everyday themes, and is far from a religious singer, he is unique because he embraces Afro-spiritualism in his fast-beat merengue. Amarfis' lyrics are more suited to a voodoo ritual than a salsa floor, but somehow he has managed to successfully incorporate Afro-religious lyrics into a modern, danceable rhythm. One Amarfis song that truly embodies the Dominican Republic's Afro-spiritual, musical heritage is the song Yemayá. Yemayá is a Loa, an intermediary for God, in voodoo.
Yemayá: quítame lo malo y tíralo en el mar (coro)
Fui donde una bruja
Y me dijo, "Amarfis, tú estás saladito."
La bruja me dijo, "te quieren hacer daño."
"Hay muchos envidiosos que te quieren abajo."
"Te daré una cosa que te cuidará."
"Para el que te tire, no te haga mal."
Aléjalo de mi (coro)
A los envidiosos. A los falsos.
Y a todos esos Judas.
Y para el merenguero que me quiera hacer daño,
Dios se la pagará!
Yemaja: take the evil from me and cast it to the sea (chorus)
I went to a witch
And she told me, "Amarfis, you're under a spell."
"There are many jealous individuals who want to see you down."
"I will give you something that will protect you."
"So that whoever may speak ill of you shall do you no evil."
Cast them away from me (chorus)
To all the jealous ones. All the fakes.
And all the Judas.
And for the merengueros that wants to hurt me,
God shall repay you!
Take care!
Another Amarfis song that I personally enjoy is Papá Bocó, or Papá Candelo, another Loa in voodoo. Candelo always says, "Bonswa a la societé."
Con un retrato pa'bajo
Y la candela en la boca
Con una vela en la mano
Y rabo de gato en la otra
Y un pañuelo colora'o
Yo tengo un Loa que me ilumina
Y me protege de la gente
Con cuatro velas de a centavo
Y un poquito de aguardiente
La bruja hace su trabajo,
Con un tabaco en la boca
Se dan cuatro zapatazos
Para conseguir la muchacha
Y un pañuelo colora'o
Se cruzan dos alfileres
Pa' conseguir las mujeres
Se mete cebo en los sobres
Ai, bruja, brujita, consigueme esa muchacha!
With a portrait upside-down
And fire in the mouth
With a candle in the hand
And a cat's tail in the other
And a red handkerchief
I have a Loa that illuminates me
And protects me from people
With four one-cent candles
And a little bit of aguardiente
The witch does her work,
With a tobacco in her mouth
Smacks the shoe four times
To get the girl
And a red handkerchief
You cross two pins
To get the women
Put wax in the envelope
Oh, witch, little witch, get me that girl!