by Ross Sharp

In the late 1990’s, I picked up an album by an artist I had not heard of, or heard, and I did so just because I liked the cover.

I have done this often, and perhaps you have as well, and I’ve found myself surprised more than once at the music that lay behind the art, surprised because there are no expectations, only mystery, and the thrill of the unknown.

The artist in this case was Lhasa de Sela, and the album, “La Llorona”.

de Sela was born in America, her father Mexican, her mother American and they grew up in a bus, travelling throughout Mexico and North America, educated at home.

Spent her adult life based out of Montreal.

Made 3 albums, the first in Spanish, the second in Spanish and French, and the third in English.

As I was loading the first album into my iPod recently, I thought to myself, I must get another disc or two from her, and so I went looking.

And I found this …

Lhasa de Sela died in January, 2010 at the age of 37 from breast cancer.

Here is de Sela at Quebec in 2005 …

The (translated) introduction is as follows …

The next song is a love song and the lyrics say:
I thank your body to have waited for me
I had to lose myself to get to you.
I thank your arms for reaching me
I had to move away to get to you.
I thank your hands for supporting me
I had to burn to get to you.

CBC Radio put a special show together last year in honour of her brief life and extraordinary talents and you can find it here.

Damn. Just damn.