Thursday, April 10, 2008

Wikipedia Research for Mis Patos

I was going to teach "La Cucaracha" in class today. I knew the history of the song was very important to Mexican culture, but its too "cool" to teach to 7th grade. This song is a good example of why its very important for teachers to research the material they are going to give their classes before they send them off to work.

"La Cucaracha" ("The Cockroach") is a traditional Spanish language folk song of the genre known as a corrido, that became popular in Mexico during the Mexican Revolution.

The ultimate origin of "La Cucaracha" is unsettled, but it gained its greatest popularity during the Mexican Revolution of the early 20th century. However, the song is mentioned in 1883, and possibly as early as 1818. Although it is speculated that it may be of Spanish origin, there is no reliable source for this, nor does the song appear in any other Latin American country.

The lyrics consist of independent verses, often improvised. It is similar to Yankee Doodle, The Burning of the School or On Top of Old Smoky. One typical and most familiar verse is as follows:

La cucaracha, la cucaracha
Ya no puede caminar
Porque no tiene, porque le falta
Marihuana pa' fumar

The cockroach, the cockroach
Can't walk anymore
Because it doesn't have, because it's lacking
Marijuana to smoke.

The reference to marijuana arose during a period of time---approximately the time of the Mexican Revolution---when the word cucaracha was also a slang term for marijuana or a marijuana cigarette stub (hence the term "roach" in American slang).

I know I talk a lot of smack about the irony of me being a teacher, but I'm really good at it. I think its because I can actually relate to the students. But I can feel myself becoming desensitized more and more every day.

I taught this one:

La cucaracha, la cucaracha
Ya no puede caminar
Porque la falta, porque la falta
Un pie para caminar


The Horny Bitch said...

Yes. On marijuana..

Allie-gator said...


Wow, learn something new everyday!
Thanks for the history lesson.

Ambitious Fledgling said...

I don't think I know you.. but you do have an interesting blog. =)

Dana said...

Thanks for the info... Very fun....

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Wow. You learn something new every day. Although my teenagers are looking at me as though I'm an idiot because I didn't already know this.