I have lived in Poland for over 12 years. I come from Veracruz. I learned traditional Mexican music and devoted myself to it in Guadalajara where the most famous folk group of Mexican musicians, the mariachi, comes from. In Poland we perform our music wherever we can – at official concerts which take place in theatres, at weddings, birthdays...and sometimes we even play serenades under a beautiful Polish woman’s balcony (if we get a request from a romantic). Admittedly, playing outdoors
in winter is quite a task due to weather conditions – our instruments and, first of all, throats are not used to such a low temperature.

Mexican music is generally given a good reception and it is beginning to be known thanks to artists and films or documentaries it appears in. Cucurrucucu Paloma, La Bamba, La Cucaracha, Besame Mucho…are just some of the songs known in Poland. These pieces are requested by our listeners most often.

Most Mexican songs are about love – wonderful but also painful. There are songs for every occasion and a suitable song can be chosen depending on emotional state. People like songs which tell the story of people who have become famous and thus worthy of becoming a main character of a song. Songs who emphasize love for Mexico and pride in being a Mexican are also very popular.

A mariachi is a musician who performs traditional Mexican music, music for every occassion, instrumental music, romantic, dance...but first of all, music that you can feel and sing.

In Poland I make music for a living and I live for music. I am proud of wearing sombrero with a wide brim and a charro (1) outfit. Sometimes there is a language barrier for me in Poland – I would like everyone to understand the meaning and message that my music conveys, but it motivates me that I’m meeting more and more people who can speak Spanish and appreciate the character and emotions that our songs have.

I would like to present you a song that I have written in Poland.

“Mariachito de mi alma” (son mexicano) (The mariachi of my soul)

Como extraidos del tiempo, (As if time stopped for them)
De charros van los cantores, (Dressed up as charros, the singers are coming)
Amenizando cumpleańos (Livening up birthdays)
Verbenas y comilones. (Parties and and feasts)

Que bien la paso escuchando, (How good it is to listened to)
Canciones de rompe y rasga, (Love songs)
Bailando vals y corridos, (Dancing a waltz and a folk dance)
Y llevando serenata. (And singing a serenade)

Ay.. Mariachito de mi alma, (Ay, the mariachi of my soul)
Sincero canto del pueblo, (People’s sincere song)
Ay, que canciones las tuyas, (Ay, what are your songs)
Que hacen que se enchine el cuero! (That give me goose bumps)

Tradicion que no se extingue, (The tradition that doesn’t die)
Nacida hace tanto tiempo, (Which began such a long time ago)
Y sigue la mata dando, (Every day giving)
Cada dia mas talento. (More talent)

Ser Mariachi no es tan facil, (It is not easy to be a mariachi)
Lo digo pues es mi oficio, (I’m telling you this as this is my profession)
La fiesta que ven por fuera, (The party you see on the outside)
No siempre se lleva adentro. (Is not always inside)

Cantando apaciguo a mi alma, (When I sing I calm my soul)
Recorriendo el mundo entero, (Travelling across the whole world)
Soy su amigo el Mariachi, (I am a mariachi, your friend)
Pa servirles compańeros . (To serve you)

Gabriel Hernandez Rizo (Mariachi los Amigos)

(1) charro – traditional horseman from Mexico

Translated by: Karolina Ginalska