Noted El Rito musician and folklorist Cipriano Frederico Vigil has a brand new book in which he presents the lyrics of scores of songs and discourses on the history of local music tradition. Like all of the text, the title is given in two languages: New Mexican Folk Music: Treasures of a People/Cancionero del Folklor Nuevomexicano: El Tesoro del Pueblo.
The songs in the book, published by University of New Mexico Press, cover all sorts of subjects. There is one about the hardships when the Works Project Administration program ended, one about the simple joy of picking piñon nuts, and a protest song about genetically modified chile, not to mention tunes about romance and love and cheating and the valonas or “dirty songs” — although these are quite clean by today’s standards.
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