María Jiménez surely knew what she was referring to when she expressed her last wish that her coffin be taken to her hometown, Triana, in the city of Seville, on the way to her funeral in the church of Santa Ana, known as the Small Cathedral, built in the 14th century on the suburb that has contributed the most flamenco to the artistic panorama of this country.
She would have well outlined images of her funeral procession drawn by white horses in the middle of the crowd, as an integral part of the artist of this geography of excesses that is sometimes low Andalusia, accustomed to displays of fervor, in which Pain is confused with celebration and there is no room for half measures.
María Jiménez undoubtedly knew what she was talking about when she expressed her last wishes and Seville responded this Friday to the artist’s farewell by fulfilling what she had wanted to the millimeter.
Thousands of people of all ages and conditions, most of them residents of the city but also tourists sprinkled among the crowd attracted by the color of the event, responded to the call of María Jiménez.
The coffin with the mortal remains of María Jiménez, as she left the church of Santa Ana, in Triana, on the way to the Seville cemetery, this Friday. Joaquin Corchero (Europa Press)A guitarist interprets a song in front of the coffin of the artist María Jiménez, in the church of Santa Ana, where the funeral mass was celebrated.RAUL CARO (EFE)The coffin of the artist María Jiménez arrived at the church of Santa Ana, in Triana, Seville, this Friday.RAUL CARO (EFE)The coffin with the mortal remains of María Jiménez, at the entrance to the church of Santa Ana. Joaquin Corchero (Europa Press)A crowd of people applauded this Friday as María Jiménez’s funeral procession passed through the streets of Seville. Alejandro RuesgaHundreds of Sevillians have accompanied the hearse through the center of the city. Alejandro RuesgaMaría Jiménez’s sister, Isabel, next to the horse-drawn carriage carrying the artist’s coffin. Joaquin Corchero (Europa Press)The horse-drawn carriage that carries the coffin with the mortal remains of María Jiménez, at the exit of the funeral chapel located in the Seville City Hall. Rocío Ruz (Europa Press)This Friday several people visited the burning chapel of María Jiménez, installed in the Seville City Hall.Raúl Caro (EFE)
The delegation, chaired by the mayor of the city, José Luis Sanz (PP), left the central Seville City Hall – where the burning chapel had been installed – at 10:45 a.m. this Friday towards the other bank of the Guadalquivir river, and during During the journey, hundreds of Sevillians joined in at every step, with striking images – reminiscent of other images typical of Holy Week or the El Rocío pilgrimage – as they passed through the Triana Bridge, the climax exploding when the procession reached the neighborhood.
“We were waiting for her since yesterday, María was a unique Triana, she has always led the neighborhood by flag and we could not miss it,” says Rosa, 56, divorced: “You don’t know how many times I have sung It’s over,” she admits with a laugh. Indeed, the neighborhood presented a festive appearance, also typical of the idiosyncrasy of the city, with the tears mixed with the clapping in time and the olés that burst as the coffin passed by.
The elders of the place remembered other events with a similar popular response that had not been experienced in the city for decades, such as the burials of Joselito El Gallo in 1920 or that of Paquirri in 1985. These were times in which artists and bullfighters embodied that unique breed resulting from the mixture of humble origins with the glory of success. María Jiménez fit in perfectly there.
Already inside the church of Santa Ana – there was no room for a pin – the people were confused with the aristocracy: the presence of the Duchess Eugenia Martínez de Irujo, with her daughter Cayetana; the music producer Narcís Rebollo, the bullfighter Francisco Rivera, the singer Manuel Lombo and other artists from the local scene completed a picture of a cliché that has everything true. The mass was officiated between songs, in an emotional tribute in which Joaquín Sabina’s On the Boulevard of Broken Dreams was interpreted ―there is much of the pain of Chavela Vargas in María Jiménez― to the most popular sevillanas and fandangos, ending with the interpretation of the Salve Rociera, which was sung spontaneously and in unison by all those present. The Alpresa brothers, very friends of María Jiménez, were in charge of singing and playing during the ceremony.
Equally massive was the exit from the temple towards the San Fernando cemetery, passing through the famous Betis street, where the singer grew up. The remains of María Jiménez reached the cemetery around two in the afternoon, under an August heat that did not prevent the company of hundreds of people. There she has been buried in the family pantheon next to her daughter Rocío, who died in a traffic accident when she was 16 years old. It has been the last great walk of María Jiménez through the streets of Seville.
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