“Lamento Borincano” on the Saw

I have recently had the pleasure of becoming acquainted with a sawyer from Puerto Rico, José A. Hernández Vélez. The Institute of Puerto Rican Culture posted a video of him playing the saw on their webpage, and he graciously gave me permission to post the video here. The title of this song is “Lamento Borincano, ” and it tells about the sadness and the needs of the Puerto Rican people who lived the years of the great economic depression of the past century. The song was written in 1929 by the great Puerto Rican composer Rafael Hernández Marín.



The Institute of Culture has this to say about the video:

“Culture comes in many shapes, colors and sounds. Our people live, feel, and are culture. We share with you this interesting video of a Puerto Rican who does something different. Don José Antonio Hernández Vélez plays music with a saw. With a saw? Yes, you read this correctly!

José A. Hernández Vélez is from San Germán. He was a music teacher and is currently retired, although he remains active in music. This shows that despite being a music teacher of traditional instruments, he likes to experiment and document innovative things. No matter the age, our people reinvent themselves. Culture is happiness and Don José is a living example of it. Onward!”


Here is another video of José A. Hernández Vélez playing Schubert’s “Serenade.” Enjoy the song and the lovely sights of San German, Puerto Rico.







Rowena Southard, your blog hostess, is a musical saw enthusiast who lives in California. She loves all kinds of music and has a special fondness for unusual instruments.