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Paciencia y Fe

Lin-Manuel Miranda

Calor, Calor, Calor
Calor, Calor, Calor
Ay Mamá!
The summer’s hottest day!
Paciencia y fe! Paciencia y fe!
Ay, carajo, it’s hot!
But that’s okay!
Mamá would say, Paciencia y fe!

It was hotter at home in La Vibora
The Washington Heights of Havana!
A crowded city of faces the same as mine!
Back as a child in La Vibora
I chased the birds in the plaza
Praying, Mamá, you would find work
Combing the stars in the sky for some sort of sign!
Ay, Mamá, so many stars in Cuba
En Nueva York we can’t see beyond our streetlights
To reach the roof you gotta bribe the supa
Ain’t no Cassiopeia in Washington Heights
But ain’t no food in La Vibora

I remember nights, anger in the streets, hunger at the windows
Women folding clothes, playing with my friends in the summer rain
Mamá needs a job, Mamá says we’re poor, one day you say, Vamos a Nueva York
And Nueva York was far
But Nueva York had work and so we came

And now, I'm wide awake
A million years too late
I talk to you, imagining what you’d do
Remembering what we went through

Nueva York! Ay Mamá!
It wasn’t like today, you’d say
Paciencia y fe

Paciencia y fe

Paciencia y fe!

Paciencia y—

Fresh off the boat in America
Freezing in early December
A crowded city in Nineteen Forty-Three!
Learning the ropes in America
In español, I remember
Dancing with Mayor La Guardia
All of society welcoming mami and me!

You better clean this mess!

Paciencia y fe

You better learn inglés!

Paciencia y fe

You better not be late
You better pull your weight
Are you better off than you were with the birds of La Vibora?

Sharing double beds, trying to catch a break, struggling with English
Listening to friends, finally got a job working as a maid
So we cleaned some homes, polishing with pride
Scrubbing the whole of the Upper East Side
The days into weeks, the weeks into years, and here I stayed

Paciencia y fe
Paciencia y fe
Paciencia y fe

And as I feed these birds
My hands begin to shake
And as I say these words
My heart’s about to break
And ay Mamá
What do you do when
Your dreams come true?
I’ve spent my life
Inheriting dreams from you

What do I do with this winning ticket?
What can I do but pray?

I buy my loaf of bread
Continue with my day
And see you in my head
Imagining what you’d say
The birds, they fly away
Do they fly to La Vibora?

Alright, Mamá. Okay

Paciencia y fe

Calor, calor, calor!

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