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MUSIC Mariachi

Traditional Mexican street ensemble. The performer, the musical style, and the musical ensemble are called mariachi. Mariachi music emerged in the late 1700s or early 1800s. In the 19th century, mariachi bands consisted solely of stringed instruments, including the guitar, the guitarrón (a large fretless six-string bass guitar), and the vihuela (a guitarlike stringed instrument); since the1920s the ensembles have generally included violins and trumpets — now more or less essential elements — and often other wind instruments as well. Initially mariachi music was strictly instrumental, but it has come to include vocal elements.

 

 

A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE MARIACHI TRADITION

http://www.sobrino.net/mer/entry_on_the_word_mariachi.htm

 

 

 

MARIACHI SONG FORMS

http://www.sobrino.net/mer/Analyzing_Mariachi.html

 

 

 

HISTORY OF WOMEN IN MARIACHI MUSIC

http://www.mariachi4u.com/hwm/

 

Mariachi: The Spirit of Mexico
(from a public television station in New York)

http://www.wliw.org/productions/performance/mariachi-the-spirit-of-mexico/66/

 

The Mariachi Son: The Pride of Mexican Music
(from an online travel agency)

http://www.vallarta.com/Editorial/Mariachi/

 

About the Mariachi
What Does It Mean?

Musicologists and folklorists have argued for years over the origin of the word – Mariachi. the best scholarly opinion is that the word mariachi has native roots. One theory is that it comes from the name of the wood used to make the platform on which the performers danced to the music of the village musicians.

http://www.guidemexico.info/articles/206

 

 

 

LISTEN TO SOME MARIACHI

http://payplay.fm/tottalk

 

OR TRY THIS SITE TO LISTEN TO MORE SONGS

http://www.mariachimexteca.com/music/music2.html

 

EL SON DE LA NEGRA
(The Mariachi National Anthem, originally from

Listen to the song
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7G-U82PriO0

 

Commentary on El Son de La Negra
http://soledadenmasa.wordpress.com/2009/07/30/la-negra/

Yesterday, I read an article in the San Antonio Express-News that the Today show asked Mariachi Campanas de America not to play the mariachi’s anthem, “El són de la negra. Heres a bit from the article:

 

That popular folk song, whose title translates to “The Song of the Black Woman,” was the renowned mariachis’ first choice for their performance Wednesday on the “Today” show. But the show’s producers asked Campanas de America not to sing it when “Today” broadcasts from the Arneson River Theater next week.

 

“It’s the mariachi national anthem,” said Belle Ortiz, manager of Campanas de America. “We always play ‘El Son de La Negra.’ Everybody plays it.”

 

The reason for rejecting it? “Because they didn’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings because of the name of the song,” Ortiz said.

 

A show spokeswoman said this was not a case of political correctness.

 

“The song ‘El Son de La Negra’ was by no means deemed too controversial for ‘Today,’” publicist Megan Kopf said via e-mail.

 

“We always consider several song choices for our musical performance segments on the ‘Today’ show. For this particular segment, we decided to go with a song selection that is both appropriate for our wide-ranging ‘Today’ show audience and that also keeps with mariachi tradition.”

 

This is clearly the Today show worrying too much about offending a group of people over a song that is not offensive at all. I don’t but the Today’s show explanation at all. If I were put in the position Campanas was put in, I would rather lose the work than not be allowed to play this song. “La negra” is an essential part of the mariachi repertoire and is universally recognized. It is synonymous with mariachis and México.

 

Another aspect of this situation is the actual meaning of “La negra.” The most commonly accepted meaning is that the song is about a woman, “La negra”, the black one. This analysis hinges on the lyrics “Negrita de mis pesares/ojos de papel volando” (“Black one of my sorrows/eyes of paper flying). Those verses don’t make any sense. The proper lyrics (which fell out of fashion, for some reason) are “Negrita de mis pesares/hojas de papel volando” (Black one of my sorrows/Sheets of paper flying).

 

A few weeks back, this very topic was discussed over at El Mariachi.com. There is no definite interpretation of “La negra” because the song is from the mid-to-late 1800s. The meaning that I prefer is that “la negra” refers to a train. The beginning of the song is that of a train picking up steam and the train is “la negrita de mis pesares,” which brings sorrow to the author because his love has not come on the train. As the train passes, the wind picks up sheets of paper.

 

Other parts of the songs don’t fit well into this intepretation, but that is probably because of the time that has passed since the song was first written. Everyone interprets the song differently, but interpreting the song as inappropriate because its “kind of saucy” is insincere, considering the airplay that other, more objectifying, songs receive from T.V. shows.

 

Lyrics to El Son de la Negra
customs from Nayarit…

The lyrics:

Negrita de mis pesares,
ojos de papel volando.
Negrita de mis pesares,
ojos de papel volando.
A todos diles que s
í
pero no les digas cu
ándo.
As
í me dijiste a mí;
por eso vivo penando.

¿Cuándo regresa mi negra?
Que la quiero ver aqu
í
con su rebozo de seda
que le traje de Tepic.

¿Cuándo regresa mi negra?
Que la quiero ver aqu
í
con su rebozo de seda
que le traje de Tepic.

The first 4 lines talk about “Albina Luna Perez” flirting by “flittering” her eyes. “ojos de papel volando”

The next 4 lines talk about the way Albina said, “yes” to the song writer’s advances but never told him when she would make good on her promises… He’s telling her to say the same thing to everyone else but not to tell them when… That’s what she told him and now he’s living, “penando”

The next 4 lines ask when “La Negra” will return. It is very important to know what La Negra did to understand this… It’s well documented that she worked in the Tobacco plantations and would be gone for months at a time… The songwriter purchased for her a silk “Rebozo” and sent it to her with her uncle… He refers to her as “Mi Negra” because back in the day… Tepic was very well known for it’s silk and a gift such as a silk scarf was known to be a gift given to someone whom you wanted to marry…

 

 

LA BAMBA

(traditional Mariachi song from the state of Veracruz, Mexico)

Para bailar la bamba

Para bailar la bamba se necesita

Una poca de grácia

Una poca de gracia y otra cosita

Ay arriba y arriba

Y arriba y arriba, arriba iré

Yo no soy marinero

Yo no soy marinero por tí seré, por tí seré, por tí seré.

 

Bamba, bamba, bamba!

Bamba, bamba, bamba!

Bamba, bamba, bamba!>

 

Para subir al cielo

Para subir al cielo se necesita

Una escalera grande

Una escalera grande y otra chiquita

Ay arriba y arriba

Y arriba y arriba, arriba iré

Yo no soy marinero

Yo no soy marinero, soy capitán, soy capitán, soy capitán.

 

Bamba, bamba, bamba!

Bamba, bamba, bamba!

Bamba, bamba, bamba!>

 

Una vez que te dije

Una vez que te dije que eras bonita

Se te puso la cara

Se te puso la cara coloradita

Ay arriba y arriba

Y arriba y arriba, arriba iré...

 

Una vez que te dije

Una vez que te dije que eras muy guapo

Se te puso la cara

Se te puso la cara color de sapo

Ay arriba y arriba

Y arriba y arriba, arriba iré...

 

En mi casa me dicen

En mi casa me dicen el inocente

Porque tengo muchachas

Porque tengo muchachas de quince a veínte

Ay arriba y arriba

Y arriba y arriba, arriba iré...

 

There are hundreds of verses in this song. The above are the most common.

 

The following is a new section, which traditionally leads to the final verse.)

 

Y!

Quisiera tener la dicha

La dicha que un gallo tiene

De tener muchas pollitas y a ninguna las mantiene.

 

El sombrero me lo quito y me lo pongo.

gorilon, gorilon, gorilongo

El sombrero me lo quito y me lo pongo.>

 

Gorilongo es una negrita que se parece al carbón

No diré que es muy bonita, tiene grácia de a montón.

 

El sombrero me lo quito y me lo pongo.

gorilon, gorilon, gorilongo

El sombrero me lo quito y me lo pongo.>

 

Gorilongo vamos a misa a que nos bendiga el padre

Te vas a casar conmigo aunque no quiera tu madre.

 

El sombrero me lo quito y me lo pongo.

gorilon, gorilon, gorilongo

El sombrero me lo quito y me lo pongo.>

 

The traditional LAST verse is:

 

Ay cupido te pido

Ay cupido te pido de compasión

Que se acabe "La bamba"

Que se acabe "La bamba" y venga otro son

Ay arriba y arriba

Y arriba y arriba, arriba iré...

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