thumbnail of Musica Popular Mexicana; 9
Hide -
If this transcript has significant errors that should be corrected, let us know, so we can add it to FIX IT+
Communication Center the University of Texas at Austin. This program given to the history and culture of the next. These programs are presented in cooperation with the Department of music and the Center for Internet culture in folklore and oral history at the University of Texas at Austin. In this series of programs leading up to this particular program we have been interviewing Tom Stanford who is an expert in the field of ethnic music of Mexico. Today we have an additional guest Dr. Americal Paradis who is director of the Folklore Center at the University of Texas at
Austin is going to visit with us and tell us something of the Mexican corrido. Dr. Berettas you are director of the Folklore Center at Austin and I understand it has a longer and more complicated title. Yes it is quite a mouthful. It is the Center for the cultural studies and folklore an oral history. The reason for that long title is that we are especially interested in studies which cut across cultures especially the relationship between the United States and Latin America. We also are interested in reminiscences of things concerning what one might call an oral history that is a reason for for title though usually we call it the Folklore Center. And I understand you're also a professor of English and anthropology. Yes that's true. What about this form which we call the corrido. What has been its effect on the people of Mexico from historical to present time.
Well I suppose it would be easiest to compare it to the ballad. It is a Mexican form of the ballad just as the American ballad let's say about as like a barber out on Jesse James and others has its origins in England. So there's a coterie that have its origins in Spain in Spain it was known as a romance where originally it was a fairly long kind of poem popular poem. Later it was called the romance of course. Really though and as such it came to Mexico and Spain itself it was very important in giving the Spanish people a sense of national identity during the period of the wars with the Moslems in Mexico it remains in a kind of a dormant state very much like about it in the Appalachians until the time of the revolution when the Mexican national identity really comes into being and then the corridor of the
Mexican choreo blooms you might say. The oldest types the other romances do persist in Mexican culture. An example of that is the well-known Gramont say about the beautiful lady in the sheepherder you know this is a subject of our first recording today. That is true. This romance a has been traced at least to the end of the 15th century. The evidence we have on that is that the Sephardic Jew is the Spanish Jews who were expelled from Spain in fourteen ninety two. Apparently characters from onset out of Spain into Northern Africa. It is a universal scene you might say of course the old historical romances did not persist in Mexico. There was a new history a new culture. Only the universal same's would know this is the same that is well known and the United States too I think it's one of the
out cop has used with Little Abner. The stupid lout who doesn't realize that a beautiful girl is in love with him. That is basically the same for this reader now. Originally of a mindset. So this is the choreo of pasta or other auto. A little.
Meat Loaf. Dr. Prentice have the lyrics in the form of that music come to us as they were in the original versions in the 15th century or have they been mutated as time has passed. They have come down very much in their original form except for the music. The music is very modern You may have noticed it resembles the island head on. The locale has been Mexican I think you might say the diction is more Mexican I just the real quote real melody is very much like the next selection we are going to hear which is a
revolutionary Cori though this is the time when the court really reaches the height of its influence of the Mexican people see their national identity expressed in the quarter you know what year was this the revolution of course begins in 900 town this particular court relo has a date of around 916 Benham you know who my father was a revolutionary general. He was with punch of the after punch area lost he took to the mountains. He was captured by the Carranza troops and he was executed and they cooperated of course as a kind of element in which they hold events are described as Korea obviously began in the Norse who are be find out who matter were very very popular. Where does book or radio begin. It obviously is composed by one person. Now we no longer
believe it was a British series did in the 19th century at least things are communistic composed in other words that a lot of people get together and each one pitches in on some one person usually perhaps a guitar player working in the tradition and using his models that have gone before but something like this together. But as it goes from person to person it is remodeled it is changed. For example the same career that I have about five versions in which you can see how different singers a pared down have edited it made it shorter much more dramatic much more effective than the original one which is wrong. Are we hearing an original version of this today. We are hearing a fairly long one that exist in oral tradition. This was collected of course in 1954 but the singer as a professional get that writer who prides himself on singing with the whole corporeal as he
says. Her meet.
Her doctor Berettas are the Korinos usually sung by two people or do we have other examples where there could be solo unaccompanied I suppose that in the actual singing of them and the culture they are much more often sung by one person alone even unaccompanied by stories about ghetto riding along when this horse would sing one of these things without guitar accompaniment or anything. There we often and more formal situation but still let's say in a ranch house or someplace like that you might have one person saying a quarter you know a company himself with one get tar in a container a place like that you are likely to have two guitar players two voices as a corridor we have just heard before here is an example of
a guerilla song Archipelago by an old mine who was ninety two years old when he signed this particular career which as I suppose some special interest for listeners in Texas that is a ballad of the Kansas trail Mexican buck gathers drove us steers along the kinds of stray all the dates from about eight hundred sixty seven. It is probably the oldest Texas credo and maybe one of the oldest Mexican quarter us not those that have come from Spain. The basic same as we took a big herd to kinds of what a long long trail it was I thought we wouldn't make room or are by. Around the. Corner.
Yeah. But the British I'm always interested in the circumstances under which these recordings were made. That man was 92 years old he certainly has a lusty voice. Yes for his age really has conserved his voice. He was known as a singer in the area as a very young mind. He was telling me when we recorded this that his brother is one of the Kansas trail
his or older brothers he never did himself at the time I met him he was working at the local cemetery. He said he was trying to get closer and closer to what I think it was perhaps just a little bit pessimistic because eight years later when I was on the border I recorded him again. At that time and 62 he was 100 years old and he was still singing and his voice had not deteriorated any more I think than it had by then. They could really can also be a song by one mind I think we have had an example of that been coming out of a meadow of what you might call semi professional singers singers who do have a good bit of practice because they do this once in a while and I actually are paid. Now this old mind that is sung with Kansas quickly though of course you might compare him with a old Appalachian singers. The man who will sang
the next quote very little so he also has is a mind who was a farmer a rancher. His hinds or Callisto was working on the farm up there for he is not a great guitarist but he is a good example of the member of the folk who is not a specialist who does not sing for money who does sang this type of a song. This particular song is a battle song in 1915 a group of Texas Mexicans who rose against American authorities say there were about forty of them and they thought they were going to slice off the southern part of Texas and establish a Spanish speaking Republic. The situation perhaps in some ways was similar to that of today and the riots in the cities except that this was guerrilla warfare in the brush cities in Texas.
Did this occur. They could read the mentions For example some of them say it is a time they passed a sound NATO the code reader mentions that the group is going to order me to go where the train was derailed. Another interesting thing about this because it's a very old one we have a white bike on the Spanish from mine say we have a stages of rivalry between the Chiefs so that in this country the least a lot Ross who was a very formidable chieftain as far as we know is derided as being a coward. A rather minor chief called kilo to Fuentes is mentioned again and again as being the brave one and he keeps telling on what he said don't you go because you just want to cry when they attack. Nobody has and can grind the cookery was you or you could hear was the sound of firing and dungarees at a process sweeping all of this of course as jealousy between two factions that developed in the
band itself. This is called a cell you see osis which means of course the seditionists. Dr. Britt is now that the era of Texas and Mexican
violence has passed. What is happening to the choreo in more modern times. Oh well the same thing has happened to the corridor our stores are dead to the romance in Spain after the border wars were over and it becomes more restricted and same it happens what happened let's say in the United States you have dollars like that a Bonnie and Clyde for example or Jesse James the bad man. Tradition becomes more important the tradition continues very often the same kind of conventions that were used and earlier quarterly This will be used as a subject is much more limited abiding mind gets drunk and gets into a fight and kill somebody or is killed or he falls in love and stay was a woman and her relatives go out and she would come this is what very often is called the longer ization of the biologic not a term that I'm particularly
fond of. It just is that it becomes restricted from what you might say a national subject to a much more personal subject but at the same time more universal because the average listener who doesn't know about my personal AI still is interested in the universal situation of mine facing violence. The test of mind avoid you might say the so called My t small that has been so much discussed by sociologists anthropologists and others and Mexico does enter into this. For example this next quote re the law which is a much more professional job you have a very good voice here a very good tar still follows in the old tradition for example. Such and such can't be done saying out loud though that goes back to the medieval Roman say you have romances that begin with exactly those
words they were used in the border conflict could really lose and here you have a used and an abiding one called real. The conventions such as Cuomo Kerry and the you are God. Speaking as if you almost was going to cry for example occurs in the Kansas trail Coryell where they say the cup without a boss speaks that way to the cowboys trying to make him stop a stampede. I hear it is used in a slightly different way but this to my mind would show that this goes back to what we said a moment ago about the composition who composes these and how it is somebody who has a very broad background in other corporators and who actually remakes the old coterie of those giving them a new subject. There's a.
Lot but never any harder. Gummy annoying little brother. Want to say you know I mean
there's gum in order to bother. Going there your daughter knows. Leg on this day to be young. I mean you're going to. Go to bed all either their guess or your above
or your doctorate is in closing this program on the credo What is the current role of the credo in the life of the average Mexican. It still plays an important role for example when President Kennedy was assassinated. There were at least eight or nine corridors composed of thought his assassination recently when Dr. King was assassinated. At least one could read it was composed and Santonio on that. So that still plays an important role in the life of Mexican and Mexican American people. In spite of other kinds of that attainment you will be with us on our next program. What will we explore at that time. We'll be talking about the same hour which is another form of Mexican folk poetry and folk song.
Is a production of communication center at the University of Texas at Austin selection of music and commentary in this series are under the supervision of Tom Stanford assistant professor in the department of the interviewer in John Prine field recordings are drawn from the sound archives of the Mexican National Museum of Anthropology and the Center for intercultural study folklore and oral history at the University of Texas at Austin. This is NPR National Educational Radio Network.
Please note: This content is only available at GBH and the Library of Congress, either due to copyright restrictions or because this content has not yet been reviewed for copyright or privacy issues. For information about on location research, click here.
Musica Popular Mexicana
Episode Number
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
If you have more information about this item than what is given here, or if you have concerns about this record, we want to know! Contact us, indicating the AAPB ID (cpb-aacip/500-xg9f9723).
Series Description
Musica Popular Mexicana is a series of programs which explores traditional regional music and dance forms of Mexico, with a special emphasis given to the history and culture of the Mexican people. Each episode focuses on specific regions and forms, with commentary from Mexican musicology expert Thomas Stanford. The program is produced in cooperation with the Department of Music and the Center for Intercultural Studies in Folklore and Oral History at the University of Texas Austin, and is distributed by the National Education Radio Network. Sound recordings are provided by the Center for Intercultural Studies as well as the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico.
Media type
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 69-26-9 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:28:21
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
Chicago: “Musica Popular Mexicana; 9,” University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed March 3, 2024,
MLA: “Musica Popular Mexicana; 9.” University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. March 3, 2024. <>.
APA: Musica Popular Mexicana; 9. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from