Le cayó la gota fría

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Vocabulary / Vocabulario Español-Inglés' started by La Luna Llena, Oct 13, 2007.

  1. La Luna Llena

    La Luna Llena Member

    United States
    ¿Qué quiere decir “le cayo la gota fría”? Estaba escuchando una cancion de Carlos Vives y eso es parte de la letra. ¿Querrá decir “se dio cuenta” o algo por el estilo?
  2. Julia~traductora

    Julia~traductora Member

    the cold water drop fell on her/him.

    Saludos :)
  3. Julia~traductora

    Julia~traductora Member

    ...or the cold drop of water fell on her/him
  4. Prometo

    Prometo Senior Member

    USA English
    Como lo usa Carlos Vives no estoy seguro; él se reclina en dialecto...

    Gota fría generalmente es una masa de aire frigidísimo...
  5. La Luna Llena

    La Luna Llena Member

    United States
    Since I last posted this question, I have listened to this song several more times and came to realize that “le cayó la gota fria” means “he became incredibly uncomfortable”.

    Just now, searching for all the words of the song, I found the following link.

    In the above website I also found the following information which I thought was very helpful:
    “El autor de esta famosa canción, Emiliano Zuleta, parece tener un pleito con otro músico, un tal Lorenzo Morales. El esta canción, Emiliano le dice algunas cosas no muy agradables a Lorenzo. Tengo entendido que Lorenzo le contestó en su día con otra canción.”

    “Moralito, Moralito, he thought
    that he was going to beat me
    but when he heard me play,
    he felt a cold sweat, (le cayo la gota fria)
    and he misfired.”
  6. Prometo

    Prometo Senior Member

    USA English
    ¿Qué quiere decir “le cayo la gota fría”? Estaba escuchando una cancion de Carlos Vives y eso es parte de la letra

    Cuando leí tu primer post, pensé en esa idea: "he got cold feet"... y, sí, probablemente es eso, pero no conozco la jerga vallenata (o quizás sea un "bogotazo" oral)...

    Escribo para aclararte que esa frase no es ampliamente conocida así en el mundo "hispanófono" (palabra que acabo de inventar) : )
  7. loladamore

    loladamore Senior Member

    Zacatecas, México
    English UK
    En México "sudar la gota fría" significa sudar frio (break out into) a cold sweat, esto es, sufrir de alguna forma. Creo que en este contexto "caer la gota fria" significa algo parecido y específicamente que Moralito sintió pánico porque se dio cuenta que el otro era mejor músico y que no le iba a poder ganar.

    En cuanto a la traducción que encontraste, creo que (his strategy) backfired sería mejor que he misfired.

  8. Moritzchen Senior Member

    Los Angeles, CA
    Spanish, USA
    Like he freaked out. He got scared. But anything Lola wrote before me and I did not read because of this good Tannat Uruguayan wine I am abusing right now, must be right.
  9. Milton Sand

    Milton Sand Modómano, 'mano

    Bucaramanga, Colombia
    Español (Colombia)
    The known anecdote says that Lorenzo Morales alleged to feel unwell and left by the moment he had to confront Zuleta's musical talent; so “gota fría” (“cold drop”) here is a synecdoche to refer to a cold sweat by illness, not precisely fear as everybody thinks. So the song says that Morales made an excuse to evade the defiance.

    ¡Ay, le cayó la gota fría!” (literally, “Oh, the cold drop fell on him!”) sarcastically mean something as: “Oh, he [supposedly] got a cold sweat!”. “Caer[le]” (to fall on sth/sb) is often used for sudden undiserable conditions; we can say, “le cayó la roya al cafeto” (the coffee tree suddenly got coffee rust), even merely “le cayó la roya” is an idiom for “he got terribly unlucky [with everything in life]”.

    The first verse of the original lyrics read, “Acordate, Moralito, de aquel día que estuviste en Urumita y no quisiste hacer parada,” that's something like, “Don't you forget, my dear Morales, about that day when you were to Urumita but refused to stay;” with “parada” (a stop), not “parranda” (small casual party by live musicians), like modern singers sing it.

    The song was originally Qué criterio (1940's) written by Emiliano Zuleta: “¿Qué criterio, qué criterio va a tener un hombre yumeca como es Lorenzo Morales?”, like singer Guillermo Buitrago used to sing; but the chorus bit saying “la gota fría” was widely welcomed, then the title changed. (Later, the original lyrics got some variations by several subsequent performers, for instance: “¿Qué cultura va a tener un indio yumeca como Lorenzo Morales?”, despite Yumecas not being any kind of Colombian natives (Indios) but mulatto descendants from Afro-Jamaican people). By the way, Morales and Zuleta became good friends a little later, kept the friendship until Zuleta's passing away in 2005.


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