Thursday, January 26, 2017

Donald Trump's Wall And 'South Of The Border' Song

Songs I Love:

I've always loved the song, South of The Border (Jimmy Kennedy n Michael Carr) and learnt it as a child from radio broadcast.  The Latin beat with its array of percussion sounds has always been the magnetic factor.  The song from 1939 (I wasn't even born) became very popular early in the 1940's and remains a hit till today.

Strange that it is actually a Country and Western song from a movie, sung by our Hollywood cowboy, Gene Autry, one of the earliest silver screen wild-west stars. Because of its popularity the number has been recorded by dozens of artistes from the 50's. 
              Pablo Roterro and His Mexican Brass Boys from Coldwink

These names include: Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Perry Como, Bing Crosby, Guy Lombardo, Willie Nelson, Sim Whitman, Marty Robbins, Engelbert Humperdinck, Sam Cooke, Patsy Cline, Robbie Williams, Fats Domino,  Slim Whitman, Chuck Berry, Don McLean, Frankie Laine, Chris Isaak and and many more. That's how popular the song was across countries.

The instrumental version has the 50 Guitars of Tommy Garrett, orchestras of Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Nelson Riddle, Ray Coniff, Max Greger, Geoff Love, Country Minstrel and Bobby Ferres. 

Then there's: Herb Alpert and His Tijuana Brass, Pablo Roterro and His Mexican Brass Boys (above) and other percussion bands. Even The Shadows and Jumping Jewels are in the game. For me I love The Jumping Jewels' version and Blue Diamonds rendition.
                          Sam Cooke's Version by trevycoley83

So depending on who sings the song and which band is playing the music, the tempo changes accordingly.
In Singapore night clubs and dance floors during the 50's, the song became a hit when patrons danced to its rousing Latin-American beat, usually a rhumba, sometimes a cha-cha and mostly a mambo. 

But when a crooner goes to the microphone to sing it, the rhythm changes accordingly and dancers glide on the floor.  Our boys and girls from the 60's guitar twanging time, love The Shadows version: 3 guitars and drums. Clean and neat. U.K. original.

Don't forget New Orleans. When Frank Sinatra recorded it, the song took on a jazzy, city beat feel. Willie Nelson like Chris Isaak gives it the strumming guitar, country like atmosphere. Just listen to Sam Cooke's above. Different again. Yes, it's soul man! Chicago Blues?

Now here's the reason why I feature this song. The dynamics are simple. A C/W song is also a Mexican rumba hit. And Mr Trump wants to build a wall along the Mexican border. How does one severe a psychological connection physically in one fell swoop?
How do you separate the United States of America from Latin-America? Even the songs the countries sing have the same roots. strumming cowboy groovy guitar gravitates to a Mexican, mambo, maracas melody.  

Evolution of song, South of The Border. Smooth and easy, without transition:

1. Country and Western
2. Latin beat
2. Jazz, Crooners
3. Guitar Instrumental
4. Soul
5. ???
                           The Jumping Jewels' Style by lenantais36 

South of the Border is only one song from hundreds of Latino hits that had found its way across to Mexico from the US. And vice-versa.  Now isn't that free trade where everybody wins?

Maybe time will tell. You know, like songs and its tempo, people evolve, change, transform and improve...

Mr Trump?
Images: Google.

You Tube: 
Thanks to video producers: Coldwink, trevycoley83, lenantais36 for the different versions of, South of The Border.


James Kwok said...

Trump can say,and sign, what he wants but he must remember that he can't force Mexico or Congress to pay for his populist posturing. Of course if the wall can't be built because his megalomania can't be supported by the the sums for construction and maintenance, Trump can conveniently blame others. Having lived and worked in California and Texas, I still have friends and relatives there. They tell me that there is such heavy dependence on Hispanics by businesses and home-owners in the southern American border states that the economy will fall into chaos if all undocumented immigrants (UIs) are sent south of the border. Simple question: If you need someone to do odd jobs, and you value the work at $3 per hour (which a UI will happily accept), will you hire someone at the the official minimum wage of $7 per hour? Another question: If Trump tries to forcibly break up families by deporting UIs from close family members who are already US citizens, won't he be helping to create willing volunteers for terrorist recruiters? If he targets specific groups of people, he is only creating disenfranchised people who hate America, and can act on their hatred. In a related BBC program, a Mexican interviewee said that they don't need to use guns and bombs: just flooding the US with easily manufactured cheap narcotic drugs will do the trick. Trump got to remember that he is not acting in a reality show, where everything is staged for him to yell 'You're fired!' at a participant. A former US Vice President's advice to Trump to grow up. That's good advice.


Yes Andy,

When this beautiful song was first recorded in the 40's it has been covered by so many artistes that it's hard-pressed to tell who is who.

For me, I like the guitar instrument versions of the Shadows and Jumping Jewels. The song is more about Americans flocking to the Mexican side to have a good time rather than the other way round.

There was no question of a border or wall then. Donald Trump is right when he said, "You don't have a country if you don't have a border."

For him the wall is about security and border control. Many Americans agree with him n that's why he won the Electoral vote to be the new 45th President.

Even in Singapore, we have border control by the British since Stamford Raffles landed. Our border with then Malaya was a contentious political issue over the MSA (Malaysia Singapore Airlines), episode if you can recall.

Then Prime Minster of Malaysia, Tengku Abdul Rahman threatened Singapore that he will close the causeway border completely if the Singapore Government did not rescind the name MSA. Overnight our government dropped the name. The rest is history. Now you see how useful to have border control.

So I say to Donald Trump... build that wall.

Just my two-cent opinion.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thank you Pat for your short paper. Fantastic. You're a musician and a great writer too with strong beliefs in what you think is right or wrong.

I understand your viewpoint and appreciate your call to have a wall like Trump. I still think we shouldn't have walls in our lives. They obstruct, not like music that flows in the air meandering and moving, free and easy, connecting and winning the hearts of everyone around.

Still, I respect your opinion.

I hope readers can hear more of you soon on these blog pages.

JCHONG said...

He is carrying out his campaign promises. Hope he will disappoint his detractors and enemies. But if he blunders in his foreign policies towards countries like China and Russia he and America and the rest of the world will be in big trouble.

JollyGreenP said...

Ok Mr President, we have sent all the Mexicans back, so let's build the wall. Oops, we don't have any cheap labour left to build it we have sent them all back over the border!

chakap chakap said...

Some songs of Mexican origin that we're familiar with:

Magic is the Moonlight
Besame Mucho
It's Impossible
Yesterday I Heard the Rain
La Bamba
La Cucaracha
La Cumpasita
You Belong to my Heart

From the 1960's to 1970's most of the pop music heard in Mexico consisted of Spanish-language versions of English-language rock-and-roll hits. Like in Singapore, where we copied so many Western hits sung by our local boys and girls.

RWong said...

In my opinion, the Trump's politics boils down to God, money and politics. He is shaking the world with funds cutting and various reforms. His culture, he either makes it or breaks it. That's the scary part.

chakap chakap said...

A song like 'South of the Border' brings back memories of the good ole 50's and 60's where life was simple and people simpler.

Even the lyrics of the song spelt out those years, where a lover who promised his Mexican lady love that he would return 'manana' (tomorrow) but never did.

"I kissed a smile upon her face
'Cause it was fiesta and we were so gay
South of the border, Mexico way"

But the mission bells told him that he mustn't stay. The love affair was short lived.

Algaron JP. YouTuber said...


Hi George,
A perfect South Of The Border from the phrasing to the vintage tone of your guitar ! I've noticed you don't play songs to fill in your repertoire but because you really feel it. Top performance ! BTU !
All the best



It is my honest belief that Sam Cooke was most valuable in his times. But as times go by, I think his work and image continue to enlarge more and more each day. They don't make them like him anymore.

EGO said...


I like your 'South of the Border' song. Send it to POTUS Trump.


Hi Andy

This song 'South Of The Border' is certainly one of the more recognisable country ever recorded that even many great artists and instrumental groups are also doing it in many different genres. It is difficult to make a choice to select because every one has its own unique style.

It may interest you to know that even in our music scene here, this song should be one on every dance band list and usually played in either cha cha or rhumba. I personally would prefer Gene Autry, the original simply because is it more soothing and relaxing.

Cheers - Rickie

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DianePhelan said...

A soft heart takes more courage and strength than a hard heart.

anon said...

Clinton went on to assure Congress that in his forthcoming budget proposal,"I would try to do more to speed the deportation of illegal aliens who are arrested for crimes, to better identify illegal aliens in the workplace as recommended by the commission headed by former Congresswoman..."

Bill Clinton: 1995 “State of the Union” Speech.