I have been racking my brain as to how to deliver a short, lazy entry for a letter for which most of my audience has no context.
Mariachis are bands.
They sing songs– there are no mariachi songs, per se. But there are Rancheras, or Ranch songs.
And one of the most famous ones happens to be called "El Rey", or "The King", by a famous Mexican singer-songwriter called José Alfredo Jimenez.
Its lyrics are a first-person rant to an unnamed and cruel-sounding woman –as most tend to be in these songs. The man may die soon; this could be because he’s about to die or duel or perhaps drink himself to oblivion. Or maybe he’s just not going to die at all, but he’s a mean drunk.
The beginning lyrics of the song –which tend to be sung by many a drunken person south of the Rio Grande, as they may be too drunk to get to the second verse– go like this (translation mine):
Yo se bien que estoy afuera I know I’m on the outside
Pero el dia que yo me muera But on the day I die
Sé que tendrás que llorar I know you will cry
¡Llorar y llorar! ¡Llorar y llorar! Cry and cry! Cry and cry!
Dirás que no me quisiste You’ll say you never loved me
Pero vas a estar muy triste But sadness will overcome you
Y así te vas a quedar. And will stay with you always.
Anyway, when I was thinking of what to write for the letter Ll ("eh-yay", sort of), all I could really think of was the back-up singers wailing with gusto, and all the drunks of the world howling along with them.
And so, Ll is really for those sad, crying drunks out there, singing and drinking themselves to oblivion and complaining that the world cannot change for them: thank you for the laughs, but please get some help.
And because you want to hear the singers wailing (and the song’s author mugging it up):
Do you have a problem with alcohol? Answer these questions. They can help.
Great post! Nice to see you added the info at the end!
OMG. i’ve heard that song at every family function or dinner at a cali mexican restaurant with complimentary mariachi serenade. and when you’re having a romantic dinner with your boo, this is the last song you want to hear.
great post. and i love the PSA at the end.