Thursday, March 24, 2011

More songs circulated in the Immprof list serv

Two more contributions to the growing list of immigrantion-related songs from the immigration professor's list serv.  I hope those of you who have musical talents find and practice these songs in anticipation of perforiming them at our next immigration professor's conference--hiroshi are you listening?

From Professor Ruben G. Rumbaut (UC Irvine-Sociology


To the wonderful compilation of songs on the immigrant experience, here're five more (from Mexican artists), compliments of my wife Irene

"Lamento de un bracero" -- Antonio Aguilar
"Un mojado sin licencia" -- Grupo Tayer
"La tumba del mojado" -- Los Tigres del Norte
"Julio César Chávez" -- Ramón Ayala
"Los mandados" -- Vicente Fernández

And still more, with YouTube links (this from my brother Luis Rumbaut, a lawyer in DC who played in a band himself):

Todos Vuelven may have been covered by Blades, but it was originally a vals peruano (canción criolla) from before i was born:
my candidate (our band used to play it, with much appreciation by the audience): Vivan los Mojados, also from Los Tigres del Norte:
but the generic granddady of them all (1915!) may be Canción Mixteca, here done by the mind-stretching Lila Downs:

From Professor Sheila Velez (Pittsburg-Law)

1. Visa para un sueño,  Juan Luis Guerra .  (Visa for a Dream) Juan Luis Guerra is a Dominican singer and song writer, his music can be distinguished because he infuses the traditional rhythms of the Dominican Republic (bachata, perico ripiao, merengue) with poetry and social commentary. This song is about the struggle of Dominican who migrate, the false papers and the long lines under the burning sun at the US Consulate in Santo Domingo. For those of you that think that you can not dance merengue, watch the dancers in the background and give it a try.

2. No me llames extranjero, Alberto Cortez ( poem  by Amor) (Do not call me a stranger or foreigner).  Alberto Cortez is one of the leading voices of Latin American music, a household name, a voice we all grew up with. This is a powerful song that after all this years always moves me to tears.  It hangs in my office."Do not call me a stranger because I was born under other skies!  your wheat is like me wheat, your hand is like my hand, your fire like my fire and hunger"

3. Boricua en la luna,  Roy Brown and Fiel a la Vega (Boricua in the moon)  (poem by el maestro Juan Antonio Corretjer) Juan Antonio Corretjer, Puerto Rico´s national poet was born in New York. This is song is about Puerto Rican migration to New York and Puerto Rican identity.  Boricua refers to the taino name of the Island, Borikén.  We are all Boricuas and we are known all trough Latin America as Boricuas like people from Costa Rica are Ticos. "Yo serÃa borincano aunque naciera en la luna" I would be Borincano even if I was born in the moon.

4. En la otra orilla, Frank Delgado.  (In the other shore) Frank Delgado is a contemporary Cuban singer and songwriter that lives in Havana.  His songs are full of criticism of the current Cuban social and political situation in a witty and sardonic way.   This song is about the the relationships between those who left Cuba and those who remain.  How at first all those who left were called gusanos (worms)  but as the divisas became a necessity they came to be called comunitarios. A veritable example of transnationalism.     How family, music and santeria holds both shores together in spite of politics and distance.

He also has a very popular son called Letter from a Cuban Boy to Harry Potter.

5. Redemption Song,  Bob Marley.  No introduction necessary. "Old pirates, yes, they rob I Sold I to the merchant ships Minutes after they took I From the bottomless pit But my hand was made strong By the hand of the almighty We forward in this generation Triumphantly" Another song of freedom, redemption songs emancipate yourself from mental slavery.

If you like reggae you can also check out, Deportee by Buju Banton, it deals with the life of persons deported back to Jamaica. "Back together again, mi baby fren'
Dust off yuh clothes, an' start from scratch again Back together again, mi baby fren' Dust off yuh clothes, an' start, nuh true"

6. Papeles Mojados, Chambao. (Wet papers) Chambao is a techno flamenco group from AndalucÃa, Spain.  The name refers to the tent fisherman in the region use to protect themselves from sun and sand.  The song is about African migrants crossing the Mediterraneo.  TMany don´t make it, they dreams drown, we papers, papers without owner"

7. Clandestino,  Manu Chao.  Manu Chao is a Basque and Gallego singer.   The Clandestino album was released in 1998 and even features a commentary by Subcomandante Marcos (ejercito zapatista de liberacion nacional). "Alone I go with my sorrow Alone goes my sentence To run is my destiny To escape the law Lost in the heart of the great Babylon They call me clandestine For not having any papers"

8. Pa´l Norte , Calle 13. (To the north) Calle 13 Residente is a controversial urban singer and songwriter from Puerto Rico.   He is widely known through out Latin America for his controversial lyrics and social activism. "Today I leave to the north without passport... on foot, on paws... but it doesn't matter this man hydrates himself with what my eyes portray with a pair of landscapes in my knapsack with vitamins of chlorophyll with a rosary that keeps watching on me."

My personal favorite, El hormigero, (The Anthill) About the unstoppable growth of the Latino community "Here we come, the ants invading enemy lands, our invasion without missiles, underground ants can overcome any giant, the sting you feel later, there are more ants than cowboys,  the humble eat the nobleman, by 2020 we will double, you have to share the candies "

9. Pobre Juan, Maná (Poor Juan)  Mana is a popular rock band from Guadalajara, Mexico.  Pobre Juan is the history of a young man with a pregnant wife, he leaves for the north, but never makes it.   Betrayed by the coyotes, it is never known if it was la migra o the desert but Juan never returned.

10. La casa por la ventana, Joaquin Sabina (Throwing the house trough the window)  Joaquin Sabina is one of the most popular Spanish singers and songwriters.  Do not be fooled by the salsa rythm, is a heartbreaking song about immigrants in Spain: Dominicans,Cubans, Africans, Roma an even Ukranians that " in plazas and cinemas for a plate of soup and a straw mattress, with a carpet and a kleenex polish and shine Europe's "

11. Te guste o no, Juan Manuel Serrat.  (Like it or not) The great Catalan singer and songwriter Joan Manuel Serrat sings about loving the similarities but loving even more the differences between us all.  Multiculturalism at its best.

12. Cantares,  Juan Manuel Serrat (poem by the great Antonio Machado).  This is not really a song about immigration but about forging your own path.  Venturing out, walking and leaving behind what you might never be able to come back to.  And doing it full of hope.


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