Kids in Spain Spanish Culture and News

Cantajuegos and Stealing Kids Songs

There are aspects of Spanish ‘Culture’ that you would never dream of until you have children in Spain.

One thing I was protected from for all those years before I became a parent in Spain, was the world of the ‘Cantajuegos’.

The Cantajuegos are kids songs, performed by a very jolly group of people in blue dungarees (see if you can last til the 15 second mark, to see said people):

Now, every single 0 to 6 year old in Spain knows just about every one of the 50+ Cantajuego songs (and usually the moves that go with them), off by heart! Every parent of this age group possesses a copy of the Cantajuegos songs, though as far as I can tell, not many have paid for any of them!

The most common phrase overheard amongst the 30-something parents of this generation when talking about the Cantajuegos music is, “Ah si, yo lo baje del emule”, ‘Oh yes, I downloaded that via emule’, leaving the Blue-Dungaree crew to make money, I imagine, off their live tours for totts.

Many Spanish people don’t feel any moral remorse about downloading films, music etc, as the government taxes us on every single kind of recording and reproduction media, passing the money back to the SGAE (General Association of Authors and Publishers), to redistribute amongst poor, royalty-denied writers, muscians etc.

For example, every time we buy a blank CD, we pay an extra 17 centimos that goes straight to the SGAE, because obviously we are bound to use it to do something illegal with!

You can see a full list of just what gets taxed here, but I was amazed that I was even SGAE-taxed on a new internal hard drive for my Macbook recently! The logic goes with many Spanish media-consumers then, that if we are taxed as thieves before the act, we might as well steal, or in this case, download, guilt-free.

The tax, know here as the hated “Canon por copia privada”, has far-reaching consequences – apparently Catalan hairdressers are up in arms this week, refusing to pay another SGAE-tax to play radio in their salons, asking clients to bring in their own iPods instead!

Back to the Cantajuegos… as much as it drove me mad to begin with, after 7 million repetitions on our living room stereo, I’m now rather fond of the Blue-Dungaree crew’s tunes, I’ll leave you with my favourite: