toronjil de plata

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Vocabulary / Vocabulario Español-Inglés' started by MDFLO, Feb 16, 2007.

  1. MDFLO Senior Member

    Oregon, USA
    USA, English
    Quiero entender el significado de una línea de una canción de cuna:
    "Toronjil de plata, torre de marfil, arrullé a mi nin~o que se va a dormir."

    Según mi diccionario, toronjil es una hierba "lemon balm." Supongo que toronjil de plata se refiere a una variedad plateada. ¿Verdad or no?
    Y ¿qué tiene todo eso que ver con una torre de marfil (marble tower)? ¿Son solo palabras suaves sin ningún significado? Todo el resto de la letra tiene sentido para mí.

    (Lo siento, no puedo poner la ~ sobre la n sin cambiar los controles de mi programa.)
  2. frida-nc

    frida-nc Moduladora

    North Carolina
    English USA
    Hi MDFLO,
    I have also seen cuna de marfil.

    Isn't it possible that both these things are "silvered" by moonlight as they lull the baby to sleep?

    Just a suggestion...
  3. fsabroso

    fsabroso Moderadiólogo

    South Texas
    Perú / Castellano
    Yeah, Frida is right, this is like "sana, sana, colita de rana, si no sanas hoy sanaras manana"
  4. MDFLO Senior Member

    Oregon, USA
    USA, English
    OK, I guess the "torre" refers to the cradle. I listened again and he is actually saying "Arrullen a mi nin~o..." So maybe there is a calming herb in the cradle with the baby to help him sleep??

    Thanks for your help!
  5. Juan Carlos Garling

    Juan Carlos Garling Senior Member

    Spanish Chile/Argentina
    Torre de marfil = ivory tower

    Toronjil is not easy to translate. It is in fact a herb used in folk medicine in most Latinamerican countries. English speaking people are likely to miss the point.

    Toronjil de plata is only part of the lyrics.
  6. MDFLO Senior Member

    Oregon, USA
    USA, English
    Thank you for your comments, JCG. I realize that there can be a lot of cultural inference in poetry and lyrics, which can make it difficult to understand. I have all the lyrics and the rest make sense to me. They are about a baby who at first doesn't want to sleep and then is ready to sleep--at least in the two versions I have heard. )Apparently there is at least one other version.) That's why I am trying to get the meaning of the first part. I know many things are not to be taken literally, but they do usually have meaning. There is a reason the writer chose those particular words. If you could explain it to me--in English or Spanish, I would be very grateful.
  7. transparente Senior Member

    at home
    toronjil, a plant related to the mint family. Aside from being a beautiful word, I guess is also a calming herb.
  8. Juan Carlos Garling

    Juan Carlos Garling Senior Member

    Spanish Chile/Argentina
    I am afraid I am not able to add much more. This is one of the numerous short folk songs to put a child asleep. It is rather hummed, repeatedly, than sung. The sentences are usually very simple without necessarily a deep meaning.

    Probably the unknown author was inspired by the tender leaves of the toronjil and added silvern as an attribute to the child. As to ivory tower, this is the place where you visualize a child/person you are deeply fond of, adored and protected.
  9. MDFLO Senior Member

    Oregon, USA
    USA, English
    Thank you, all these comments are helpful to my understanding!

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