Thursday, February 23, 2012

Why we love Mariachi Music in my Family

"...the first mariachis did not read their music, they felt it." Jeff Nevin

There is just something in Mariachi Music that sings to the souls of all those in my family...from the youngest to the oldest. Mariachi's and Pinata's are our childhood. We all have our favorite songs and the one in the video above is my favorite. At about 1:33 in the video you will see two of my cousins, Elpidia and Ofelia or Pete and Faye as they are affectionately known, singing along with the Mariachi. And in the very left corner you see my own beautiful sister giving out a yell Mariachi style! We had a blast at this party and I'll share more photos in another post. For now enjoy the video. The lyrics are below and I have tried, as best I can, to translate the song.

Lyrics to El Rey :
(El Rey means The King)
Yo se bien que estoy afuera
 (I know well that I am outside)
Pero el dia que yo me muera
(But the day that I die)
Se que tendras que llorar.
(I know you will have to cry)
(Llorar y llorar, llorar y llorar)
(Cry and Cry, Cry and Cry)
Diras que no me quisistes
(You'll say you never loved me)
Pero vas a estar muy triste
(But you will be very sad)
Y asi te me vas a quedar.
(And that is the way you will stay)

Con dinero y sin dinero.
(With money or without money)
Yo hago siempre lo que quiero.
(I always do what I want)
Y mi palabra es la ley.
(And my word is the law)
No tengo trono ni reina.
(I don't have a throne nor a queen)
Ni nadie que me comprenda.
(Nor anyone that understands me)
Pero sigo siendo el rey.
(But I continue being The King)

Una piedra en el camino
(A stone in the road)
Me enseno que mi destino.
(Showed me my destiny)
Era rodar y rodar.
(Was to roll and roll)
(Rodar y rodar, rodar y rodar)
(Roll and Roll, Roll and Roll)
Tambien me dijo un arriero
(Also I've been told by a muledriver)
Que no hay que llegar primero
(That you don't need to arrive first)
Pero hay que saber llegar.
(But you need to know how to arrive)

(Chorus - Already translated above)
Con dinero y sin dinero.
Yo hago siempre lo que quiero.
Y mi palabra es la ley.
No tengo trono ni reina.
Ni nadie que me comprenda.
Pero sigo siendo el rey.

The meaning is lost a little bit when you translate it into English, but it's your basic love song. Guy meets girls, he screws something up and she kicks him to the curb, so that's why he says he is outside, he's outside of her life, but he knows that she is going to regret it and someday when he dies she is going to cry and cry and cry!! She'll lie to all her friends and pretend like he wasn't "all that" and she never really loved him but she's never going to get over him...or so he says :-)

Then he get's all macho and tells her that it doesn't matter if he has money or not cause he always does things his way (which is probably what got him into trouble in the first place!) And then he says that his word is the law...hmmm, maybe that's what got him into trouble? For some reason whenever any Mariachi sings that one line the women all swoon and go nuts, seriously, go back up and listen to them scream...women! We just love the bad guys *sigh*. Anyway, he goes on basically saying he doesn't need anyone when he says he doesn't have a throne or a queen and he's so misunderstood... but it doesn't matter cause he will always continue being the King!

Then he sings about a rock or a stone or a pebble he saw while on the road and he realized his destiny was to be like a rolling stone and roll and roll. You know, like the song, "Papa was a rolling stone. Where ever he went that was his home; and when he died....all he left us was alone!" Or like a rolling stone gathers no moss? Anyway basically he's saying "That's how I roll woman!"

Then he said he was told by an "arriero" which is a mule driver, I guess some guy that he stopped to chat with and complain about how his woman "done did him wrong"...anyway, this mule driver tells him, "you don't need to be the first to arrive, it's better to know when to arrive" or "it's better to make an entrance". I guess when you seek advice from a mule driver you get what you pay for as it sounds good and makes the song flow in Spanish, but it really doesn't make much sense to me? Any suggestions?

So that's the song in a nutshell. Oh...and go back up and watch it again and watch for the lady Mariachi! Gotta love her! I always wanted to be a Mariachi but sadly I can't sing or play an instrument or perform in public or wear blouses that you have to tuck into your skirt! Other than that though I could probably be a pretty good Mariachi!

Thank you to the Baldenegro Family for hosting the celebration of their parents 50th Wedding Anniversary and giving us all a chance to get together for a happy occasion for once.
Que Viva los Baldenegros...Long Live the Baldenegros!


  1. Was this the trip to Arizona? Quite a shindig! Could you list for us in what ways that you would be a good Mariachi? Neat video, thanks for sharing.

  2. Yep, this was the trip to Arizona. It was a huge affair and family came from far and wide. It was one of the few times that everyone got together for a happy occasion and not a funeral.

    When I say I would have been a good Mariachi, what I mean is that I wish I could be all those things that I mentioned. A good singer, that I could play an instrument, that I could perform in public, but I know I can't. If I had been born with all those qualities then I would have made a good Mariachi. Plus you gotta like attending parties like that all the time, which I really don't, I just like it when it's my family.

    I tried though, in my childhood I took accordian lessons, trumpet lessons and piano lessons but never learned how to read music, it just escaped me. Maybe I should have tried the violin?

    1. I think you took my question too seriously, I was being a wise ass, which you of all people should have detected. Clean off your antenae.

    2. Sorry Sextant, you'll have to forgive me for not using my razor-sharp wit today but unfortunately I'm sick and my head is full of snot :-(

      It's not pretty today. I can't wait til 5pm. I know...I'm an idiot to stay at the office but I have clients coming in. Awww, to be you Sextant, free of the rat race :)

    3. Eeeewwww! Snotty antenae, no wonder. Sorry to hear you are under the weather.

  3. Wasn't she a beautiful bride? This sounds like a wonderful celebration.I just wish the mariachi was a bit more lively :-). Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  4. Wow! Great video and that sounds like the Mexican in you all proud of your roots and your family screaming with joy during the music. Yup, that's our people enjoying themselves at the Fiesta.

  5. Great video! I like the music and... the female violonist.
    I saw and heard your sister. What a yell!
    It seems mexicans have wonderful traditions and music. No wonder you're proud of your roots, and this pride is well felt in your posts.

  6. I love how you describe the song. Your cousins and your sister made me smile. The wedding photo is beautiful. Its so funny becuase it looks similar to my mom and dad's wedding photo. My mom had the same kind of dress and the background, (the wall looks the same).


Please leave a comment.I would love to know your thoughts!