What is there to say about Pedro Navajo. If you don’t know it, where have you been all this years? 😉
It’s Ruben Blades most known song. The legend goes that it was too long for the record company at first. Especially the lyrics. It wouldn’t sell, they said. Boy were they wrong. Pedro Navaja appears on the record “Siembra” which at the time was the best selling Salsa record in history. It has sold over three million copies worldwide, and almost all of its songs were hits at one time or another in various Latin American countries. (Source: wikipedia)
For those who don’t know Pedro Navaja: it’s loosely based on “Mack the Knife”, a song that has a specific melodic movement that Ruben uses too. As well as the concept that each verse moves up a half step in key and actually speeds up a little too.
Almost everybody in Latin-Americ knows the lyrics of Pedro Navaja, and there is quite a lot of it. And if they don’t know the whole lyrics, they at least know the refrain: “la vida te da sorpresas, sorpresas te da la vida!”