Jesusita En Chihuahua (1916)...Quirino Mendoza y Cortés.

My thanks to Jody for posting the video of this excellent Polka, I'd not heard it before and decided to see what I could do with it for classic banjo. My suggested fingering leans towards melodic style.

Cortés (May 10, 1862 – 1957) was a Mexican composer who also wrote the popular Cielito Lindo. I discovered a variety of versions of the tune as it's now entered the traditional music repertoire as the Jesse Polka.  I've mixed and matched to arrive at my arrangement. It is challenging to play at speed and will certainly give the fingers a good work out. The score and midi are in the library....Steve.

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YEAH!  I've always loved this tune.  And as for Cielito Lindo, which has lovely words, I'll never forget being on a little local bus in rural Michoacan as a teenager. Someone started singing Cielito Lindo and *everybody* joined in. Now THAT is a living musical culture and that is where popular music and folk music are one and the same. And no one was out of tune.

This can still happen in your country with victory parties when the local sports club wins. Not in tune, but who cares? But this has vanished from the USA and we are worse off for it.

Anyway, can you imagine being a songwriter and an entire country knows and loves your songs and have made them their own?  WOW.

Steve, I've had a look and a listen. I like your arrangement. The tune go banjo-fied only in technique. The banjo part would go well in any conjunto. And you've kept the key of G which is where I've always heard it played. I used to hear this tune (as "Jesse Polka") at California fiddle contests in the 1970s and 80s where it would be played in the double fiddle division. It's pretty funny that Jesusita got translated as Jesse. One tradition say that the title comes from J C polka. Another says that Jesusita was the name of Pancho Villa's girlfriend. Another says the name symbolizes all the female fighters in the Mexican revolution. 

Thanks Jody, all I have to do now is get it up to speed! Having said that, I may get my accordion out of its box and give it a blast on that....Steve.

Jody Stecher said:

Steve, I've had a look and a listen. I like your arrangement. The tune go banjo-fied only in technique. The banjo part would go well in any conjunto. And you've kept the key of G which is where I've always heard it played. I used to hear this tune (as "Jesse Polka") at California fiddle contests in the 1970s and 80s where it would be played in the double fiddle division. It's pretty funny that Jesusita got translated as Jesse. One tradition say that the title comes from J C polka. Another says that Jesusita was the name of Pancho Villa's girlfriend. Another says the name symbolizes all the female fighters in the Mexican revolution. 

Very cool Steve. Well done!

According to Wikipedia: "Jesusita" was written by Quirino Mendoza y Cortés while he was serving as a Lt. Colonel in the Mexican Revolution and directing the military band in Puebla. Its premiere was held on Christmas Day 1916. It was Pancho Villa's favorite and he had it played during combat.

I've always known the soldaderas as 'Adelitas'.

My grandfather was part of the US contingent chasing Villa in 1916. I wonder if he heard it played?

Very familiar tune for me (and Cielito Lindo). I was just a little kid when we lived in San Diego but being about 10mi from the Mexican border, we went to a lot of the local Mexican festivals. This stuff was always being played.

One Mexican tune I have never been able to find anything about, perhaps you know it, Jody. We were taught it in school (kindergarten and 1st grade...we moved to Alabama after that) and it is sort of a teaching song which lists various trades, like carpenter, farmer, etc. I can hear the tune in my head but I've lost all the words...and the title. 

Jody Stecher said:

Steve, I've had a look and a listen. I like your arrangement. The tune go banjo-fied only in technique. The banjo part would go well in any conjunto. And you've kept the key of G which is where I've always heard it played. I used to hear this tune (as "Jesse Polka") at California fiddle contests in the 1970s and 80s where it would be played in the double fiddle division. It's pretty funny that Jesusita got translated as Jesse. One tradition say that the title comes from J C polka. Another says that Jesusita was the name of Pancho Villa's girlfriend. Another says the name symbolizes all the female fighters in the Mexican revolution. 

I don't know this song. I will make inquires.

Trapdoor2 said:

One Mexican tune I have never been able to find anything about, perhaps you know it, Jody. We were taught it in school (kindergarten and 1st grade...we moved to Alabama after that) and it is sort of a teaching song which lists various trades, like carpenter, farmer, etc. I can hear the tune in my head but I've lost all the words...and the title. 

Here's what my brain sez is the melody...55yrs later. I wrote it out in C but F sounds better.

Mexican_song.mp3



Jody Stecher said:

I don't know this song. I will make inquires.

Trapdoor2 said:

One Mexican tune I have never been able to find anything about, perhaps you know it, Jody. We were taught it in school (kindergarten and 1st grade...we moved to Alabama after that) and it is sort of a teaching song which lists various trades, like carpenter, farmer, etc. I can hear the tune in my head but I've lost all the words...and the title. 

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