Informant >

Canal Rosado, José

Place of birth: 
Arroyo de la Luz, Cáceres
Maestro Nacional, director de teatro y periodista
Place of residence: 
Missions / Competitions: 

Su interpretación de Griselda para Lomax se publicó en la colección de CDs The Alan Lomax Collection. The Spanish Recordings. Extremadura (Rounder Records, 2001). En el booklet, con notas de Judith Cohen y María Gutiérrez, se indica: "José Canal, que facilitó las visitas de Lomax a esta zona, era una figura muy conocida en Cáceres (maestro, director del teatro local, y periodista activo en la recogida de canciones locales, especialmente en su Arroyo de la Luz natal)." [mi traducción].

En uno de sus programas para la BBC, Lomax incluyó este romance y comentó que fue este informante quien le había recomendado ir hasta Arroyo de la Luz para grabar romances en su "forma pura": "My style, he said, is of the city. If you wish to hear romance in their pure form you must go to Arroyo de la Luz".

En sus diarios (03.02.25, fol. 2), Lomax anota:

The man who helped us to record our ballads was bitterly opposed to this unfair division of Extremadura land. He was a school teacher who knew a lot about poverty and yet at the same time he was the only self proclaimed Falangist I encountered in Spain. I certainly would not have spent time with him if I had known of this. All Don Jose, the town clerk of Aroya de la Luz had said was that????? knew more about ballads than anyone else and I was to bring him along to the recording session if I could. I went looking for him in the Caceres public school, a huge building that had once served as one of Franco's military hospitals. The little boys in the part of the school I visited looked small and pale and rather underfed in those huge hallways. It was clear that the school was pitifully poor and ill equipped. The exhibits of the school handicrafts in the cases lining the wall were little broken bits of wood and paper and the teaching equipment in the science room was woefully meagre. Juan Canal (?), who I had come to meet was a small, very nervous man with jet black hair, eyes and mustach [sic] , a quick smile and a ringing laugh. I noticed that his hand trembled always as he-------and later as I put my hand on his shoulder I could feel his whole body was trembling like an overbred fox terrier.
He was extremely interested in what I was doing and immediately switched his pans to go with me to Aroya de la Luz and help me to organize the recording session. He invited me to go to his house [fol. 3] an look over his manuscripts of ballads in order to choose which I wanted to record and to wet my appetite, sang one or two tunes in a low and melodious voice. He was as pleased as punch when he saw how much I liked his finest tunes and when he heard I was going off to Mandroñera, 50 kilometers to the West the couldn't resist the chance to go along and cancelled his teaching for that afternoon. He later explained that in order to adequately support his family, he taught extra classes outside school hours and was the director of the Falangist amateur theatre and a journalist. His working day ran from nine to midnight most day for his teacher's salary was only fifteen hundred pesetas a month, roughly 38 dollars.
We set out for Madroñera at three in the afternoon. Pip was asleep. The night before a skin doctor had diagnoses her itch as a reaction to penicillin, given her a new course of injections and she was to sleep most of the time for the next 48 hours, peering up at me with a pale drawn face out of the deep river in which strange new fangled drugs conquered the poison that she had carried in her body for days. The teacher sang Extremadura ballads all the way across the plain between Caceres and Trujillo. "This one" he says, "is 'muy verde'-its about a monk who was in bed with a farmer's wife. When the farmer came home he leaped out of the window and landed on a cactus plant and was set upon by the farmer's dogs. As he limped away bleeding and picking out the thorns one of his comrades met him on the road and asked him what had happened to him
"I went hunting rats" said the friar, "and fell into the rat trap". [fol. 4] There was one ballad after another about merry friars and nuns and Juan Canal explained chortling with pleasure that in the sixteenth century the monasteries had increased in number in this part of Extremadura until they were like a plague in the province.

Entre los documentos de Lomax (03.02.25) tambiéne encontramos dos hojas mecanograiadas con "Coplas del Baile Pandero copied from notebooks of Juan [?] Canal". 

Submission’s author: 


Displaying 1 - 3 of 3
Title Date Title Type of document
AFC 2004/004: MS 03.04.25 1952/12/20 Correspondencia entre Alan Lomax y José Canal Rosado Letter
AFC 2004/004: MS 03.02.30 1952/11/12-18 Notas de campo y diarios de Alan Lomax y entrevista Juan Uría Diary, Notebook
AFC 2004/004: MS 03.02.25 1952/10/04 Cuaderno de campo de Alan Lomax en Extremadura Diary, Notebook, Song lyrics

How to cite

Ascensión Mazuela-Anguita, "Canal Rosado, José", Fondo de Música Tradicional IMF-CSIC, ed. E. Ros-Fábregas (accession date: 29 Jul 2021),