Celebrating May Day

On this beautiful May 1st, here’s one dedicated to all Latinos in the US, and especially to those in Arizona. It is part of an amazing collection of Texas-Mexican border music put together by Arhoolie. You have songs by Chicanos being drafted for World War 1, selling mezcal during Prohibition, discovering marijuana… Support this great little music label and buy something here! (Sadly this one record seems to be sold out, pero el que busca encuentra.)


El Mojado by Los Hermanos Barrón Y Conjunto

El Mojado

“El Mojado” 

(Si prefieren las letras en español, escuchen no más.)

The twenty third of November I got caught by the Immigration Service.

They asked: “Do you have a visa?” I answered “No, sir.”


The chief of the Immigration Service tells me “I’m sorry,
you are Ruperto Martínez, that is what the report says.”


I don’t have a passport ’cause they never gave me one.
That’s why I decided to cross over as a wetback.


The Immigration Service followed me through towns, hills, and states.
Perhaps it was as a precaution that they handcuffed me.


From Eagle Pass to Del Río they took me by plane.
I asked: “Where are we going?” He answered: “To the detention yard.”


That jail in Eagle Pass has fifty steps
where the prisoners come down to make their statements.


The married men there remember their wives.
They pace the floor like madmen talking to the walls.


Here is my farewell. I told the jury:
“I won’t return to the United States crossing as a wetback.”


These verses I have composed and are my farewell.
They belong to Ruperto Martínez from Río Bravo, Coahuila.

This 1973 autobiographical corrido was written by Ruperto Martínez, a Mexican farm worker in Texas. In 1978, the Texas Monthly reported “But Ruperto isn’t at home these days. Neighbors say he has crossed the Rio Grande, wet again”.

As for proper usage of public funds, check the photo: Did you know your local public library has an amazing music collection that you can borrow for free?


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