General Benjamín Argumedo

General Benjamín Argumedo was born in Matamoros, Coahuila, and participated in the revolution. He was a problematic hero in that he fought on the side of Francisco I. Madero but later rebelled against him because Orozco did. In 1912 Argumedo joined the forces of Pascual Orozco, soon after he Joined the Huerta dictatorship, and finally, became a convencionista and supported Emiliano Zapata against Venustiano Carranza and Alvaro Obregón. By the time that he was finally captured and executed by Carranza's forces under the command of General Francsico Murguía, Argumedo had come full circle and died a Villista. The corridos describe his capture at a ranch known as El Paraíso, Zacatecas and execution in Durango in February of 1916.

"Las Mañanitas de Benjamín Argumedo" is an example of the type of corrido that was sung in the fields, while "El Fusilamiento de General Argumedo" is a more sophisticated corrido. There is an element in the corrido that is emotional and is the one element that is retained throughout time, in fact no matter how many times this corrido has been remade the emotional core still remains. The encounter between Murguía and Argumedo is the emotional core of the Corrido. Argumedo asked Murguía to be shot in public, executions in the revolution were ritualistic and important people were shot publicly. In Durango people liked Argumedo, perhaps he was hoping they would take over and ruin his execution. In recordings of the song, most gritos are heard here by audience members indicating an emotional moment or the moment that impacts audience members most.

The beginning of "Fusilamiento de General Argumedo" contains the first of Duvalier's six formulaic motifs that constitute a corrido. The corridsta calls the audiences attention with a standard "Para empezar a cantar, pido permiso primero..." The second stanza moves on to the second formulaic motif which is the stating of date, place, and name of the principal figure. The stanzas that follow mainly tell the story and build up Argumedo as a hero and kind man. The third formulaic motif, concerning the introduction of the speech events is present here too. One thing about Argumedo's corridos is that the dialogue between the Generals, Murguía and Argumedo, is always preserved. This area constitutes the emotional core in this corrido as discussed in the previous paragraph. The despedida de personaje is short and traditional and constitutes about two stanzas. This leads to the last stanza and the despedida de corridista which is also very traditional with an emotional and fitting ending.

For more information on the life and career of Benjamín Argumedo


Fusilamiento de General Argumedo
Corrido Benjamín Argumedo
"Corrido Benjamín Argumedo (1916)"