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Corridos & Immigration
Digital History ID 3691


Date:

Annotation: In Mexico and across the Southwest, a distinctive musical form known as the corrido arose. Corridos were fast-paced ballads that told culturally significant stories. To the sound of a guitar or a bajo sexto, a twelve-string guitar popular in the Southwest, corridos recounted epic events and retold the story of the cultural conflicts between Anglos and Mexican Americans. Many corridos commemorate Robin Hood-like valientes—men of courage—and "bandidos" who resisted Anglo authority. Others, like the following songs, deal with the pangs that accompany emigration as well as with the difficulties of returning to one’s homeland.


Document: Emigrant’s Farewell

Goodbye, my beloved country Now I am going away; I go to the United States, where I intend to work.

Goodbye, my beloved mother, the Virgin of Guadalupe; goodbye, my beloved land, my Mexican Republic.

At last I’m going, I bear you in my heart; my Mother Guadalupe, give me your benediction.

I go sad and heavy-hearted to suffer and endure; my Mother Guadalupe, grant my safe return.

Mexico is my home-land, where I was born a Mexican; give me the benediction of your powerful hand.

I go to the United States to seek to earn a living, Goodbye, my beloved land; I hear you in my heart.

For I am not to blame that I leave my country thus; the fault is that of poverty, which keeps us all in want.

Deported

I shall sing you a song of all who were deported who came back speaking English from those wretches.

They are shoved around anywhere and have to beg their way. It’s a pity to see them with nothing to eat.

They set out for the north with high hopes and eagerness but they work in the fields like any field hand.

They go to pick cotton and get on very badly; they work on the track or with shovel or with pick.

So they deserve that and more, those poor countrymen, for they knew that this land is for the Mexicans.

They lop off their mustaches and chew their tobacco; it seems the thing to do and they don’t have a cent

They cut their hair close like a clipped donkey; they go to the second-hand stores and buy worn-out clothes.

They’re insulted, mistreated, by those gringo wretches; they have no shame, they are always beaten there.

That is why I remain in my beloved country; Mexico is my country and for it I give my life.

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