¡Ask A Mexican! for Apr 30, 2009
One man's take on his culture's stereotypes
Thursday, April 30, 2009
“Los Mandados” (The Errands): I could give you hundreds of songs for Drinko de Mayo festivities, but if a Wayfarer-sporting, American Apparel-wearing, Elliott Smith-worshiping, Shepard Fairey-loving and oh-so-ironic gabacho wants to hear a mariachi play something subtly anti-gringo, they can ask for this.
“La Media Vuelta” (The Half-Turn): Is there a more supremely-confident, hypermacho, Mexican song out there? “You’ll leave if I say so?” “You’ll stay if I say so?” “I want you to kiss other lips just to see how great I am in contrast?” Perfect!
“No Volveré” (I Won’t Return): The counter balance to “Volver, Volver” (Mexican note: another mariachi standard). “I swear to you that I will never return, even if life tears me to pieces, if at one time I loved you like crazy you are now forgotten from my soul.”
“La Martina”: A great corrido by Antonio Aguilar about a young bride who cheats on her husband. She gets caught red-handed and tries to talk her way out of it. When her father refuses to do anything about it, her husband takes things into his own hands and empties his revolver into her. What else was he to do?
“El Gavilán Pollero” (The Chicken Hawk): Years ago, our high school Spanish club used to sponsor “authentic” dinners out. One night, the mariachi played “El Gavilán Pollero” and one of the not-so-fluent students asked la profesora to translate. Our teacher, blushing with embarrassment, actually told us the song was about a nasty chicken hawk who flew over a barnyard terrorizing the newly hatched little chicks (Metaphors, amigo; song is about a guy who steals another guy’s girl). Now, whenever I heard the song, it makes me laugh so hard, Negra Modelo comes out my nose.
“I Just Called to Say I Love You”: Yes, mariachis know it – and it sounds bad-ass.