VIDEO OF THE DAY: “Contrabando y traición” from Los Tigres del Norte, the Norteño 70s Classic

Every genre has an iconic song and as we covered the news about Los Tigres del Norte getting banned in Chihuahua, we clicked on our IPod shuffle and went back to simpler times. Los Tigres are iconic, with a career that spans over 40 years and counting. To us, they are just as important as any other band in popular music.

So when our Facebook community (yes you, Ismael!) started posting Tigres songs last night after we shared our story about the band, we all smiled. We were all transported to a time where we would listened to the “Pink Floyd of Mexican music” (nice one, Ismael) and life seemed a bit simpler. Most of us who listen to their music don’t see a “glorification” of drug culture (and btw, the band sings about a lot of other important issues), instead we see sadness, reality, life. The Tigres are our troubadours, our tellers of truth, of what can be tragic at times, but joyous at other times. Maybe it is the voice of Jorge Hernández, whose nasally beautiful harmonies evoke beauty, honesty and reality every time he sings, but there is something about this band that will always be dear to us (perhaps because our parents used to play it at parties and every time they did, people were happy?). Nonetheless, 32 millions records and counting, five Latin Grammys. Fans from all corners of the world. Artistic expression lives.

Here is the song that started it. You got to love the 70s!

And here is another version done later in their career with a video. Remember when videos told stories?

Salieron de San Isidro,
procedentes de Tijuana
traían las llantas del carro
repletas de hierba mala
eran Emilio Varela,
Camelia, la Texana
Pasaron por San Clemente
los paró la inmigración
les pidió sus documentos
les dijo: “¿De dónde son?”
ella era de San Antonio,
un hembra de corazón
Un hembra si quiere un hombre
por el puede dar la vida
pero hay que tener cuidado
si esa hembra se siente herida,
la traición y el contrabando
son cosas incompartidas.
A Los Angeles llegaron
en un callejón oscuro
las cuatro llantas cambiaron
ahí entregaron la hierba,
y ahí también les pagaron
Emilio dice a Camelia
“Hoy te das por despedida,
con la parte que te toca,
tu puedes rezar tu vida
yo me voy para San Francisco
con la dueña de mi vida”
Sonaron siete balazos,
Camelia a Emilio mataba
en un callejón oscuro
sin que se supiera nada
Del dinero y de Camelia
Nunca más se supo nada.