Mexican Corrido 3 – “La Cucaracha”

Mexican Corrido 3 – “La Cucaracha”

As soon as I started listening to this song, I smiled. Then I read the translation, and I was a little taken back. I have heard this song many times before, but I never knew that la cucaracha meant cockroach. This inspired me to do a little more research about this song in particular. After sifting through what felt like a million websites, I discovered that the origins of this song are not known, but it is very old (Adams, 2001). I wish there were a little more information about this song on the Internet, but regardless, even with my insect phobia, I did enjoy it. This is very clearly a true folk song since no one knows who wrote it.

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What drew me to this song was that it was strongly metric. I felt like dancing while I was sitting at work listening to this! Also, this song is a perfect example of strophic. During my research, I discovered that there are at least 10 different verses for this song, and they all follow the same tune (Adams, 2001). Because of the readings, I learned that this song is homophonic because the performers are being accompanied by instruments.

I personally think that all songs are the preservation of information. Like mentioned in the readings for this week, we can use songs for mnemonic devices and remembering facts and events. I think it’s a little ironic now that this song doesn’t really have any historical references, so you can’t figure out where it came from. Maybe to the people who first started writing the song, they are persevering a time for themselves. But from the outside looking in, it is a lot harder to decipher what is going on. I found an article that was talking about how the song isn’t really about cockroaches – it might actually be referencing political figures (Rotella, 2004). That is definitely something to think about.

This also makes me wonder if this song was an oral tradition to start and then became a song. The readings for this week mentioned that over time, people forget or change the facts to make the song or story more to their liking. I think that that would make sense in this situation. Over time, as the song or story passed through the generations, we lost the original meaning and intent of this song.

I did think this was a great song, and I am eager to hear all of your thoughts!


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