The Matador


This is the tenth in a series of blog entries about the songs on the upcoming album “Hello Cruel World”, to be released January 2012.

I threw a rose to the matador

Not sure who I was cheering for

My aim was true, my heart was full

I loved the fighter and the bull


Federico García Lorca describes the Spanish concept of duende as a kind of dark spirit, a creative power which seizes an artist and brings forth the deepest, most elemental creation. The artist does not surrender to the duende, but battles it, “on the rim of the well”. The power of the duende is such that it takes control not only of the performer but also the audience. We’ve all felt it when the hairs on our neck are raised by a singer in thrall to a song, when we inexplicably cry at the turn of a phrase. Duende brings the artist “face to face with death.” But what about his audience, and the woman who loves him?

To fall in love is to lose oneself temporarily. To be pulled into another’s world. To love an artist like this is to be pulled into the furnace of his creative fire, to be swallowed whole by his world. And to resign oneself to being a spectator, at times. But oh, the view.

I loved like only a woman can

a very complicated man

I bound his wounds I heard his cries

I gave him truth, I told him lies


“The Matador” by Gretchen Peters
©2011  Circus Girl Music, administered by Carnival Music (ASCAP)
from the upcoming album Hello Cruel World

Click here to watch the music video of “The Matador”


Leave a Comment

  1. I´ve discover you just by pure chance. Just clicking on one of those bookmarks I have in my browser hoping to find something that I didn´t. First…saw the post with this song…”Another one of those modern singers like the millions there are out there” I thought.
    Well, I´ll give her a chance. OMG! I just fell in love with this song and the video. I started to dig a little bit more. Who is this lady I´ve never heard of?, I thought.( And I love country music, promise!)
    Next One….Guadalupe!! with Tom Russell. Holy cow! How did I miss this??
    And here I am…Pity I live in Spain, otherewise I´d be in your next concert.
    Sincerely yours!
    Your new spanish admirer, waiting for you to come to Spain one day.

  2. José – thanks so much for your lovely words. I hope we can get to Spain to tour someday soon, it’s definitely on my list.


  3. Hi Gretchen

    Saw you when you came to Roscrea in Ireland a few months ago. Hadn’t heard you before that. Was blown away. Absolutely love the new album. A few friends and myself play guitar socially and are fighting over which ones to learn! Are there chords available anywhere? In particular The Matador, which I am trying to learn at the moment.


  4. Hi Colin – chord charts are coming soon for all the songs on Hello Cruel World – they’ll be available on the website and also on the new live CD/DVD coming in 2013!


  5. Hi, Gretchen,
    My wife and I have been fans of yours for 8 years now, and always come to see you whenever you’re in the North of England. Saw you last in Leeds at The City Varieties, what a fantastic gig, and hope to see you at The Beverley festival.

    We perform a lot of your songs at local acoustic nights, and until your own chord charts appear, fans might like to check out over a dozen of your songs I’ve transcribed, just Google ‘Ultimate’ and type Gretchen Peters into the search box. ‘The matador’ was next on my list.
    Hope I got them right!
    All the best,
    David (AKA Diddy D)

  6. I had a quick glance at “Hello Cruel World”, “Five Minutes” and “Idlewild” and they look great to me David. The only thing I would change is that in the walkdown passage in “Five Minutes” the correct chord is C/G, not Am/G. Thank you so much for posting these. If you are a Facebook or Twitter user and would like to post links I will be happy to repost. Thank you!

  7. Hi Gretchen, I’m not quite sure how I’ve missed out on discovering you over the years until last night! What a discovery! A friend gave me a playlist of songs to listen to and on it was Guadalupe. My first reaction was, ‘What a voice, such beautiful lyrics!’
    So today I’ve been listening to you on repeat! Loving your voice, lyrics and music. The Matador, Dark Angel, just absolutely beautiful!
    As I’m in Ireland, I won’t be able to get to see any of your concerts in the States. Have you any plans to visit Ireland, Europe in the near future?
    I’d be there in a flash!
    Thank you for your truly wonderful creations,

  8. Thanks for your message Michelle. Unfortunately we retired from long-haul touring as of June 2023, with our final dates in Ireland being at the start of that tour. We may be back over the pond for festival dates though, so keep an eye out!

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