Luis Pulido

La Familia Mendoza: Lydia, Leonor, Maria,
Juanita and Manuel.
Where's the Banjo?

Nobody plays Mexican songs on the Banjo! Well except Pete Seeger (Cielito Lindo). But he played everything from Bach (Ode do Joy) to Flamenco (Quince Brigada) on the banjo.

I learned Luis Pulido from a recording by Lydia Mendoza of Houston.Texas. It is still a standard among the conjuntos of Texas and the North of Mexico. Lydia is called la reina de la musica Tejana (queen of Tejano music), la alondra the la frontera (the lark of the border), la cancionera de los probres (songstress for the poor). She started performing and recording with her family in the late 1920's and kept going off and on until 1988. She built up an incredible repertoire of songs from everywhere, traditional songs from relatives, friends, other performers, records, radio, movies and most famously from lyrics printed on the backs of chewing gum wrappers.

Lydia was beloved among the Tejano and Norteño audiences but was never quite as popular in the interior of Mexico, it is said, because they found it hard to get used to a woman playing solo with her own twelve-string guitar. You can hear Lydia play Luis Pulido on YouTube in a live performance from1986. Her voice sounded as rich and strong as it did when she was twenty. She died at the age of 91 in 2007.

¡Viva Lydia!


De aquí hasta el rancho “Las Peñas” les traigo el nuevo corrido
Por andar haciendo señas mataron a Luis Pulido.
¿Quién iba imaginarse que lo matará a un amigo?

Alegre estaba la fiesta se celebraba una boda;
Pulido ya muy tomado le hacía seña a la novia,
A veces quería besarla como si estuviera sola.

Antonio, muy ofendido, querienda allanar la cosa;
“Luisito si eres me amigo, respeta más a mi esposa.”

Pulido se tira un grito que se oye en el rancho entero;
“La hembra que a mi me quadra la quiero porque la quiero.
Si alguno se me atraviesa lo despacho a San Pedro.”

Se agarraron a balazos se dieron a quemar ropa.
Pulido cayó bien muerto y echo sangre por la boca.
Antonio nomás herido pero por poco y le toca.

Pulio perdió la vida. Antonio ganó a la buena.
Así acaba siempre el hombre que quiere a mujer ajena.

Translation (more or less):
Like most corridos this is a bloody tragedy, a shoot-out at a wedding.
The story goes like this:

From El Rancho Las Peñas I bring you a new corrido (ballad)
Concerning Luis Pulido who was killed for making passes
And who could imagine that it would be his friend who killed him

What a happy time it was at the wedding party
But Luis, already pretty drunk, started making passes at the bride.
Sometimes he tried to kiss her as if she were by herself.

Antonio, very offended, tried to smooth things over:
"My dear Louie, if you are my friend, please show some respect for my wife."

Pulido gave a shout that was heard througout the ranch.
"The woman that suits me, l'll love her for the sake of love"
"And if any man gets in my way, I'll send him to St. Peter!"

Now gunfire broke out at close range (it burned their clothes)
Pulido fell dead (very dead) bleeding from the mouth
Antonio was just wounded although it was a close call.

Pulido lost his life. Antonio shot him fair and square.
This is the end that always comes to a man who desires another man's wife

G standard