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Songs | Spring 2015

Daddy Was a Migrant Worker

From Andrés: When I lived in Missouri I had the opportunity to meet and hear the stories of trabajadores migrantes there, where they picked fruits. With this song I wanted to tell their story that, I believe, is not being told in the repertoire of family songs. The song's perspective is the point of view of a child whose parents were migrant workers and proudly shares their story. I chose to do this song in the Norteña style because the genre itself tells a story of migration. The Norteña is basically a polka brought from Europe to northern Mexico by German immigrants. A century later it became Mexican regional music. It remains the same music, but the cultural connotations are completely different now. In talking with families that have heard my CD, I have learned that the song has sparked conversations between parents and children. Recently a mom came to me after a show and told me how she felt so connected to this song because her grandfather was a migrant worker in California. She was a blue-eyed, blonde Caucasian, so at first glance I never would have imagined that that was her family story. It reinforced for me the idea that migration is a story of all humanity.

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