El corrido de Texas (The Corrido of Texas)

Ignacio M. Valle, 1929

How does this song portray work in Texas? Why is the song's character leaving?

How does the train represent hope? What does the worker hope to find after moving to Indiana? Compare and contrast this song with "El Corrido Pensilvanio."

How do the songs portray work for Mexicans and Mexican Americans in the South and North?

Compare and contrast this song with "El Deportado." How do the songs reveal changing attitudes in the US about migrant workers from Mexico?

"El corrido de Texas" performed by Daniel Ramirez & Silvano Ramos on Corridos y Tragedías de la Frontera, © 1993. Available on iTunes, Spotify, and YouTube.

 

Rights have not been secured to reprint the words for this song. Please consult this online source:

http://www.laits.utexas.edu/jaime/jrn/cwp/mlg/texas.html

Recording of "El corrido de Texas."

Like "El Deportado" and many other corridos, "El Corrido de Texas" was first recorded during a period when recording companies were commercializing música tejana (1927–41). During this period many record companies would travel to San Antonio and El Paso to record singers to record corridos, which had previously only been an oral tradition. The first recording of "El Deportado," made in 1929 by Silvano Ramos and Daniel Ramirez, was done in two parts because each side of a 78-rpm record can only contain three minutes.

Like "El Corrido Pensilvanio," this song is about taking a train to the North to escape poor working conditions in Texas. The lyrics translate to "Goodbye state of Texas / with all of your fields, / I leave your land / so I won't have to pick cotton" (translated in Kun, p. 151). In this song the migrants travel not to Pennsylvania but to Indiana, along the Texas and Pacific Railroad. In his liner notes to what is described as the "First Recordings of Historic Mexican-American Ballads," Philip Sonnichsen explains that to the Mexican in the 1930s, the railroad "represented the great hope, the escape from the poverty, the prejudice, and the backbreaking field work which was his life in Texas."

Compare this song to:

"El Deportado"

"El Corrido Pensilvanio"