Alan Robertson, wrote this fabulous rhyming ditty in 2005 whilst staying at Los Castaños. His wife was occupied with her watercolouring and he was inspired to write poetry! Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
Up in the high sierra, there’s a celebrated sight,
It’s a small pueblo blanco, a town that’s purely white.
And townsfolk there are proud because, that’s how it’s always been,
And it’s the way that they prefer…their houses to be seen.
In the hill top country of this land called ‘Andaluz’
You use white paint for the houses, it’s a fundamental truth.
It’s been that way for ages, there’s no need to write it down.
At least, that is, no need until…the strangers came to town.
No-one saw them coming, they rode in late one night.
It wasn’t till the morning that the townsfolk learned their plight.
When the sun rose round the mountain and the daylight gathered heat,
There was no sound but people found…the strangers on the street.
The mayor spoke to the big senor, ‘What business have you here?’
John just looked him up and down and said, ‘Make it a beer,
For my folk are mighty thirsty and I don’t want them to faint,
They’ve come in from the badlands….with a powerful urge to paint.’
The mayor ran to his neighbours, his face racked with a frown.
‘There are strangers in the alleys and they’ve come to paint our town.
We must find a way to stop them; it’s a terrifying sight,
They’re all working in the shadows…and not one is using white.’
‘There’s a stranger by the bake house, what he’s doing is obscene,
he’s rendered our old landmark a sickening shade of green.
There’s a couple in the plaza, it’s not right for them to do
The things that they are doing…with a hundred shades of blue.’
‘I’ve even seen one by the church, she’s sitting round the back.
You simply won’t believe your eyes, she’s making it look black.
And on the roof of Los Castaños they are gathering in droves.
Their leader, he is urging them…’Experiment with mauves!’
Well some side with tradition, defending what seems right.
Of one thing they feel certain, that’s that houses should be white.
But others get to thinking, opinion splits in two.
Some can’t wait to decorate…and try a different hue.
Now the Spanish tourist office has a crisis on its plate.
The famous pueblos blancos have got into a state,
Since the town of Cartajima had its psychodelic rush.
It is crazy what Ingleses…do with palette, paint and brush.