Songs that remind me of why I moved to Mexico

NOTICE:  Music video links below!  It’s necessary and they should all be virus-free.

I’m working on my blog post about the Tlahualiles fiesta parade in Sahuayo, Michoacan, Mexico, but in the meantime I wrote this little something.  Speakers on 100 to enjoy to its fullest extent!

Music has played a big part in my life.  I couldn’t ever play it, but I’ve sure enjoyed listening to it.  Looking back over time, I find that the thing that can put me into a time and place with the most accuracy is remembering what songs were popular at the time.  Music…and more specifically, lyrics…can often remind me of where I was when, even if my memory can’t always do that for me anymore.

Five years ago, when I started thinking about retirement being in my very near future, there were some songs I remembered that pointed me toward Mexico as a place to live out the so-called golden years, or perhaps just pointed me to go elsewhere.  One that resonated with me the most was one I loved during the time in the late ’90s when I was on the road doing computer installations at motels around the United States.  It pretty much summed up how I felt about growing older and encapsulated my craving to be on the road then and now.

The song I’m talking about is this one by Fastball…”The Way.”  While the occurrence on which the song was based wasn’t really as delightful as my decision to move to Mexico, I still love the sentiment in “The Way.”  And the lyrics “it’s always summer; they’ll never get cold” pretty much explain why I chose the Lake Chapala region of Mexico in which to retire.

So here’s your first video link.  I’ve chosen one showing only the lyrics because the official video for “The Way” isn’t one of my favorites.

In the 1980’s I certainly wasn’t thinking about retirement or Mexico at all.  In fact I was in college at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana.  [No need to start saying “But…but…I thought you were old!!”  I am.  I didn’t start college until I was about 35.]  This next song is also a favorite that may have been hinting at where I was going to land much later in my life.  In this case, I am going to direct you to the video because it has such a Mexican feel to it.  It’s by Depeche Mode and called “Personal Jesus.”

Seven Spanish Angels” was released in 1984, but I did not [for whatever reason] hear it until some 20 years later.  Since I was working and living in Petrified Forest at the time and was pondering on where to move after I retired, this song seemed like it was pointing the way for me a bit.  Besides, I’m one of those folks who think that pretty much anything that Willie Nelson sings is The Truth.

Because country musicians normally enunciate so well, I’m giving you the link for a live duet with Ray Charles and Willie Nelson.

It’s odd how small things from your childhood turn out to influence you as an adult.   For those of us who are early baby boomers, we had our cowboy heroes.  Pretty much everyone I grew up with in the South and Southwest practically worshiped Roy Rogers.  But I was always a Gene Autry girl.  Primarily because my mother grew up in north-central Texas, so Gene was kind of a hometown hero to folks in those parts.   [My father was a damn Yankee in the vernacular of the times, so he had no say-so in this battle.]

Throughout my childhood, I listened to the 78 records that my mother would play on the  phonograph.   One of my favorites was this Gene Autry tune, “South of the Border”:   I still think this might have influenced my decision to retire in Mexico.  I mean, this song held no scary scenarios for me, although it is about a man leaving his “intended” at the altar.  But, HA!, he still regrets it!  Just the kind of remorse from old boyfriends that I looked forward to by moving to a foreign country.

However, probably the song that spoke me the most is this next one “The Seashores of Old Mexico,” because George Strait released it at the time I was thinking of retiring.   I heard it over and over on my radio while driving to and from work at Petrified Forest [the only radio stations I could get were country and western stations].  Written by Merle Haggard many decades earlier and recorded by folks like Hank Snow and Merle himself in a duet with Willie Nelson, my favorite remains Merle’s version.

And for those of you who knew me well in the late 1970’s or 1980’s, yes, there’s a little bit of “Fernando” by ABBA mixed into my memories, too.  Oddly enough, it’s one of the English-language songs I hear the most on my Mexican radio station.  Go figure!


About Barbara

in april of 2008, i moved from the united states to mexico. during my working days, i held lots and lots of jobs....almost all chosen because they were fun or interesting instead of how much they paid. when i started thinking about retirement (in my 40s), i realized that i would never be able to retire to a country where english was the native language. and although i had traveled to every state in the US -- and lived in lots of them -- i had never been outside the country with the exception of canada and mexico. and since you now know that i could never afford to retire in canada (even to the french-speaking area), mexico won by default.
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2 Responses to Songs that remind me of why I moved to Mexico

  1. Craig says:

    Minor age differences aside, I think geographic origin and sustained (youthful) experience predetermine, not just influence, a destination. .As a kid from Chicago in the 70s this song spoke to me without C&W or Swedish pop/disco (ABBA?!?) dialect, imposing gravitational discipline on a tendency to drift aimlessly. Postponed en route at a Texas waypoint for 35 years, eventually we both arrived at this “curious” layover (I resist calling it a final destination), validating the power of combined forces of nature and nurture.

    For your consideration (a bit heavy on aquatic imagery) –

    • Barbara says:

      i know the james taylor song, but somehow it never “spoke” to me. but another one that really did was “Deportee” by The Highwaymen, although honestly it speaks to me more now that i live here.

      my musical tastes are eclectic, as i like to put it, but maybe their just bad or pedestrian! nonetheless, i’m sticking with the songs i chose, because they really DID make a difference to me/in me at some point.

      and ain’t it great that we ran into one another here in mexico?!?

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