"My Spanish may not be perfect, but if I can reach out and touch someone in a language that’s not my own – that’s a good enough reason enough to try"
The rant from an attorney at a Starbucks this week notwithstanding, Spanish is all around us now. In a good way.
A telling example is country star Tim McGraw's Spanish-language version of his poignant anthem, "Humble and Kind."
Titled “Nunca Te Olvides De Amar” (Which literally translates to “Never Forget to Love”), the track is performed entirely in Spanish by McGraw.
“I’ve said repeatedly that ‘Humble and Kind’ has a universal message, so singing the song in Spanish, for me, is a way to really stand up to that statement,” said McGraw.
“It’s one thing to say ‘I’m being universal’ and it’s another thing for me to try to reach out across a language barrier and put in the effort to deliver that same message. To make someone understand that you’re trying to love them through a song and work to make people feel it is a pretty cool thing. My Spanish may not be perfect, my accent may not be perfect, but if I can reach out and touch someone in a language that’s not my own – that’s a good enough reason enough to try,” said McGraw.
“Humble and Kind,” with its message of humility and civility (“Hold the door, say please say thank you, Don't steal, don't cheat, and don't lie, I know you got mountains to climb, but always stay humble and kind”), is particularly relevant in today’s intolerant times.
The song written by Lori McKenna was adapted into Spanish by acclaimed singer/songwriter Claudia Brant (a frequent collaborator of Luis Fonsi), who kept the intent of the song’s universal message intact, even though the words are different.
"In songwriting, language has to rhyme and fit into the phrasing of the melody, so the song doesn’t translate exactly word for word. But Claudia Brant did an incredible job of translating the sentiment and heart of 'Humble and Kind' into 'Nunca Te Olvides de Amar,'” said McGraw.
That sentiment lives in the video, a modified version of the original directed by Wes Edwards. The clip features scenes from Oprah Winfrey’s groundbreaking documentary Belief, which depicts how people with a wide range of beliefs search for deeper meaning and connection with the world around them.
Watch it below.