Carmensita by Devendra Banhart Lyrics Meaning – The Psychedelic Serenade of Love’s Complexity

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Devendra Banhart's Carmensita at
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning


Ay tu primo colorado
con barba camburada
y lleno de ballena inclinandose al sol
tu rayo de luz roja
besando nuestra boca
el beso que te sopla huele a alcohol

ay tus tres ojos lunares extraterrestriales
entran cuando sales, por eso y no se ven
ay tu barba colorada traviesa y rebelde
me afeito con espada, pero devuelve!

oh la la la la la la la…

si la noche te persigue entregate a ella
o dile que tienes dolor de cabeza
sombrita de reflejo, dame algo tierno
me como tu amor y cago el infierno

ay oh oh oh oh oh ay oh oh oh oh oh
berno oh oh berne berne berne oh oh
ah la la la la la la la…

ay tus ojos colorados azul y anaranjados
amarillo y verde y maron
mi amor envuelto en tu corazon
no lo sueltes por favor
somos elefantes y serpientes semejantes
tomando agua ardiente en el sol

en el sol en el sol en el sol
la la la la la la la la la la la

Full Lyrics

Devendra Banhart’s ‘Carmensita’ is a vibrant tapestry of surreal imagery and poetic fervor. At first glance, the song might seem like a maze of psychedelic descriptions and a kaleidoscope of unbridled romance.

But delve deeper and one finds that ‘Carmensita’ carries within its melodies more than just whimsy. It is a reflection on love’s multifaceted nature, evoking the mysteries and inherent contradictions that make romance both elating and confounding.

Sailing the Whales of Whimsy: An Ode to Love’s Playfulness

‘Carmensita’ opens with an esoteric scene – a colorado-clad figure bearing a comically large beard, metaphorically whaling under the sun. The imagery is playful, an invitation from Banhart to explore love’s eccentricities and dive into the deep ocean of affection with a spirit of adventure and imagination.

It sets the tone for a song that refuses to be constrained by the norms of conventional love ballads, celebrating instead the oddities and unique quirks that define personal connections.

Three Moons and Magic Beards: A Journey Into Love’s Mysticism

Mystique infuses the lyrics as Banhart references ‘tres ojos lunares,’ suggesting an otherworldly, mystical connection. This celestial imagery calls on the intuition that love, in its essence, is both alien and natural, an inexplicable force that pulls you into its orbit without warning.

Coupled with this extraterrestrial fascination is the charm of a ‘barba colorada,’ an allusion to the disguise and surprise aspects that keep romantic excitement alive, the playful trickery that lovers often engage in to maintain the spark.

The Night’s Pursuit and Love’s Headache: Embracing Intimacy’s Intensity

Love is not without its trials, and ‘Carmensita’ acknowledges the darkness that lurks around its edges. Banhart touches on the night’s pursuit and the excuses one can make to escape it, drawing parallels between intimate vulnerability and the desire to shield oneself from potential pain.

Still, there’s an undertone of yearning for something genuine among the jest, a request for ‘sombrita de reflejo,’ that ‘something tender’ that grounds the fantastical flight of romantic passion in the comforting arms of true connection.

The Transformation of Love: From Consumption to Excretion

Perhaps the most arresting lines of the song remark on consuming love and defecating hell. The contrasting imagery has a double entendre that speaks to transformation through love, suggesting that through the act of loving we process and expel our inner demons.

It is a visceral metaphor, raw and unapologetic, and uniquely encapsulates the purgative aspect of true love – where one takes the good with the bad and emerges lighter, freer, and more bound to their beloved.

A Spectrum of Sight and Elemental Dance: Love in Vivid Color

Banhart doesn’t shy away from color – his lyrics paint love as a spectrum, an explosion of ‘azul,’ ‘anaranjados,’ ‘amarillo,’ ‘verde,’ and ‘maron.’ It captures the vibrancy and spectrum of emotions one encounters in a profound connection.

The final stanza is a celebration of unity with nature, love likened to elephants and serpents basking in the sun, drinking ‘agua ardiente,’ or fiery water. In this warmth and light, love is not simply felt; it is a lived experience, palpable and as essential as the sun above. Devendra Banhart has, with ‘Carmensita,’ etched a fervid ode to the fiery essence and colorful radiance of love’s enduring dance.

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