image   Corido


Part 1

                Corrido de Joaquín Murrieta Part I:

                         Los Madrugadores

                    Lyrics Spanish and English

1                                        1
Yo no soy Americano                      I am not American 
pero comprendo el inglés                 but English I understand
Yo lo aprendí con mi hermano             I learned it with my brother
al derecho y al revés			 forwards and backwards.
A cualquier americano                    I make any Anglo
lo hago temblar a mis pies.              tremble at my feet.

2                                        2
Cuando apenas era un niño                When I was barely a child
huérfeno a mí me dejaron.                I was left an orphan.
Nadie me hizo ni un cariño,              No one gave me a bit of affection,
a mi hermano lo mataron,                 They killed my brother,
Y a mi esposa Carmelita,                 and some cowards
cobardes la asesinaron.                  killed my wife Carmelita.

3                                        3
Yo me vine de Hermosillo                 I came from Hermosillo
enbusca de oro y riqueza.                in search of gold and riches.
Al indio pobre y sencillo                I defended the poor and simple  
lo defendí con fiereza.                  Indian with fierceness.
Y a buen precio los sherifes             And the sheriffs puta good price
pagaban por mi cabeza.                   on my head.

4                                        4
A los ricos avarientos,                  From greedy rich,
yo les quité su dinero.                  I took away their money.
Con los humildes y pobres                with the humble and the poor,
yo me quité mi sombrero.                 I took off my hat.
Ay, que leyes tan injustas               Oh, what unjust laws
fue llamarme  bandolero.                 to label me an outlaw.

5                                        5
A Murrieta no le gusta                   Murrieta doesn't like
lo que hace no es desmentir.             to be falsely accused.
Vengo a vengar a mi esposa,              I come to avenge my wife,
yo lo vuelvo a repetir,                  and I say again,
Carmelita tan hermosa,                   how they made my lovely Carmelita 
cómo la hicieron sufrir.                 suffer so much.

6                                        6
Por cantinas me metí,                    I entered many a saloon,
castigando americanos.                   punishing Anglos.
"Tú serás el capitán                     "You must be the captain 
que mataste a mi hermano.                who killed my brother.
Lo agarraste indefenso,                  You found him unarmed,
orgulloso americano."                    proud Anglo."

                               Part 2

Corrido de Joaquín Murrieta Part II: 7 7 Mi carrera comenzó My career started por una escena terrible. from a troubling circumstance. Cuando llequé a setecientos When I reached seven hundred ya mi nombre era temible. [deaths] Cuando llequé a mil doscientos my name then was feared. ya mi nombre era terrible. When I got to twelve hundred my name terrified others. 8 8 Yo soy aquel que domina I am the one who dominates hasta leones africanos. even African lions. Por eso salgo al camino That's why I set out a matar americanos. to kill Anglos. Ya no es otro mi destino. My destiny is no other. ¡Pon cuidado, parroquianos! Beware, country men! 9 9 Las pistolas y las dagas Pistols and daggers son juguetes para mí. are mere toys for me. Balazos y puñaladas, Bullet and stab wounds, carcajadas para mí. hearty laughter for me. Ahora con medios cortados Now with their means cut off ya se asustan por aquí. here they scatter in fear. 10 10 No soy chileno ni extraño I'm neither Chilean nor a foreigner en este suelo que piso. to this land I tread. De México es California, California belongs to Mexico porque Dios así lo quiso because God wished it so. Y en mi sarape cosida And in my stitched sarape traigo mi fe de bautismo. I carry my baptismal certificate. 11 11 Qué bonito es California How beautiful California is con sus calles alineadas, with its streets aligned, donde paseaba Murrieta where Murrieta passed by con su tropa bien formada, with his well-trained troops, con su pistola repleta, with his pistol loaded y su montura plateada. and his silver-plated saddle. 12 12 Me he paseado en California I have traveled in California por el año de cincuenta, around the year '50 [1850] con mi montura plateada, with my silver-plated saddle y mi pistola repleta, and my pistol loaded. Yo soy ese mexicano I am that Mexican de nombre Joaquín Murrieta. known as Joaquín Murrieta.

Joaquín Murrieta as a Corrido

                Joaquín Murrieta stands as one of the greatest heros and icons of the California Gold Rush era in Mexican-American folklore. It stands to reason that he be celebrated in the corrido. Despite his legendary reputation and status, there exist few versions and not one study on this corrido. Unlike the corrido of Gregorio Cortez, which has enjoyed extensive analysis due to the thesis of Texas scholar Don Americo Paredes.

                One reason, perhaps, is that few scholars on the subject regard the song of Joaquín Murrieta as a true corrido, because it exists almost in it's entirety as a single boast. It lacks the characteristics of a prototypical corrido, which are in Spanish: la llamada del corridista, el lugar, fecha y el nombre del personaje, la formula que le precede a los argumentos del personaje, el mensaje, la despidida del personaje, and finally la despidida del corridista.

                José Limón in his, Mexican Ballads, Chicano Poems, notes that some of the themes of this song adhere to traditional corridos, but that they are irregular in form. Limón states:"In meter,rhyme and verse patterns, it is not a corrido, yet it does present the traditional heroic figure, pistol in hand, opposing the forces of oppression, the americanos". Limón chooses to call these verses descriptive songs, or song. "Wheras the corridista inserts occasional lines of boasting dialoque within a larger narrative of events, this song is spoken entirely by the figure of Joaquín Murrieta".