Pregón, a Spanish word meaning announcement or street-seller's cry, has a particular meaning in both Cuban music as well as in Latin American music in general. It can be translated as a song based on a street-seller's cry or a street-seller's song ("canto de los vendedores ambulantes").[1]

The cries of hawkers and costermongers could once be heard in every city in the world, though their use as a basis for song is particularly notable in South America and the Caribbean. In Cuba, ethnologist, Miguel Barnet, noted that cross-fertilization was common as hawkers also often based their pregones on rural tunes or popular genres such as son and guaracha. The Cuban music historian, Cristóbal Díaz Ayala, has compiled a list of nearly five hundred examples of popular tunes based on hawker songs ‒ most from Cuba, but also from other Latin American countries such as Mexico, Chile, Colombia, Panama, Venezuela, Peru, Argentina, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico.[2]

One of the best-known examples of a pregón is the song entitled "El Manisero" ("The Peanut Vendor" in English) which was written by Cuban musician and composer, Moisés Simons, and first recorded by Rita Montaner in 1928. The 1930 version recorded by Don Azpiazú in New York City with Antonio Machín on vocals became a worldwide hit starting a "rumba" craze that swept throughout North America and much of Europe in the 1930s. The Peanut Vendor had a second life as a hit piece when Stan Kenton recorded it as an instrumental in 1947.

Other well-known pregones and their writers include the following:

  • Frutas del Caney ("Fruits from El Caney") by Félix B. Cagnet - Cuba
  • El yerberito ("The herb vendor") by Benny Moré - Cuba
  • Rica pulpa by Eliseo Grenet - Cuba
  • El afilador ("The knife grinder") by Agustín Magaldi - Argentina
  • El botellero ("The bottle-man") by Gilberto Valdés - Cuba
  • El carbonero ("The charcoal seller") by Iván Fernandez - Cuba)
  • El limpiabotas ("The shoeshine boy") by Los Cuates Castilla - Mexico
  • El pregón de las flores ("The flower seller's cry") by Ernesto Lecuona - Cuba
  • La violetera ("The girl who sells violets") by Eduardo Montesinos López, 1958 - Spain
  • Se va el dulcerito ("The sweet seller is leaving") by Rosendo Ruiz - Cuba
  • Yo vendo unos ojos negros ("Some black eyed (peas) for sale") - Chile (pre-1910, unknown composer).


This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.