I am watching a fascinating documentary about the Jews of Spain. It was made by Yitzhak Navon, former president of Israel, a man steeped in the traditions and lore of Spanish Jewry. He was one of the leading experts. Wonderful stuff, he shares stories about the places and people, and talks to the local. Navon was a gentleman and a scholar, who knew how to relate to people almost instantly.
Anyway, in Granada he met a troupe of Gypsies and decided to conduct a little experiment. He sang la serena, an old Ladino romance which his mother and her friends would sing. After the applaudisments were over, he asked them if they knew the song. Oh, of course we know la Serrana. They then proceeded to sing a very similar song, but in their own inimitable style. Neither the Israeli nor the Gypsies Own Good Culture were harmed by their singing what must have been a Spanish song.