This is one of the coplas that are called “coplas on our fate” which reflect the poor economic situation which the impoverished members of the community found themselves in. The first verse expresses their worries and their difficulties in supporting themselves. The second verse talks about the rise in the price of coffee- a troubling prospect, since it was the most beloved drink in the area. Drinking coffee was so central to the way of life that the poor were forced to use ground baked chickpeas as a substitute for their beloved drink. The second verse presents the types of food according to economic class: the poor person eats only dried beans and can’t buy seasonal fruit; the store keeper or grocer would look at him and immediately tell him it is too expensive.
The song is composed of many verses: in the version below there are four verses that meet the criteria for “Purim Verses”- coplas that are sung on Purim. It contains nine rhymes, long and short, with 8 or 6 syllables; the second rhyme rhymes with the fourth and fifth, but the eight rhymes with the ninth (sometimes the sixth rhymes with the seventh, as in a Purim copla).
On the recording Attias adds:
Cánticas de Haim Yapagí (Haim Effendi) cantadas por Ishak Selí con ud en 1959 en California