Sunday, February 05, 2017

Mr Donald Trump's 'Hombre' Triggers Nostalgia

President Trump's Tweets:

Mr Donald Trump's presence as POTUS, his regular, interesting but controversial Tweets and his recent use of the word hombre has jolted my memory to yesteryear when I used to patronise the Capitol Cinema at North Bridge Road to watch what was known as Western movies. 

It was a common practice for Singapore movie goers to patronise the cinemas and watch these films on the wide screen during the fifties and sixties. With themes of conflict, gun slingers galore and stereo-types in these Cowboy movies, the genre was popular culture then. And who can forget John Wayne.
Movie Nostalgia:

Why has my memory gone back to these Westerns? Since trailing the US presidential campaign city to city last year on Cable TV, and listening to President Trump's controversial Mexican Wall speeches, my mind went reverse mode and I started remembering movie titles like: Man From Laramie, The Kentuckian, Oklahoma, Wichita, Sante Fe Passage, The Oregon Trail, The Man From Gavelston and Cimarron. 

Then there was: The Treasure of Pancho Villa, Commanche, Gunfight At The OK Corral, Rio Bravo, Cheyenne Autumn, The Treasures of Sierra Madre and Viva Zapata among others.

These movies drew crowds in the 50's and 60's, remembering that those were post-war years, and there was hardly any entertainment then. 
Vocabulary Nostalgia:

As a child, and to my mother's anguish, I learnt many American cowpoke terms that had migrated from Mexico. In order to understand the movie dialogues, I needed to understand these loan words, now established and official.

The vocabulary included:  buckaroo, corral, desperado, lariat, lasso, ranch, stampede, rodeo, sierra, bronco, mustang, fiesta, coyote, puma, burrito, sombrero, rumba, tango and of course hombre.

So Mr Trump's term about bad hombres takes me back to the typical cowboy movie scene in a saloon (bar) when the Sheriff tells the gunslinger, "You're bad, hombre. Get on your saddle and vamoose. This is my town!" I would kick the hombre out too if he were a drug dealer or criminal. 
Then I remember Westerns where the cowboys were always at war with native Indians (previous bias name: Red Indian or Injuns) from the Apache, Blackfoot, Cherokee, Comanche, Cheyenne, Mohican and other tribes, depending on the fancy of the movie directors, plot or country setting.  

The same cowboy scene on screen sometimes shows the native Indian Chief with his flaming head-dress saying to the soldier, "White man talk with forked tongue; white man die." Now it's a standing joke in many cartoons.

Chuck Berry Video shows Presley copied his moves, for sure.

 Pop Music Nostalgia:

The campaign trail, while watching Anderson Cooper going through US country names on CNN, switched my mind to songs like, Galveston, El Paso, The Streets of Laredo, Blue Moon of Kentucky, The Ballad of the Alamo, North to Alaska.

I could remember, The Yellow Rose of Texas, San Antonio Rose, Yellow Rose of Texas, Battle of New Orleans, Colorado Trail, Wichita Lineman and By The Time I Get To Phoenix.

A song I knew well was Chuck Berry's, Back In The USA  where he named cities and towns (You Tube above) in rapid fire. Here goes: Detroit, Chicago, Chattanooga, Baton Rouge, St. Louis, California and Delaware.

Now the reader may understand why our Singaporean boys and girls from the sixties recorded songs of such a nature. The influence from the US was tremendous. 

It's only words and words are all I have,
To take your heart away...

Vaya Con Dios. (Go with God).

This article is original.
Images: Google.
You Tube Videos: Chuck Berry Back To The USA from: NRRArchives.
                          Les Paul Mary Ford Vaya con Dios from:catman919.

Lyrics: Words Bee Gees.


henri gann said...

Good writeup, Senor Andy !
Now I can almost hear the theme music of Clint Eastwood movies " The Good, the Bad and the Ugly " and " the Fistful of Dollars" in the background :)

J.S. said...

Frankly, I am not a fan of Trump. His comments on getting rid of the 'bad hombres' in Mexico is typical of his many outbursts. If they are said by any other person it would be shrugged off humorously. But coming from the 'most powerful nation' (debatable) in the world it can be disconcerting.

Such statements would have provoked a war a century ago. His impetuous retorts via Tweets are reminiscent of what a recalcitrant schoolboy would say when he is angered. He is always paying to the gallery of his fans.

There were a lot of stories circulating in American before the elections that Trump was chosen by God to clear the bad influence of previous administrations. I even received a picture of Obama with three 6's (the sign of the devil) on his head.

All these had a bad effect on Hillary's election prospects as she was closely associated with Obama. All this too influenced the strongly Christian voters in the Bible Belt States in SE America, the so called swing states in the elections.

Moreover he has strong support in Congress (60 per cent) and the Senate (53-47 Republican) so all his policies will be implemented.

But it is good that people like you see the lighter side of life and find his words evoking nostalgic memories. Maybe I take life too seriously.


Chuck Berry and Les Paul - evergreen songs. 'Back To The USA' and 'Vaya Con Dios' :-)





Arizona – from Spanish Arizonac: little spring.
California – a mythical island from a 1510 Spanish novel.
Colorado – red-colored
Florida – flowery
Montana – from montaña (mountain)
Nevada – snowy
New Mexico – Nuevo México
Texas – the Spanish: friends or allies.
Utah – indigenous 'Ute' people: Spanish 'yuta'.


Buena Vista – good view
El Paso – the pass
Fresno – ash tree
Las Vegas – the meadows
Los Angeles – Town of Our Lady the Queen of Angels.
Monterey – king’s mountain
San Antonio – Saint Anthony
San Francisco – Saint Francis
Santa Cruz – holy cross

JAMES KWOK said...


Vaya Con Dios Lyrics

Now the hacienda's dark, the town is sleeping;
Now the time has come to part, the time for weeping.
Vaya con Dios my darling,
Vaya con Dios you my love.

Now the village mission bells are softly ringing,
If you listen with your heart you'll hear them singing,
Vaya con Dios my darling,
Vaya con Dios, my love

Wherever you may be, I'll be beside you,
Although you're many million dreams away.
Each night I'll say a pray'r, a pray'r to guide you
To hasten ev'ry lonely hour of ev'ry lonely day.

Now the dawn is breaking through a gray tomorrow,
But the memories we share are there to borrow,
Vaya con Dios, my darling!
Vaya con Dios, my love

Vaya Con Dios lyrics © BEACHAVEN MUSIC COR

chakap chakap said...

Also Adios Amigo. By Jim Reeves. On Video.


My personal opinion from day one (my gut feeling): eventually he is going to prove himself to be the best president the US ever had in a very long time.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thank you all for the comments and song ideas. A better world if we understand each other with songs and dances, foreign words and cultures.

That's how our world should tick. With music and language rhythms, instead of...

anon said...

I prefer the word, AMIGO rather than HOMBRE. One is FRIEND, the other MAN.

JAMES KWOK said...

Another word we learnt a long time ago. And of course the song too:

TEQUILA is a regionally specific name for a distilled beverage made from the blue agave plant, primarily in the area surrounding the city of Tequila, 65 km (40 mi) northwest of Guadalajara, and in the highlands (Los Altos) of the central western Mexican state of Jalisco.


Question for Donald Trump: Do you have feelings of inadequacy? Stop hiding and start living with tequila!


It is interesting to read how pervasive US influence (westerns in cinemas) has been during the 1960's. Sometimes in trying to write up about the 1960's, it take a while for me to appreciate the historical context of that time and understand what it might have been like - your articles are a homing beacon to ground what I know about the 60's.

Thank you Andy, I really appreciate these. And thank you for sharing the best recommendations on timeless music :)