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Thursday, October 1, 2015

La Cucaracha (BOTB)




        Can you believe it's once again time for Battle of the Bands?    Yes, time is going faster than a cockroach scurrying across the floor and here we are for another music Battle.  For anyone who does not yet know about BOTB, this is the event that takes place on the 1st and 15th of each month.  Far Away Eyes at Far Away Series gets the credit for first conceiving this now popular event.  Blogger Stephen T McCarthy maintains the participant list and answers your questions about the event--you can find his blog with a list of participants at  StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands.   This is not at all complicated:  Listen to the songs presented below and then in the comments vote for your favorite and tell us why you liked it.  Then visit the links listed near the bottom of this post for more Battles to vote on.

La Cucaracha (The Cockroach)

       With the next presidential election still over a year away, we have nevertheless been inundated by the political race with campaigning, debates, and all sorts of politicking activities going on.  There being so much focus on politics, I thought I'd turn to what might be the most well known politically related song of all time.

       "Wait," you might say, "How is 'La Cucaracha' political?  We used to sing this in school."

        There are some things you probably don't know about this seemingly innocuous little ditty.  According to The Straight Dope website:
"La Cucaracha" is the Spanish equivalent of "Yankee Doodle" — a traditional satirical tune periodically fitted out with new lyrics to meet the needs of the moment.
      Possible references to "La Cucaracha" have been found dating back to 1492 with the Spanish conquest of the Moorish invaders.  The song later pops up at various times in Mexican history with lyrics suited to the politics of each era where it appears.

       Most famously the song was popularized during the Mexican Revolution from 1910 to 1920, being sung by the supporters of Pancho Villa.  Other groups also laid claim to the song changing the lyrics to suit the political messages that applied to them.

        Many popular versions were recorded by American artists as well who took the liberties of changing the lyrics to a non-political message.  Over time the song has become a cliche representing Mexican music.  It's been used numerous times in cartoons and comedic film sequences.  Often the song can be found on recordings of children's music as well as being sung by children at school.

         I'm sure they don't sing the lyrics translated below which are the lyrics most well known in Mexico:    
The cockroach, the cockroach,
can't walk anymore
because it's lacking, because it doesn't have
marijuana to smoke.
    
        Check out the following two brief clips from the popular Speedy Gonzales series and listen at the end for the reference to "marijuana que fumar" or "marijuana to smoke".    These are not part of this Battle and are presented only for the sake of context, history, and fun:






Here's the Battle:

         What follows are two very contrasting versions of the song for you to vote on.   The first is an Americanized arrangement jazzed up by the ever popular Louis Armstrong.  This is followed by a more traditional Mexican version by the incredible song stylist Lila Downs.  Enjoy, compare, and then vote!

Louis Armstrong "La Cucaracha"  (1935)

       This artist probably needs no introduction since his fame is international and his influence on music is historic.  He was an innovator in the Hot Jazz movement and was respected as a musical artist until his death in 1971, just a month before he would have turned 70.   To this day Armstrong remains a favorite as has been affirmed by his appearances on other Battle of the Bands posts.

        Perhaps unknown to many, Armstrong was a life-long user of cannabis or marijuana.   He was an advocate of the legalization of marijuana.  In a letter encouraging then President Eisenhower to consider the legalization of cannabis Armstrong stated:
"It makes you feel good, man...[it] makes you forget all the bad things that happen to a Negro. It makes you feel wanted, and when you're with another tea smoker, it makes you feel a special kinship."
         Armstrong was arrested once in Los Angeles in 1931 for marijuana usage, but managed to avoid a jail sentence.   The arrest did not stop him from smoking marijuana for the next several decades.   Any references to his marijuana use were removed from his 1954 autobiography Satchmo: My Life in New Orleans, but Armstrong is reported to have planned to write another autobiographical book called Gage (his slang term for marijuana) which would have been about his life with the substance.

        The lyrics in this version of "La Cucaracha" are minimal.  All of the internet song lyric sites I found cited far different lyrics as reportedly sung by Louis Armstrong, but I could not find any corresponding YouTube videos where those lyrics could be heard.  Still, musically speaking this version by Louis Armstrong is pretty darn good and a heap of fun.




Lila Downs "La Cucaracha" (2004)

     One of my favorite female vocalists, Mexican musical artist Lila Downs exhibits an eclecticism that I highly appreciate.  She surrounds herself with top quality musicians and chooses from diverse song choices and musical styles on her recordings.  The music of Lila Downs is intelligent as well as intellectual, but never sacrificing the sense of fun and entertainment that good music should provide to the listener.

     In her version of "La Cucaracha" Lila Downs makes reference to the rendition popularized during the Pancho Villa era while interjecting some more modern political references.   The translations I've found of her version are a bit awkward, but perhaps that is the nature of the song   If you're interested in an approximation in English of what she's singing you can visit Batlyrics or a number of other sites.

      Whether or not you can understand the lyrics, hopefully you can still find enjoyment in just listening to the music.  Take special note of the influences of Arabic and Jewish music in Lila's version.  The violin and clarinet add a lot to this arrangement in my opinion.   Mix in the Mexican percussion and harp with a very cool electric guitar introduction along with a brief rap interlude and you get a near perfect blend to turn a somewhat trite song into a musical masterpiece.   Give this one a chance--I think it's worth a few minutes of your time.






Time to Vote!

         I don't want to sound like a pest but I hope you'll add your vote to this contest. Which song version do you like the best? Surely you think one is better than the other even if you don't like either presentation as much as the original version. Judge what you hear in the above videos. Which version do you prefer? It's up to you to help determine the winner.

Please vote on your favorite by letting us know your choice in the comment section and tell us why you prefer the version you chose. Then after you've finished here, please visit the other blogs listed below who may or may not be participating this time around. And if you've put up your own BOTB contest let us know that as well so we can vote on yours

Here are some other places where you might find BOTB posts:

FAR AWAY SERIES’ 

 StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands

 ‘YOUR DAILY DOSE’ 

  'MIKE'S RAMBLINGS'

'Curious as a Cathy'

Sound of One Hand Typing

DC Relief Battle of the Bands

The Doglady's Den 

Angel's Bark  

Cherdo on the Flipside  

Jingle, Jangle, Jungle 

Women:  We Shall Overcome  

Book Lover

J. A. Scott  

Quiet Laughter

Holli's Hoots and Hollers

NovelBrews

Results on Wednesday October 7th

        Find out who gets the most votes in my post of Wednesday October 7th.  Please include your vote in my final tally.   Also on the 7th I'll be joining in with the Insecure Writer's Support Group.  Don't miss it!






72 comments:

  1. Louis Armstrong gets my vote!!!!!! I know that in the Harlem jazz era and even into the 50s, pot usage was very common among black musicians. You even saw it referenced in 'Back to the Future' when the band gets out of the car after Marty is locked in the trunk and the car's full of smoke. Biff says something about not wanting to get involved with 'reefer addicts'.

    As for la cucaracha and politics, all of the candidates, except Bernie Sanders, are cockroaches, esp. all the republicans. Sorry but I really loathe those mean old white men who hate women and poor people and want to force their religion on everyone and tell women what to do with their bodies.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JoJo, Sounds like a quote direct from the Bernie Sanders playbook.

      First vote goes to Louis Armstrong.

      Lee

      Delete
  2. I can't vote for Speedy Gonzales? Bummer.
    Both versions are good and unique. Louis' version shows its age a bit though, so I'll give Lila's more updated version my vote.

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    1. Alex, hard to believe that Louis's version is 80 years old, but like you say it shows its age yet in a sense is timeless.

      A modernista vote for Lila Downs..

      Lee

      Delete
  3. What an interesting battle this is! Kudos to you for originality, Lee. ☺
    I think it's well-known that most musicians have enjoyed cannabis and other drugs over the years. Sounds like Louis was the earlier incarnation of Willie Nelson. His version had my feet tapping and I enjoyed it, but Lila put such a unique twist on it! Love the intro, especially and my vote goes to Lila. Muchas gracias, amigo.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. P.S. I'm surprised the censors of the day let that marijuana reference pass in the Speedy Gonzales cartoon!

      Delete
    2. Debbie, maybe the censors couldn't speak Spanish or didn't think the reference was relevant?

      Got you down for Lila Downs

      Lee

      Delete
  4. Louis Armstrong gets my vote. Maybe because it's what I'm familiar with.

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    Replies
    1. Yolanda, I think familiarity is often a deciding factor in many Battles.

      The ever popular Louis Armstrong gets another vote.

      Lee

      Delete
  5. You probably saw this one coming a mile (or two weeks) away, Lee... My vote goes to Lila, hands down, no question. I love Armstrong, and he did a good, fun job on his version, but this song needs Mexico in it. And Lila's cumbia version is fabulous. Funny that in Mexico it's never been, at least during my lifetime, anything but a political song. Popular lore has it that it was composed during the 1910 revolution as an allegory to the then-dictator Porfirio Díaz (whom the revolution aimed to oust); there are even contemporary cartoons of a cockroach wearing a top hat and big white whiskers (Díaz had 'em, too). And yes, the marijuana lyrics are never changed south of the border, although it's one of those songs that get new lyrics with every interpreter. Aside from the closing bit of "Ya murió la cucaracha (The cockroach has died) / Ya la llevan a enterrar (They're taking her to be buried) / Entre cuatro zopilotes (Among four vultures) / Y un ratón de sacristán (And a mouse as a priest)", and the marijuana bit (which is usually the opening verse), the song has no standard lyrics.

    Absolutely fantastic battle, Lee! And may all cockroaches die ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Guilie, Thank you for your endorsement of this Battle. I thought you might appreciate it. Good to hear further elucidation about the song from the Mexican perspective.

      As I would have guessed, your vote goes to Lila Downs.

      Lee

      Delete
  6. Hi, Lee! No Monti Rock this time around? :)

    Thanks for the history lesson about the song "La Cucaracha." I am always on the lookout for the new and different and that's why I am picking Lila Downs. I enjoyed listening to her perform the song in a traditional style laced with elements of Arabic and Jewish music. I vote for Lila!

    Thanks good buddy, Lee!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Shady, I'm missing the "Monti Rock" reference, but not unusual for me.

      I've got your vote though for Lila Downs.

      Lee

      Delete
    2. Ah yes, and the Sexolettes. Got the reference now.

      Lee

      Delete
  7. Louis Armstrong is my favorite.

    Eisenhower integrated the military. Getting that letter from Armstrong had to wrenching to Eisenhower.

    I always learn so much from your post. Now to read up on Poncho Villa.

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    1. Ann, I find it amazing that marijuana has been in such contention for so many years. I'd never read about the letter to Eisenhower until researching about Armstrong for this song Battle.

      Another favorite for Louis Armstrong.

      Lee

      Delete
  8. Interesting history bits here, Lee.

    I like both versions of this song, despite the fact that I don't speak fluent Spanish. I only understood bits and pieces. However, as you say, not really necessary.

    Since I like both versions, I'm basing my vote on which one I'd prefer to listen to repeatedly. Given that context, I have to go with Louis Armstrong.

    Good battle, Lee!

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    Replies
    1. Robin, you have used the criteria that I often settle for--which version holds up best after repeated listenings.

      Your verdict is Louis Armstrong.

      Lee

      Delete
  9. That is some serious song history! I had no idea! I remember the song from Speedy Gonzales and had no idea that the lyrics referenced marijuana! That's funny!
    Although I like the late great Louis Armstrong, I'm going to vote for Lila Downs on this one. I love the Arabic elements in the song and the blending of the cultures makes for a very interesting song. My vote goes to Lila.
    Great match-up.
    Michele at Angels Bark

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    Replies
    1. Michele, if you like Lila's take on this song you might want to explore some of her other work as she knows how to mix up the musical styles and do it very well.

      Another vote for Lila Downs.

      Lee

      Delete
  10. Lee, I love Speedy Gonzales! Of course all of those old cartoons are the bomb! But, this isn't about children's animations. It's about an old song. I listened to both and gave each careful consideration. In the end, I give my vote to Louis Armstrong because his cover made me happy to listen to and set my toes to tapping. Lila's cover was just too slow to suit my mood....today. Nice battle!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Cathy, of course Lila was contending with more lyrics and actually had a message to convey so I guess that affected the style of her delivery. Louis provides us with fun entertainment in his version.

      Hope you find the comments I left on your BOTB post as I left two that never showed up.

      A vote for Louis Armstrong.

      Lee

      Delete
  11. Sorry, Satchmo, but Lila has my vote here. I love the beginning and the minor-key treatment, and her voice is great.

    Thanks for the history lesson.

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    1. John, I'm sure Satchmo wouldn't mind on this vote.

      Recording another vote for Lila Downs

      Lee

      Delete
  12. Both are good version but I shall cast my vote for Armstrong. I like Lila, but I think the ecclectic style didn't win me over. Also, I didn't like the slower pace to it. Thanks for sharing something different.

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    1. Jeffrey, viva la differance!

      A vote for Louis Armstrong.

      Lee

      Delete
  13. First, I always thought this song had greater political implications - cockroaches in government - rather than strong references to cannabis. But, then with the kind of cockroaches who have always sought out political positions, a little cannabis goes a long way in helping the people to swallow the whole enchilada.

    I feel real guilty voting against Sachmo. I love everything he does and I love his version here, BUT, between the two I am really digging the over-all international flavor and especially the lyrics in Lila's version.

    Shocking even myself, give her my vote on this one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. FAE, the cannabis is merely referenced and not really a focal point. I think it was thrown in for comic effect in part.

      Satch needs to give others a chance to win Battles. I'm sure he'd understand your vote.

      Lila Downs

      Lee

      Delete
  14. Lila Downs, no question. The lyrics (I even understood most of those), multi-cultural instrumentals, sense of fun...all and more made me listen to the 40th second.

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    1. Susan, if a song doesn't hook me in the first 60 seconds I'm apt to lose interest. Glad you liked this.

      Another one for Lila Downs

      Lee

      Delete
  15. Well, LEE, this one was certainly different, and I learned quite a bit.

    Very surprising to hear marijuana referenced in the cartoons.

    I knew about Satchmo's smoking habit. I've never been one for doobies, brother, but I have no problem with people who are, and I think it should be legalized to the same extent alcohol is.

    As for my vote, go ahead and log it in, please.
    I don't need to tell you who I'm voting for. You know.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    1. POSTSCRIPT: JoJo paints with an extra wide brush, doesn't she?

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
    2. STMcC, I watch old cartoons from a far different perspective now than when I was a kid. There were a lot of references to adult themes in those old animated films.

      I'm going to take what you say to mean a vote for Louis Armstrong. I would be surprised if you'd voted the other way.

      PS--This country has a huge divide of opinions. This next election might turn out to be the strangest ever.

      Lee

      Delete
    3. Stephen-as uptight as this country has become, marijuana should not be legalized.

      It should be MANDATORY!

      LC

      Delete
    4. Larry, and only the best stuff! Or at least consistent quality.

      Lee

      Delete
    5. LC ~
      You're getting funnier and funnier in your... "middle" age.

      Seriously! You keep coming up with new gems these days.

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  16. I have no complaints about anything that Louis Armstrong ever did - love him, his personality, his music.

    But Lila Downs blew me away on this one. Interesting score and cover, for sure! I'm going to have to google that name to death and saturate myself with a Lila Downs mastery marathon.

    MY VOTE IS FOR LILA!

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    Replies
    1. Cherdo, Louis Armstrong was a great artist and much beloved by many inside and outside of show business.

      I have at least four albums by Downs and they are all fantastic. I highly recommend looking into her music if you enjoyed the sampling of this song I used for this Battle.

      Another big vote for Lila Downs.

      Lee

      Delete
  17. Lee - such an interesting pair up! Lila is allover the music chart, but I did enjoy parts of her cover. Still I find my heart returns to the 'scat-singing-horn playing' man of sound.

    My vote is for Mr. Armstrong, please.

    Dixie

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    Replies
    1. Dixie, old loves can be hard to shake.

      A vote for Louis Armstrong.

      Lee

      Delete
  18. I am sure I am not the first to want to vote for Speedy, or his cousin, Slowpoke, the slowest mouse in all of Mexico, but I'll abide by the rules, begrudgingly.

    I expected to vote Satch hands down, and when the Downs version kicked off, I was half expecting a metal version, but I kind of like what she did with it.

    In fact, her arrangement might have edged out Armstrong for my vote,

    For about ninety seconds, I was digging it!

    Ninety seconds after that I was wondering when it would be done.

    Even though the lyric to the song was supposed to have political overtones or undetones, this is not a song that merits almost five minutes worth of wax.

    Louis gets his point across in less than three, and even that may be half a minute too long.

    Slowpoke nails it in 32 seconds.

    Another vote for Mr. Armstrong!

    Larry

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    Replies
    1. Larry, and what was the point Louis got across to listeners? Other than great music of course.

      A vote for Louis Armstrong

      Lee

      Delete
    2. I meant "point" in the musical sense...the song doesn't have enough depth for much more....

      What's next for Downs? A ten minute version of "Tequila?"

      Delete
    3. Actually I do have another Downs cover in the works where I plan to pit her against the Beatles. I enjoy long songs when they're good like Lila's version of "La Cucaracha". I thought there was enough variation in the song to make it worth extending.

      Lee

      Delete
    4. LC ~
      Your thoughts mirror my own.
      I didn't go into any details about why I was voting for SATCHMO, but if I had, one of them would have DEFINITELY been that the Lila Downs version was way too long. How can anyone take THIS simple melody about "cockroaches" (ANY KIND of cockroach) so seriously as to do nearly 5 minutes on it, and dancing all over the musical map with it?

      About 3 minutes in, I was looking for the Raid and I was also asking: When does this end? What is this, 'Stairway To Bread Crumbs'?

      But, of course, most of all, I knew Lee would be voting for Lila, so I had no choice whatsoever but to vote for Satchmo. [That's just a joke, Lee. But you KNOW it almost always works that way, whether I vote first or you vote first. One of life's many mysteries. Ha!-Ha!]

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  19. OMG! Can't I be Switzerland and vote for both or plead the 5th or whatever-lol. My gosh Lila has an extraordinary voice and I need to learn more about her music now. I could listen to both.....this is tough because I appreciate both so much. I love Louis, I mean, who doesn't! I shall go with Louis-my head is exploding but I love the way with the trumpet and it reminds me more of the cartoon-sorry but love Speedy. I love Warner Bros cartoons and they were chalk full of adult references.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Birgit, either way you would vote you couldn't be too far off--a convincing argument can be made for either version.

      WB cartoons had something for just about everyone. Guess that's part of the reason for their popularity over the years.

      I give your vote to Louis Armstrong

      Lee

      Delete
  20. I remember the version on Home Improvement. When Tim walked in on his sister in law in the shower because he thought it was Jill. "I didn't mean to/ I thought it was you/ da da da da da da da da...."

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    1. CW, I guess I missed that episode. And since the Home Improvement is not in the running, no one gets your vote unless you return to cast one.

      Lee

      Delete
    2. I'll be by, I'm kinda doing a little experiment of my own (wonder where I learned that from?)- to see what you all say if I comment but don't vote.

      Delete
    3. CW, not sure where you learned it from but if you're insinuating you were influenced to do blogging experiments by me then I'm honored. I like blog experiments.

      Lee

      Delete
    4. Okay, here's the vote post, and may I say you continue to come up with the most innovative and left-field contests of the bunch- a good thing.

      Laurie brainwashed me into loving the movie High Society, so you know Satchmo had a HUGE advantage going in, and didn't disappoint. Make mine Louis!

      Delete
    5. CW, I try to be different and in a good way whenever I can.

      Another vote for Louis Armstrong

      Lee

      Delete
  21. That was some interesting information Lee. Wow, never would have thought THIS was your hint. Impressive.

    Both versions are awesome in their own way. Louie's is so catchy, memorable. Lila is definitely sending a message with her's; wish I know what it was. I like the way she took it over but left the essense of the short diddy. I'll give her my vote.

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    1. Dolorah, you can find the lyrics on line. They are kind of disjointed but maybe it's an issue with translation.

      A vote for Lila Downs.

      Lee

      Delete
  22. I have to vote for Lila Downs as the style touches my Latin roots, and she refers to Victor Jara, the great Chilean folksinger killed by Pinochet's thugs. Strangely enough it was my Chilean grandmother that first told me that the song referred to marijuana - and so did my mother.

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    1. Roland, Lila's version makes a lot of interesting historical and socio-political references. Downs has in intellectual background and her songs are not lacking in substance.

      A vote for Lila Downs

      Lee

      Delete
  23. Louis Armstrong gets my vote, this is the first time I've heard this song. Thanks for putting it on.
    Have a good week-end.
    Yvonne.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yvonne, maybe "La Cucaracha" gets more play in the U.S. due to its proximity to Mexico. It's also an easy song to ignore in most incarnations that we hear.

      A vote for Louis Armstrong

      Lee

      Delete
  24. I sure had no idea La Cucaracha meant cockroach. Yuck! Who would want to sing a song about cockroaches?

    I'm voting for Lila Downs because her version was fun, unique, and mysterious. I loved it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Chrys, recently I was reading a restaurant called "La Cucaracha". They must not have known what it meant either, but it was a poor name choice for an eating establishment. In the song I think the cockroach is a metaphor for unscrupulous politicians.

      A vote for Lila Downs

      Lee


      Delete
  25. Interesting history of the song. It's unbelievable how clear the lyrics were in the cartoons. It's also hard to imagine that Louis Armstrong sent that letter to President Eisenhower. The old saying "everything old is new again," really rings true. Louis gets my vote for the more traditional version.

    Julie

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    Replies
    1. Julie, Armstrong was not only a music pioneer, but a socio-political pioneer as well.

      A vote for Louis Armstrong

      Lee

      Delete
  26. The Louis Armstrong one, definitely.

    Also, cockroach is my least fave insect.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Damyanti, no fan of cockroaches here either though I can appreciate their amazing design.

      Another vote for Louis Armstrong.

      Lee

      Delete
  27. LEE ~
    Counting you as a vote for Lila, right now (if my math be good) you have a 13-13 tie in this BOTB. Great Battle, man!

    I was watching the votes go back and forth and got curious enough to add them up.

    You need someone to come along and break this tie before the 7th. (Unless a tie is something you'd want.)

    I personally didn't care for the Lila version, but I gotta admit that anytime Satchmo is tied after 26 votes, THAT is an A-list Battle and a well-chosen competitor.

    ~ D-FensDogG

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    Replies
    1. STMcC, I agree that this was a heated competition and of course never knowing how these things might turn out, I expected that it might go like this. Lila Downs is one heck of an artist whom I've followed and enjoyed for years now. Actually "La Cucaracha" is one of her lesser recordings, but I've got her matched up for some future battle in which I think her talents will shine.

      Still I think her version of "La Cucaracha" is outstanding and certainly the most enduring for me. I'm hoping that someone will come along to break this tie because as you have correctly prognosticated that's what it's going to be if the votes stop here.

      Thanks for the acknowledgement of the competitive quality of this Battle. I'm certainly pleased. I thought some of the comments supporting the reasons for voting as some did were quite good as well.

      We'll see what happens by tomorrow (Tuesday) when I wrap this contest up.

      Lee

      Delete
  28. I do appreciate Lila Downs eclectic take on the the song. Louis Armstrong's version is different in his approach as well and he gets my vote!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mike, you might be the tie breaker with your vote for--

      Louis Armstrong

      Lee

      Delete
  29. I really enjoyed this battle even though it was about a cockroach. That was one of the first words I learned in Spanish when I was a kid. My friend and I sang that song after watching Speedy Gonzalez every time.
    I really liked Lilas voice and I have a dog named Lila but my vote goes to Louis. His take and tempo won me over.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Holli, "Cucaracha" was probably a first Spanish word for many of us because of this song.

      Recorded your vote for Louis Armstrong.

      Lee

      Delete

Go ahead and say something. Don't be afraid to speak your mind.
I normally try to respond to all comments in the comment section so please remember to check the "Email follow-up comments" box if you want to participate in the comment conversation.

For Battle of the Bands voting the "Anonymous" commenting option has been made available though this version is the least preferred. If voting using "anonymous" please include in your comment your name (first only is okay) and city you are voting from and the reason you chose the artist you did.

If you know me and want to comment but don't want to do it here, then you can send me an email @ jacksonlee51 at aol dot com.

Lee