As bad, but still, luck would have it, the week before the virus hit town a year ago my favorite dance student stumbled breaking her leg and hip. Hips heal somewhat fast, but in your 80s major bone breaks take a bit of time and she’s been bed-ridden since.
I visit nightly and to pass the time we take turns playing music we each enjoy. My octogenarian pal often goes back to her childhood and I’ve learned all the music of Cri-Cri (cricket), the Mel Blanc of singing that instead of voicing Looney Tunes cartoons Cri-Cri wrote and performed children’s music. His songs are really clever and beloved by all your Mexican pals. Hum a few bars of any of his hits you youtube and your Mexican pals will join in. A street in colonia Guadalupe is named in his honor.
I normally play silly, yet popular songs of the Great American Songbook like Toni Basil’s “Hey Mickey” or Carmen Miranda’s “The Lady in the Tutti-Frutti Hat” as both feature fun choreography (though only one with immense penis-shaped bananas)
I enjoy hearing more about Mexican cumbias and the other night inquired about the song I hear at every party whose chorus is “Ven y ven y ven, para me” Basically interpreted as “Come and come and come”, then in a high pitched trill, “for me!”
Always sung by women, the song, “El Ladron/The Robber”, premiered in a 1964 film and had been reinterpreted many times by female singers of note (pun intended). The basic premise is the singer explains how someone broke in the night before and with something pointy pointed at her while demanding she get out of bed.
Then the singer asks “What happens next?” to which the boys in the band respond “What happens next?”
Upon seeing her beauty as she arises he faints dead away. She, meanwhile, has fallen madly in love and wants him to awake and have him come to her.
OK, not a song the National Organization for Women (NOW) is going to endorse anytime soon but the song’s hook (ven y ven y ven, para me) is catchy and ever popular. The most recent hit interpretation was last year by Alicia Villarreal, a Grammy winning singer/songwriter.
In Alicia’s music video version she, donned in 1940s couture, enters a 1940s era police station, to identify her robber. Though, in reality it isn’t charges she plans on pressing against him.
If you don’t take the song seriously, it is great fun to hear and dance to. So much so I’ve adopted my current puppy’s training to sing “ven y ven y ven” when I want the puppy to come (I dance in a circle with a pretend lasso at the same time) and upon his arrival I shrill “para me/for me”!
Works every time!
by Joseph Toone
- TripAdvisor’s top tour guide with History and Culture Walking Tours and Joseph Toone Tours.
- Amazon’s best selling author of the San Miguel de Allende Secrets books.
- Author of the Maria Dolls coloring book helping indigenous doll makers.
- Creator of San Miguel de Allende Secrets YouTube channel with over 100 videos and 1,500 views monthly.