Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Karaoke Night

Music is such a huge part of life in general, but even more so in Mexican culture. There is nary an event without music.  I am always glad if it is at a reasonable volume - meaning, one can hold a conversation over it!! An event without music is considered 'triste' (sad).  

Thus, whether it is a wedding, a birthday, a baptism, an anniversary, or just a get together, for no particular reason, music is a must! If nothing is playing, when people arrive, someone connects their phone and playlist to a sound system.  They listen to all kinds of music too.  If it is in English it is usually old, from the 70's or 80's, but I have also shook my head to hear Dolly Parton playing. 

So, it is no wonder that Karaoke Nights are also common.  It makes no difference if you can sing or not; you take a turn.  I am glad I know one song, more or less complete.  But they are broadening my play list! 

After being at several of these nights, where I can read the words and analyze them, .... ... I have noticed something peculiar.  If the artist is a man, the songs are romantic, like over the top.  Songs like: Besame Mucho (Kiss me lots), El Amor de Mi Vida (the love of my life), Me Voy Enamorando (I'm falling in love), Si Nos Dejan (If they let us), etc.  Latin Men are "Conquistadores" (Conquerers). 

If the singer is female, like the famous Paquita La Del Barrio, the titles are less romantic and a little harsh against those romantic men mentioned above.  Songs like "Rata de Dos Patas" (Rat with two feet), "Hombres Malvados" (Bad Men).  Jenni Rivera, another favourite on Karaoke night, also sings of heartache and loving cheating men, "Resulta" (So Now), "Paloma Negra" (Black Dove).

They love playing some of the more 'edgy' songs to see my reaction.  They are never disappointed as I am shocked at the lyrics of some songs.  

Sadly, these songs are somewhat reflective of relationships here.  When I get together with the ladies they talk about men being unfaithful, many having lived it, and how that is just the way it is.  They seem to have resided themselves to the fact.  They sing those man-hater, cheater songs with lots of passion.  

The men talk about it being 'normal' to stray, given they were made to procreate. A need to spread their seed is inherent!  When they are trying to get, or conquer, a women, they are over the top romantic.  They too can sing romantic songs with passion, to their wife.  But if the opportunity presents itself for another women, they would most likely take it.

Now I do not want to paint every single Mexican as unfaithful, but it is very common.  And, what is somewhat sad, is how 'normal' it is seen. To hear the women talk, it is a given.  Which probably explains their drive to remain beautiful and attractive.  

Given this 'reality', they find Ernie and I a little peculiar.  We have been married 28 years, and only to each other.  Our children are ours' together.  When I tell them some of our story, they are even more amazed that we are still married.  When I tell them we have gone to marriage counselling to that end, that too seems amazing to them.  

I would not say that we have a perfect marriage, but we are committed to each other, forever and ever, amen.  I pray that God grant us the grace to continue to walk in faithfulness to one another and be able to be an example of a godly marriage to those around us. 

May our theme song rather be "I will always love you" (Whitney Houston)



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