Mexican arts, which include vibrant parades, colorful crafts, rich foods, and, more prominently, music, have defined the lives of the residents for millennia (Muscato). Importantly, music is exceedingly important in this culture. Specifically, Mexican music helps in understanding the region's history and culture, sophisticated as they are. For instance, Jarocho describes the culture and people of Veracruz, which is the abode of the son jarocho. As a matter of fact, son jarocho is one of the region's exciting and revered musical traditions. Various songs, including "La Bamba," occupy a key spot in the musical folklore of Mexico.
Downs’ La Cumbia Del Mole
Martinez, Josue. “Lila Downs- La Cumbia Del Mole Original.” YouTube, N.p. 2012, Accessed 5 Jan. 2017.
Lila Downs and Paul Cohen, her husband, wrote the song, La Cumbia Del Mole (Kelly). The song helps in the continuation of the significance of cultural heritage as well as maintaining many Mexican traditions. Much of this song points to the preparation of the Mole and illustrates Down’s heritage. For instance, she mentions that people drink Oaxaca Mezcal (meaning agave), which is an alcoholic drink that is native to the region, “with coffee.” Besides, it blends local legend and myth with her history, where she states that the society mentions that herbs have the ability to “cure wickedness.” Importantly, the performance of the song enhances its meaning. For example, the video demonstrates how Indigenous women prepare the Mole, which illustrates that the preparation of food is a social activity. Moreover, the varied utilization of instruments in the song highlights their significance in improving the narration of a song. In fact, listeners can identify the different instruments that Downs uses in the music, including the electric guitar, clarinet, accordion, and the harp.
Alavez’s Cancion Mixteca
Alavéz, José López. “Cancion Mixteca de José López Alavéz.” YouTube, N.p. 2013, Accessed 5 Jan. 2017.
José López Alavez wrote and composed Cancion Mixteca, which represents a Mexican folk song (Wang). The song reminds Mexicans about their heritage. It belongs to the category of Ranchera, which was originally sung by a single performer using a guitar. It exposes his patriotism and love for Mexico. Alavez’s words are strong. He becomes more vigorous with time, where he continuously emphasizes his depressions and loneliness. The singer repeatedly mentions he prefers to die instead of living under these intolerable conditions. Although the lyrics are bitter and deep, they spurt common feelings and sympathy among the individuals residing away from their homelands. Hence, the singer leaves strong feelings inside many of his listener’s hearts.
JuanGa’s Amor Eterno
Gabriel, Juan. Juan Gabriel: Amor Eterno. YouTube, N.p. 2010, Accessed 5 Jan. 2017.
JuanGa wrote the song Amor Eterno as a eulogy to his mother. Although the composer provided similar sentiments whenever he sang "Eternal Love," his latter song sharpens every regret and pain to tap into a global source of matronly love. Importantly, the slow, rhythmic strums of the guitarrón are the basis of other accompaniments, including horns, strings, and xylophones, which assists in creating a slow, melancholic melody. People usually play the song whenever a woman in the country passes away.
The Calacas Blues’ Nada Que Llorar
El Emperador, Henry Torres. “Nada Que Llorar - Henry Torres Ft Prix 06 (Video Lyric).” YouTube, N.p. 2016, Accessed 5 Jan. 2017.
The Calacas Blues band perform the song Nada que llorar (meaning nothing to do other than crying), which is a popular song composed by Alejandro Cardona. Cardona is the leader of the band (Neustadt). The song, which is an example of fast-tempo blues, recounts the narrative of a woman who deserts her children to look for work in the U.S. The protagonist of the song leaves her poverty, family, and belongings behind and crosses the United States border to seek a job. The composer mentions that the female looks for her "cousin’s cousin," who is likely to find her a good employment opportunity. Ironically, she is unable to accomplish her “dream” in the U.S.; indeed, she resorts to prostitution to survive in the country. Although the lyrics focus on the woman who crosses the United States-Mexico border, the song crosses the “musical border” as well. As stated, this song is a blues tune, which is a harmonic structure and musical form that historically expresses the grief of the experience of African-Americans in the U.S. Importantly, it expresses the sadness and misery of a woman made to migrate to another nation as an economic refugee; however, she finds that her dream of better living standards has vanished.
Ritchie Valens’ La Bamba
Millington, Zak. “The Real Ritchie Valens - La Bamba.” YouTube, N.p. 2008, Accessed 5 Jan. 2017.
Son jarocho is a product of hundreds of years of cross-cultural interchange between the Afro-Mexican, indigenous, and Spanish individuals who settled in the region. Many people outside of Mexico know this genre of music through the worldwide popularity of La Bamba, which is a traditional jarocho song popularized by Ritchie Valens. La Bamba is a popular, traditional folk song in Mexico that became an instant success for Ritchie Valens following his death in a plane crash along with The Big Bopper and Buddy Holly. Many people play this song, which Mariachi bands regard with great favor, at weddings. The Spanish-language lyrics employed in the musical composition illustrate that a person requires “a little grace” to dance La Bamba. In fact, Ritchie Valens, who is a native of San Fernando Valley, climbed the United States pop charts with La Bamba in 1958 (Macintosh). Few young people dancing to this song probably recognized they were enjoying a version of son jarocho, which is a high-spirited but structurally elegant fusion of Afro-Caribbean rhythms and wordplay on the existing political matters.
Consuelo Vazquez’s Besame Mucho
Mucho, Bésame. “Consuelo Velázquez - Bésame Mucho.” YouTube, 2010, Accessed 5 Jan. 2017.
Consuelo Vazquez wrote and performed Besame Mucho when she was only 15 years old. She composed this romantic bolero in 1940. At the time, people considered kissing out of wedlock a sin. However, many artists currently use this romantic song as their central themes. In fact, artists from different parts of the globe, such as Louis Armstrong and The Beatles, have recorded the song. Moreover, it is amongst the most recorded and sung songs in the country. Most of the residents consider this song amongst the most romantic compositions produced in the region.
Solamente Una Vez’s Solamente Una Vez
Cancion Mexicana. “Luis Miguel - Solamente una Vez.” YouTube, 2008, Accessed 5 Jan. 2017.
Solamente Una Vez, which is a bolero song (a dance marked by sharp turns), continues to captivate the hearts of people throughout the planet. Jose Mojica performs this song, which was written by Augustin Lara. Andrea Bocelli, Chucho Valdes, and Luis Miguel have produced recent versions of the song. Besides, Bing Crosby has sung it in English.
Quirino Mendoza’s Cielito Lindo
Mariachi Mexico. “Mariachi Mexico Cielito Lindo.” YouTube, 2008, Accessed 5 Jan. 2017.
Quirino Mendoza composed Cielito Lindo, which is an example of a Mariachi classic. The song arises from Andalusian poetry, where verses employ A-B-C-B structure. This love song, which uses Mariachi trumpet, resonates well with many young people in the country.
Fernández, Serena Rossi. “La Cucaracha.” YouTube, 2011, Accessed 5 Jan. 2017.
This song is used in games and comedies. However, people do not know its origins. This song comprises lyrics that date back to the Mexican Revolution where the word cockroach refers to President Victoriano Huerta, who was viewed as a villain and traitor by many people. It is an example of a corrido, which denotes a song that sounds like a ballad and tells stories focusing on the struggles of peasants in the region.
Dino Ramos’ La Nave Del Olvido
Jose Jose. “Jose Jose - La Nave Del Olvido.” YouTube, 2009, YouTube, 2008, Accessed 5 Jan. 2017.
Dino Ramos was the writer of this song. José José used his exceptional voice to inspire many balladeers who wanted to emulate his technically pristine, but emotional vocals. This popular song, which was composed in the 1970’s, marked the artist's first global success. Thus, most listeners are likely to love it.
Alavéz, José López. “Cancion Mixteca de José López Alavéz.” YouTube, N.p. 2013,Accessed 5 Jan. 2017.
Cancion Mexicana. “Luis Miguel - Solamente una Vez.” YouTube, 2008,Accessed 5 Jan. 2017.
El Emperador, Henry Torres. “Nada Que Llorar - Henry Torres Ft Prix 06 (Video Lyric).” YouTube, N.p. 2016,Accessed 5 Jan. 2017.
Fernández, Serena Rossi. “La Cucaracha.” YouTube, 2011,Accessed 5 Jan. 2017.
Gabriel, Juan. Juan Gabriel: Amor Eterno. YouTube, N.p. 2010,Accessed 5 Jan. 2017.
Jose Jose. “Jose Jose - La Nave del Olvido.” YouTube, 2009, YouTube, 2008,Accessed 5 Jan. 2017.
Kelly, Alaina. “La Cumbia Del Mole Song Analysis”. N.p., 2012, http://alainakelly.blogspot.co.ke/2012/06/la-cumbia-del-mole-song-analysis.html. Accessed 5 Jan. 2017.
Macintosh, Marlon Bishopnina. “The Fandango Life: Resurrecting Son Jarocho Beyond La Bamba”. ABC News, 2013, http://abcnews.go.com/ABC_Univision/Entertainment/fandango-life-resurrecting-son-jarocho-la-bamba/story?id=18835048. Accessed 5 Jan. 2017.
Mariachi Mexico. “Mariachi Mexico Cielito Lindo.” YouTube, 2008,Accessed 5 Jan. 2017.
Martinez, Josue. “Lila Downs- La Cumbia Del Mole Original.” YouTube, 2012,Accessed 5 Jan. 2017.
Millington, Zak. “The Real Ritchie Valens - La Bamba.” YouTube, N.p. 2008,Accessed 5 Jan. 2017.
Mucho, Bésame. “Consuelo Velázquez - Bésame Mucho.” YouTube, 2010,Accessed 5 Jan. 2017.
Muscato, Christopher. “Mexican Music: Genres & Artists”. Study.Com, 2017, http://study.com/academy/lesson/mexican-music-genres-artists.html. Accessed 5 Jan. 2017.
Neustadt, Robert. “Border Songs: Bringing the Immigration Crisis to the Classroom with Music”. Music & Politics, 2014, http://www.truth-out.org/speakout/item/25985-border-songs-bringing-the-immigration-crisis-to-the-classroom-with-music. Accessed 5 Jan. 2017.
Wang, Yuxing. “Song Analysis: Cancion Mixteca”. N.p., 2012, http://yuxingwlast211.blogspot.co.ke/2012/06/song-analysis-cancion-mixteca.html. Accessed 5 Jan. 2017.