Sunday, September 27, 2015

What are the Cliché Mexican Songs?

The band Phish announced earlier this month that they will be playing three nights on Mexico's Caribbean coast in January 2016!  This has inspired me to learn some Mexican songs.  I'm looking for the most cliché, or at least the most recognizable, of all Mexican sounding melodies...the Irish Washerwomans and Old Joe Clarks of that region or style.  So far, I've found six that I like and over the last couple weeks I've been learning them.  This morning I did some quick recordings of each on my tenor banjo and mandola.

La Cucaracha means "the cockroach".  It is perhaps the most famous of all Mexican folk songs.

South of the Border (Down Mexico Way) was written by Jimmy Kennedy and Michael Carr.  There have been many recordings of this cowboy song, including those by Willie Nelson, Frank Sinatra, Flaco Jimenez, Chris Isaak and even Bill Frisell!

Jarabe Tapatio, AKA "The Mexican Hat Dance", is another of Mexico's most recognizable folk songs.  You may have heard it played on organ at a baseball game.

Tequila is a latin-flavored 1950's rock and roll song recorded by The Champs.  Pee-wee Herman famously dances to this song during Pee-wee's Big Adventure.

Besame Mucho is a Mexican bolero written by Consuelo Velazquez.  The title translates to "kiss me a lot".

Sobre Las Olas is a Mexican waltz, also known as "Over the Waves" in the United States.  It was written by Mexican composer Juventino Rosas.  Sobre Las Olas is often played at circuses where trapeze artists are performing.

Can you think of any other well known, classic or fun Mexican (or Mexican sounding) songs I should add to this list?

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