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published a CD, “ Heroes and Horses .” Big Jim said, “Mexico does not have an exact par-
allel to American cowboy songs, but songs about horses and horse races are close.” He told
me the story about El Moro (Dapple Grey) and Rélampago (Lightning) and their match
race held March 17, 1957, in Agua Prieta that's celebrated in song. The grand event is one
of the corridos recorded on “ Heroes and Horses .”
He said that corridos are often about heroes standing alone, brave men, facing each other,
“pecho a pecho” like two roosters squaring off, chest to chest. The heroes are idealized,
and the social fabric is on display.
His comments reminded me of Gary Cooper in the movie High Noon , one man standing
alone. I asked him how the social fabric was expressed. He said, for example, that while
all the horses are praised, and their riders honored (even the losers as long as they showed
themselves to be worthy), there is a group of songs, generally about the owners, who are
condemned for chicanery, dishonesty, and trickery.
When musicians offer to play, I'll be asking, “How about playing your favorite corrido?”
I'm interested in the culture, the heroes, the history and the music, music, music.
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