In 1974, English-born Spanish pop singer Jeanette released a single, Porque te vas (‘Because of You’), written by José Luis Perales . It wasn’t a hit, but then Jeanette (born Janette Anne Dimech, she adopted her stage name when her record label misspelled her name on an early release) wasn’t exactly busting up the international charts – she’d had a minor Spanish hit a few years earlier, but was generally unknown.
The single had an unexpected second life two years later when it was featured heavily in Spanish drama Cría Cuervos – a dark tale of childhood and an allegory for Franco’s Spain. The song – a favourite of the main character – provided an unlikely jolly soundtrack to the rather dour narrative. Although the film wasn’t a big commercial hit, it was a festival favourite and somehow or other, the song became a belated hit – it topped the charts in Germany, and reached number 13 in Austria and number 4 in Switzerland, while in France it shifted over a million units. Curiously, it doesn’t seem to have been a hit in Spain.
The song has been covered several time since, and remains one of the great moments of European pop – a quirkily bouncy number that is at once chirpy and downbeat. It’s intensely earwormy as well, so be warned.