Pedro Navaja

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"Pedro Navaja"
Song by Rubén Blades from the album Siembra
GenreSalsa
Length7:22
LabelFania Records
WriterRubén Blades
ProducerRubén Blades
 
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"Pedro Navaja"
Song by Rubén Blades from the album Siembra
GenreSalsa
Length7:22
LabelFania Records
WriterRubén Blades
ProducerRubén Blades

Pedro Navaja (English: Peter the Knife) is a salsa song written and performed by Rubén Blades from the 1978 album Siembra, about a criminal of the same name.[1] "Navaja" means knife or razor (hence an analogy to Blades' surname) in Spanish. Inspired by the song Mack the Knife,[2] it tells the story of a panderer's life and his presumed death. The song is recognized throughout Hispanic America as it picture scenes and stories common to all these countries, even though the story takes place in New York City. The song deals with life, death and the unexpected with dark humor. There is a movie titled Pedro Navaja, filmed in Mexico in 1984, starring Andres Garcia as Pedro Navaja, a young Maribel Guardia as his girlfriend, and Resortes as his best friend,[3] which is based on this song; it was made without Blades's input, which caused him to record "Sorpresas" (Surprises), a song that continues the story, turning the movie's plot around by revealing Navaja was still alive and had killed another panderer while he was being registered, provided that the other panderer believed he was truly dead. There was also a musical, La verdadera historia de Pedro Navaja, based on the Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht's play The Threepenny Opera, staged in Lima, Peru, starring, among other, Camila Mac Lennan, and in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where Luis Vigoreaux played the title character.

The 1984 Mexican film had a 1986 sequel, El Hijo de Pedro Navaja (Pedro Navaja's Son), which starred Guillermo Capetillo.

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Reception

On the review of the album Siembra, John Bush of Allmusic referred the message as "a devastating life-in-el-Barrio exposé".[4] He also praised the arrangements of Willie Colón and Luis Ortiz, noting the use of street noise and police sirens as well as the statement "I like to live in America". David Wilson of Wilson & Alroy's called "Pedro Navaja" a "masterpiece".[5]

Covers

The song has been covered by Los Joao, El Lupe, Pepe Arevalo, Los Flamers, Roman Palomar, A Palo Seko, Markoz, and La Pozze Latina. Pedro Navaja was one of the songs that Puerto Rican singer Chayanne covered his 1994 album, Influencias.[6] Mexican pop singer, Emmanuel covered the song on his live album, Emmanuel Presenta...[7]

References

External links