Technical glitches seem to be common on my radio show lately: the first twenty minutes of today’s live broadcast were lost somewhere in the stratosphere before the signal finally went out to listeners.
The show opened with a couple of Mexican corridos for, or about, the American President Elect, and I’m sorry these didn’t successfully air. I recorded the whole hour, though, so I’ve uploaded it and am posting it here. You can listen to it anytime.
Corridos have been part of Mexican and Mexican-American culture since the 1800s; they’re narrative ballads, usually rooted in topical events of the day, and for many years now they’ve transformed the latest events – the headlines, the tragedies, the heroes and the villains, the underdogs, lovers, politicians, criminals, and ordinary laborers – into the stuff of compelling, storytelling song. The corridos are significant especially in the border culture spanning both sides of the U.S.-Mexican border.
This year’s election was full of talk of that border. Not surprisingly there’s a wealth already of Donald Trump corridos — and we can be certain many(!) more will emerge in the days, months, and maybe years ahead. We heard just a few of the first ones today; we also heard a Trump tune from Cuba and Vicente Fernandez’s “El Corrido de Hillary Clinton,” released back in September by the celebrated King of Ranchera Music.
One of today’s songs — “Donald Trump … Yo Soy Mojado, No Soy Criminal,” by El Mustang de la Sierra — suggests in its title the overall tenor of these Trump songs, rebuking Trump’s depiction of immigrants (mojados) as criminals. Some corridos are impassioned and earnest; some are sardonic and comical. Here’s one we didn’t hear on the show today:
I hope someone’s keeping track of all these new corridos. They’ll make for a vital record of our time.
Also on today’s show, we heard songs for the late John Glenn (see my previous post for more about John Glenn songs). We heard a bunch of recordings, too, without much to do with anything in particular — but good songs anyway by Sam and Dave, Esther Philips, John Hartford, George Jones, and others.
I was bummed that this show didn’t air in full. I hope you’ll give it a listen.