Some of Spain's biggest artists collaborated on a remake of 'Resistiré'YouTube / Warner Music Spain

If someone asked you what lockdown sounds like, what would you say? I am imagining a look of confusion across readers’ faces right now. But this global pandemic does have a sound. On our own shores, BBC Radio 1 released their Stay Home Live Lounge collaboration remake of the Foo Fighters hit ‘Times Like These’, and 100-year old Captain Tom topped the charts featuring on a version of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’. The centenarian captured the imaginations of a nation in one of the most challenging periods of our history and has raised upwards of £32 million in aid of NHS Charities Together. However, while these songs may have been on our playlists here in the UK, you will find different soundtracks elsewhere in the world.

Videos of people in Spain taking to their balconies in applause and song were widely shared on social media, but there has been very little said about what they were singing. For Spaniards, a catchy 1980s hit by Dúo Dinámico (‘Dynamic Duo’ – quite the name) called ‘Resistiré’ (‘I will hold out’) became somewhat of an anthem during one of the strictest lockdowns in Europe. Along with many others around the country, neighbours to Barcelona’s main hospital headed out on their balconies, singing this song to keep spirits high among health workers and to show their appreciation.

In difficult times, the music industry has its own way of responding. From Band Aid, in aid of the Ethopian famine, to the proceeds of U2’s ‘One’ going towards AIDS research, and this year’s remake of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’, countless charity singles have been released over the years. This crisis is no different. As the internet filled with videos and stories of whole neighbourhoods coming together singing ‘Resistiré’, some of Spain’s biggest artists collaborated on a remake of this song in aid of the Caritas charity. The Catalan-language single ‘Escriurem’ (‘We’ll write’) – with the chorus ‘Escriurem que tot no va ser fàcil’ (‘We’ll write that it wasn’t all easy’) – also had a collaborative re-release. In this case, it was in support of the #JoEmCorono appeal focused on Coronavirus research. In one of the worst-hit countries in Europe, music brought some much needed positivity and prompted important collective action.

Another singer, Ariel de Cuba – from Cuba, unsurprisingly – reached all over the Spanish-speaking world with his upbeat number ‘Quédate en casa’ (‘Stay at Home’) and it definitely got people moving! The artist posted several videos on Instagram of everything from rooftop Zumba routines to health workers showing their thanks, all set to his song.

"They take on new meaning from their context and come to define the collective mood"

These songs have also shown the power of the lyrics themselves in fostering solidarity in these times, albeit in rather different ways. The message of staying strong and fighting as individuals in spite of everything life may throw your way resonated with Spaniards stuck indoors, underpinning the success of ‘Resistiré’. Meanwhile, Ariel de Cuba took the chance to educate listeners. The final line of the chorus, ‘Si no toman medidas estamos bien jodidos’ (‘If you don’t take steps, we’ll be in the shit’), left no doubt that we all have our part to play.


Mountain View

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Newer releases have also featured on the playlists of many people. Rosalía, the current big name in Latin music worldwide, produced a downbeat new track in lockdown called ‘Dolerme’ (‘Hurt’), which shot up in the charts. And a song from last year, called ‘Atrapado’ (‘Trapped’), made a reappearance in the top 40. Clearly those fed up with lockdown found a song to reflect that sentiment too!

People around the world are listening and singing together to get through these difficult times. These songs that become anthems serve to hold us together as a community and as people. They take on new meaning from their context and come to define the collective mood, and they will serve as a reminder of this period when we hear them years on from now.

So, why not reach out? With the help of this playlist, dip into some of the Spanish solidarity, because all of us everywhere are in this together. Lockdowns are now easing around the world, but there is a long way to go still. Who knows, you may find a track that helps with getting through this challenging time. You may even realise you were needing it all along but had no idea it was even out there.