Have you ever been to a football match that Mexico was playing in? Have you watched the Olympics and heard the roar of the Mexican fans as they join together in song? If you have, then you might recognize the phrase “Canta y no llores.” These are the beginning lyrics to the now world-famous, “Cielito Lindo”, which has become somewhat of an anthem during sporting events.
This song goes back to 1887 when Quirino Mendoza dedicated it to his wife Catalina Martínez. The lyrics speak about the power love has to change our perspective in bad situations and give us a better outlook on things. The song has since become part of the Mexican identity and a staple in our households.
Although the song adheres to the traditional sound of the country’s popular music, its author was, in fact, part of another school of music: the “corrido”. Corridos emerged, mainly in the North, during the Revolution era, pairing words with the sound of the accordion. In a time of countrywide war and poverty, their catchy and whimsical lyrics and waltz and polka-like rhythm spread like wildfire telling stories about the brave deeds of some of the most important players of the Mexican Revolution. A group of fighters that had a lot of corridos written about them, were the “Adelitas”—the women who fought during the Mexican Revolution.
Have a listen…
It’s never too late to learn that Mexican music is more than Mariachis. Don’t forget to search out the symphony during your next jaunt!
Corridos. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.fonotecanacional.gob.mx/index.php/escucha/secciones-especiales/semblanzas-2/revolucion-mexicana/corridos
Cielito lindo, de Quirino Mendoza, entre las 10 canciones mexicanas más populares. (2019). Retrieved from https://inba.gob.mx/prensa/13300/cielito-lindo-de-quirino-mendoza-entre-las-10-canciones-mexicanas-mas-populares
Thornton, M. (N.D) ¿Qué es el corrido mexicano? Retrieved from http://acceso.ku.edu/unidad4/almanaque/corrido.shtml
Image titled “Conjunto Norteño Music”. (N.D) Retrieved from https://pulse.berklee.edu/?id=4&lesson=30&print_book=410&print_page=3838
Ernesto Alonso. (2018). Cielito lindo México 1-0 Alemania. [Video]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-OuH7MRMf4