Altanera

Part 1

One of the Cowboy’s favorite songs was written by a man named Rubén Fuentes, a composer, arranger, producer and director of that most famous of Mexican folk music ensembles – Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán.  Fuentes composed many of the most famous songs that one associates with mariachi music.  If you question the pedigree of a mariachi group, take note of the fact that Mariachi Vargas was formed in 1897, and Fuentes joined the group in 1944.  Fuentes is still artistic director.

José Luis Castillejos did a nice write-up on the song and its unusual history.  I’ll give you the link to his site later.  The first story goes like this:

The year was 1964.  Fuentes and his son were strolling on the beach in Acapulco.  It was the first time that the boy had seen the ocean, and his feet were enjoying the warm sand.  The youngster, accustomed to always seeing ladies wear long dresses, observed these women in their diminutive outfits and asked his father why they wore so little clothing.  Fuentes explained that they were wearing something called a “bikini,” but the boy noted that since it pertained to women, it should be called a “bikina.”

The rhythmic gait of a woman at whom Fuentes could not help but stare, coupled with his son’s observation, gave rise to one of the most beautiful songs known around the world: “La Bikina”.

(Translation by the Cowboy.)

There’s another, more interesting story behind the song, but you’ll need some history before you get it out of me.  I assure you that the history, too, is an interesting tale.  Now be patient – no going off searching for lyrics and background info.  Let the Cowboy be your guide and (hopefully) you will be rewarded.

(to be continued)

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Published in: on May 18, 2009 at 20:36  Comments Off on Altanera  
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