Farruca (Spanish pronunciation: [fa'ruka]) is a form of flamenco music. It is a light form typical of cante chico, and is traditionally danced only by men. It is said to have been invented in the 19th century by guitarist Ramón Montoya and flamenco dancer Faíco; others who stylized and expanded farruca included Antonio de Bilbao. Ramirez, Manolito la Rosa, El Batato and Rafaela Valverde, and La Tanguera. Other sources indicate that Farruca originated in Galicia, a region in northern Spain.
Although there are female flamenco dancers who exclusively danced farruca too (such as Rafaela Valverde also known as La Tanguera), these female dancers originally danced the farruca wearing male clothing. Women dancers such as Carmen Amaya and Sara Baras have also created well-known versions of the dance.
Farruca is seldom sung.
Farruco is a way of calling the Franciscos and the Asturians in Andalusia. Farruco was also the name that people from Andalusia used to denominate people from Galicia, from where this song likely originates. In Flamenco, being mostly an oral tradition, the lyrics often give valuable hints about their origins, and Farruca lyrics undoubtedly allude to the Galicia region. Further proof can be established from the descending melody that is performed on the vowel 'a' at the end of each couplet and to close the "cante" (Spanish for song or singing), which in a certain way tends to imitate the Galician melos. Another feature of Farruca cante is the use of glossolalia, 'con el tran-tran-tran-treiro', which also reminds of the Galician region. It has to be stressed, though, that to this day its geographic origin has not been proven scientifically.
The original dance version is due to the Sevillian dancer Faíco who was accompanied by Ramón Montoya, who is said to have invented the typical farruca melody for the guitar. The success was thunderous and from then on many other dancers stylized and expanded this flamenco style, such as El Gato or Antonio Gades.
en Galicia a una farruca (A girl named Farruca, from Galicia)
amargamente lloraba. (bitterly she cried.)
porque se habia
muerto su farruco (because her lover "Farruco" is dead)
y la gaita le tocaba. (her crying is like bagpipes.)