American Ballads and Folk Songs: page - 0468

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American Ballads and Folk Songs
I like bread with cheese, (3) When I live on a ranch. (2)
But I like a kiss much better, (3) Under a broad-brimmed sombrero. (2)
"The majority of the population of Mexico is today in the grip of a social system little, if materially at all, differing from that of the Middle Ages in Europe. . • . The peon wears shoes instead of sandals on feast-days, whereas his grandfather wore homemade brogans; but modernity has come no nearer home to him than this. His culture, aspirations, and life, those of the days of Robin Hood and the Cid . . » have served to produce there the ctragedia,' a form of ballad which is purely medieval in atmosphere and inspiration. . . . The 'tragedia' is a product of the people themselves. It is rarely ever printed or even reduced to writing. Its verses are composed orally and are pre­served in the memory of the . . . strolling guitar or harp players who are the counterpart of the medieval cjuglar,' . . . One of the most popular, and also one of the most typical of the bandit ballads is the extremely fragmentary one that follows. It celebrates the deeds of one Heraclio Bernal, a bandit who was active in Northwestern Mexico during the eighties and early nineties, and who was the cause of con­siderable embarrassment to the Mexican government before he was finally killed near Mazatlan. Every singer in Northwestern Mexico knows fragments of this ballad, though no one seems to possess it entire. . . . Bernal, in the mouth of the improviser of the ballads, takes on all the attributes of the popular hero of the Robin Hood type, robbing the rich to give to the poor, and defying tyrannical authority in a tHily medieval fashion." *
* W. A. Whatley in the Publications of the Texas Tolk-Lore Society*

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III