17 June 2009

los mandados

i've been asked to help collaborate for a video for a queer immigrant art collective that is showing this thursday and friday. this has been taking most of my time these days, interfering with other things, but divas son las divas, y ya. anyway, we shot video of the may day march/rally forever ago, and of course my collaborator was busy until this sunday, which is how life goes. i'm suuuuper nervous about this video as i don't feel it's all it could be, but given the time frame and the equipment available, i feel it's good enough.

so we shot all this video, in the rain...and the idea that it is going to go against the lyrics of this song. the song is interpreted by this ranchera, maria machetes, and her voice is amazing. she's a tiny lil' thing with tons of energy and i would never imagine this VOICE was contained in her teeny body. but it is, and our other collaborator provided the english translation along with a lot of direction. maria's interpretation is so amazing, the tempo is way slowed down which i think really conveys the gravity the lyrics hold:

Crucé el Río Grande nadando
Sin importarme dos reales
Me echó la Migra pa' fuera
Y fuí a caer a Nogales
Entré por otra frontera
Y que me avientan pa' Juárez.

De ahí me fui a Tamaulipas
Y me colé por Laredo
Me disfracé de gabacho
Y me pinté el pelo guero
Y como no hablaba inglés
Que me retachan de nuevo.

La migra a mí me agarró
Trescientas veces digamos
Pero jamás me domó
A mí me hizo los mandados
Los golpes que a mí me dió
Se los cobré a sus paisanos.

Por Mexicali yo entré
Y salí en Río colorado
Todas las líneas crucé
De contrabando y mojado
Pero jamás me rajé
Iba y venía al otro lado.

Conozco todas las líneas
Caminos, ríos y canales
Desde Tijuana a Reynosa
De Matamoros a Juárez
De Piedras Negras al Paso
Y de Agua Prieta a Nogales.

La migra a mí me agarró
Trescientas veces digamos....


english translation by T. Santana:
I crossed the Rio Grande swimming
Without it mattering 2 cents
The migra threw me back out
And I landed at Nogales
I entered through another border
And they threw me back to Juarez

From there I went to Tamaulipas
And I slipped through at Laredo
I dressed up as a Gringo
And I dyed my hair blonde
But since I didn’t speak English
They sent me back again

The migra caught me
300 times let’s say
But they never tamed me
In fact, they ran errands for me
The blows that they gave me
I gave back by marching [changed from the original for this piece]

Through Mexicali I entered
And I came out at Rio Colorado
I crossed through all of the borders
As contraband and as wetback
But I never cowered
I came and went to the other side

I know all of the border crossings
Paths, rivers and canals
From Tijuana to Reynosa
From Matamoros to Juarez
From Piedras Negras to El Paso
And from Agua Prieta to Nogales

The migra caught me
300 times let’s say
But they never tamed me
In fact, they ran errands for me
The blows that they gave me
I gave back by marching


so here goes...eek...in 24 hours it will be done.

and i will also be talking to the boo tonight. so we'll see.

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