Memo From Mexico | "SOMOS MAS AMERICANOS" – We Are More American!
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Scratch the surface, and The National Question pervades every facet of American society. The entertainment world is no exception.

In July of 2002, country-western singer Chad Brock was lambasted for what he said at a concert in Greeley, Colorado:

"Why should we adapt? You are coming over to our country. We don't speak Russian. We don't speak Spanish. We speak English here." ["Singer's Remark Riles Hispanics," Denver Post, July 9, 2002]

And two years ago, rock guitarist Ted Nugent provoked the wrath of LULAC by saying, also in a concert, that "If you can't speak English, get the #%!# out of America." [VDARE.COM warning: link contains original verb.]

What Brock and Nugent were saying—each in his own way—was that immigrants should learn English—a quite reasonable opinion shared by most Americans.

What would happen, though, if a successful recording artist or group released a song that relegated some Americans to second-class status?

Answer: Apparently nothing - if the group is composed of Mexican immigrants, who relegate gringos to second-class status in their own country.

The song in question is "Somos Mas Americanos" [We are more American], sung by a group called Los Tigres del Norte. One of the results of the creeping bilingualism in the U.S.A. is the growth of a parallel Spanish media—practically unknown to most clueless English-speakers. "Somos Mas Americanos " has spent a whole year on the record racks without controversy. I purchased my copy of "Uniendo Fronteras" in a Wal-mart in the state of Texas. You might ask your local Wal-mart why they sell anti-American music.

 "Somos mas americano," sing the Tigres, "than the son of the Anglo-Saxon.... than every last one of the gringos."

If you haven't heard of Los Tigres del Norte, well, they aren't singing songs for you anyway.

But they are singing about you.

Based in California, the Tigres del Norte are Grupo Numero Uno in Norteño, a polka-based form of music from northern Mexico, famous for its story-song "corridos" [To see a photo of the Tigres click here].

The nucleus of the group is formed by front-man Jorge Hernandez and his brothers, who migrated from Mexico to California in 1968.

They were adopted by British impresario (and non-Spanish speaker) Art Walker, who encouraged them to electrify, modernize and commercialize their music. Walker's Fama Records was the first Spanish-language record company on the West Coast. "Contrabando y Traición" [Contraband and Treachery], 1972-73, was the Tigres' first big hit, as well as the first of the "narcocorrido" genre. (For more details, check out this article from the Silicon Valley paper Metro, "Tiger Tales.")

Just how big are the Tigres? Well, they've won a Grammy. They have earned 7 gold albums (sales of 500,000 or more), no small feat when you consider that Latin music sales only make up 4.6% as of the year 2000, last year for which full-year statistics are available.

Last May, they received the "Latino spirit award" from Gray Davis, one of those "sons of the Anglo-Saxon" who happens to be governor of California. For now.

They've been honored by the Smithsonian Institution.

They are slated to receive the "Estrellas de la Gente" [Stars of the People] award at a big award shindig, "De La Gente Ritmo Latino," in LA's Kodak Theater, on October 25th.

And, for the past year, the Tigres have received a free ride from the media since releasing "Somos Mas Americanos." 

Not only were the Tigres - not even U.S. citizens, although they've lived in California for 34 years - unafraid to release this bitter piece of irredentist anti-gringo propaganda, but it's been a raving success.

The song was released in August of 2001 on the Tigres' album "Uniendo Fronteras" ("Uniting Borders", but what they really mean is "Erasing Borders".)

"Uniendo Fronteras" did quite well, spending 3 weeks at No. 1 on Billboard's Top Latin Albums chart. "Somos Mas Americanos" peaked last May at #12 on the Billboard's Regional Mexican Airplay Chart, and at #39 on Billboard's Hot Latin Tracks. (Both of these figures are based only on the album's success in the U.S.) "Somos Mas Americanos" peaked at #7 on San Antonio's KLEY.

But it wasn't only popular in the Southwest. It peaked at #3 on WARV (Richmond, Virginia) and WAGL (Lancaster, South Carolina). You might inquire how high it climbed on your local Spanish-language station.

At a Tigres del Norte concert in the Houston Astrodome on February 24th, 2002, the song was apparently the audience favorite.

For the benefit of readers, I present below my translation of "Somos Mas Americanos." It doubtless fails to capture the literary quality of the original-language lyrics. But it does translate the content. That way, you can be aware of what your neighbors may be listening to on your local Spanish-language radio station:

"Somos Mas Americanos" (by Enrique Valencia)

Windows Media Player sample at

A thousand times they have shouted at me,
"Go home, you don't belong here"
Let me remind the Gringo
That I didn't cross the border, the border crossed me
America was born free—Man divided her
They drew the line so I would have to jump it
And they call me Invader
That's a big error
They took eight states from us—who is the invader here?
I am a stranger in my own land
I don't come to make war—I'm a working man


If history does not lie, the Powerful Nation was seated here in glory
Composed of valiant warriors
Indians of two continents
Mingled with Spaniards
And if we go by the centuries
We are more American ["Somos Mas Americanos"]
We are more American
Than any son of the Anglo-Saxon


They purchased from us, without money, the waters of the Rio Bravo
They took from us Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado
California too, and Nevada
Even with Utah it was not enough—they also took Wyoming from us!

I am of Indian blood—I am Latino—I am Mestizo
We are of all colors and all occupations
And if we go by the centuries
Though it pains The Neighbor
We are more American
Than every last one of the Gringos


[Original Spanish lyrics) ]

Ya me gritaron mil veces
que me regrese a mi tierra
Porque aqui no quepo yo
Quiero recordarle al gringo
Yo no cruce la frontera
La frontera me cruzo
America nacio libre
El hombre la dividio
Ellos pintaron la raya
Para que yo la brincara
Y me llaman invasor
Es un error bien marcado
Nos quitaron ocho estados
Quien es aqui el invasor
Soy extranjero en mi tierra
Y no vengo a darles guerra
Soy hombre trabajador

Y  si no miente la historia
Aqui se sento en la gloria
La poderosa nacion
Entre guerreros valientes
Indios de dos continentes
Mezclados con español
Y si a los siglos nos vamos
Somos mas americanos
Somos mas americanos
Que el hijo de anglosajon


Nos compraron sin dinero
Las aguas del Rio Bravo
Y nos quitaron a Texas
Nuevo Mexico, arizona y
Colarado, tambien volo
California y Nevada con
Utah no se llenaron
El estado de Wyoming
Tambien nos lo arrebataron
Yo soy la sangre del indio
Soy latino soy mestizo
Somos de todos colores
Y de todos los oficios
Y si contamos los siglos
Aunque le duela al vecino
Somos mas americanos
Que todititos los gringos

To refute all the pseudo-historical nonsense in "Somos Mas Americanos" would require another article. Allow me however, to address one.

The song's assertion that "I didn't cross the border, the border crossed me" is pure bunkum. The majority of Mexican-Americans in the U.S. today are NOT descended from the residents of the Southwest in the period from 1836—1853, when it passed (in phases) from Mexican to U.S. control. After all, the members of the Tigres themselves are immigrants from Mexico. And Mexicans have no more right to enter the U.S. than immigrants from Asia, Europe or anywhere else in the world.

But just because this excuse for illegal immigration is bogus does not mean it is not influential. Far from it. False myths can function quite effectively as powerful motivations for mass movements.

"Somos Mas Americanos" does not exist in a vacuum. The Tigres are not fringe, underground musicians. They are in the mainstream of contemporary Latino music.

Immigration enthusiasts fixated on romantic images of the Ellis Island experience had better pay attention too . The difference between immigration a century ago and immigration now is so enormous as to amount to a difference in kind.

Irving Berlin, an immigrant of that bygone era, wrote "God Bless America." Today, the immigrants in Los Tigres del Norte sing "Somos Mas Americanos."

And not only is the song uncontroversial - but they receive an award from the governor of California.

How times have changed!

American citizen Allan Wall has lived in Mexico since 1991,and is permitted to live and work there thanks to a legal work permit issued by the Mexican government. VDARE.COM articles are archived here; his FRONTPAGEMAG.COM articles are archived here.  Readers can contact Allan Wall at [email protected]

October 16, 2002

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