Lourdes Perez | Still Here: Homenaje al Westside de San Antonio

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Still Here: Homenaje al Westside de San Antonio

by Lourdes Perez

The memories of 12 elders from San Antonio's historic Westside musicalized into original.ranchera, tango, jazz, redova, chotis, jitterbug, corrido, trio, bolero, polka, bolero-danzon and huapango and performed by a legendary roster of Westside musicians.
Genre: Latin: Latin Folk
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
clip
1. Parra de la Libertad (feat. Tish Hinojosa & Bene Medina)
3:07 FREE
clip
2. Salimos Ganando (feat. Flaco Jimenez, Eva Ybarra, Henry Gomez, Max Baca & Armando Aussenac)
4:51 FREE
clip
3. Adios Mi Amor (feat. Henry Gomez, Chuy Vasquez & David Gonzalez)
3:42 FREE
clip
4. La Hermosa Casa (feat. Las Tesoros de San Antonio, Eva Ybarra & Ramon Gutierrez)
4:18 FREE
clip
5. El Alameda (feat. Javier Chaparro)
4:05 FREE
clip
6. The Kitchen Sessions (feat. Joe Posada, Arturo "Sauce" Gonzalez & Armando Aussenac)
2:12 FREE
clip
7. Chavela (feat. Enrique Sanchez)
4:02 FREE
clip
8. Still Here (feat. Mildred Hilbrich)
1:44 FREE
clip
9. Piedra por Piedra (feat. Blanca Rodriguez, Al Gomez & Roberto Casillas)
6:08 FREE
clip
10. Adios Mi Amor (Reprise) [feat. Santiago Jimenez, Jr.]
3:40 FREE
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Fruit trees and the secret healings, working and falling in love, displacement and loss, floods, dancing, music and the theaters, el convivir de esos tiempos, Still Here: Homenaje al Westside de San Antonio oral history book and original music CD is a one of a kind treasure. From the historic Mexican Westside of San Antonio, twelve beloved elders - Josie Merla Martin, Angie Merla, Jimmy Kitchen, Guadalupe “Bertha” Rodríguez Flores, Isabel Casillas Sánchez, Enrique Sánchez, Jesse Vidales, Lucy Bazaldúa Dimando, Refugia “Susie” Bazaldúa Koppelman, Lucy Domínguez Pérez, Ray Pérez and Mildred de la Cruz Hilbrich - shared their rich memories of the 30s, 40s and 50s with vocalist/composer Lourdes Pérez who spun their stories into verse and musicalized them, using elements of song genres that each one held dear.

The CD included with this book was recorded, mixed and mastered by Westside born, multiple Grammy-winner Joe Treviño of Blue Cat Studios and features special guest performances by:
Grammy lifetime achievement winner Flaco Jiménez, National Heritage Fellow Santiago Jiménez, Jr., Grammy winner Max Baca, National Heritage Fellow Eva Ybarra, Grammy nominees Joe Posada and Armando Aussenac, national treasures Tish Hinojosa, Bene Medina, Henry Gómez, Chuy Vásquez, David González, Blanca Rodríguez, Rita Vidaurri. Beatriz Llamas, Javier Chaparro, Al Gómez, Sauce González, Ramón Gutierrez, Mildred Hilbrich, Enrique Sánchez, & Roberto Casillas. It is the final recording in the long life and career of Rita Vidaurri, who passed away shortly after the release of the album.

The book contains portraits by photographer native San Antonian Antonia Padilla, as well as vintage photography from the 1930s, 40s and 50s. Foreword by Esperanza Peace & Justice Center director Graciela I. Sánchez, who also grew up on the Westside of San Antonio.

Lyricist, composer, arranger and co-producer Lourdes Pérez was awarded one of the first five Music Fellowships ever given by United States Artists and was named one of the country's "finest living artists."

To order the full color book with music CD enclosed, contact: esperanza@esperanzacenter.org


Lyrics & Translations:

1. Parra de la Libertad
Words & music: Lourdes Pérez

Based on the oral history of
Guadalupe Berta Flores Rodríguez

Performed by:
Vocal: Tish Hinojosa
Guitar: Henry Gomez
Accordion: Bene Medina
Tololoche: Ramón Gutierrez

Arco de las uvas
Fuiste mi trasfondo
Tiempos de la infancia
La calle Torreón
Jugando a enfermera
Trompos y canicas
Corriendo al mandado
Tiempos de ilusión

Dime…
Parra de la libertad
Háblame con la verdad
Dónde están los rosales?
Las moras?

Cuéntale a mi corazón
Cuéntale a mi corazón
Dónde va
Lo que más se añora

Arco de las uvas
Desde la distancia
Tu dulzor me llama
Y en sueños regreso
Y mi mano alcanza
El higo más alto
Y siento en la brisa
De la vida el beso

Parra de la libertad
Háblame con la verdad
Donde están los rosales?
Las moras?
Cuéntale a mi corazón
Cuéntale a mi corazón
Dónde va
Lo que más se añora

Translation:
Grapevine of Freedom

Arch of the grapes
You were my backdrop
Times of my childhood
Torreón Street
Playing nurse
Tops and marbles
Running errands for my mother
Time of possibilities

Tell me…
Grapevine of freedom
Speak to me with the truth
Where are the rose bushes?
The wild berries?

Tell my heart
Tell my heart
Where do the things we long for the most go?

Grapevine of freedom
Speak to me with the truth
Where are the rose bushes?
The wild berries?

Tell my heart
Tell my heart
Where do the things we long for the most go?

Arch of the grapes
From the distance
Your sweetness calls me
And in dreams, I return
And my hand reaches
For the highest fig
And I feel in the breeze
From life, a kiss

Grapevine of freedom
Speak to me with the truth
Where are the rose bushes?
The wild berries?
Tell my heart
Tell my heart
Where do the things we long for the most go?

2. Salimos Ganando
Words & music by Lourdes Pérez

Based on oral histories of
Lucy Dominguez and Ray Pérez

Performed by:
Vocals: Eva Ybarra, Henry Gómez
Guitar: Henry Gomez
Bajo Sexto: Max Baca
Tololoche: Ramón Gutierrez
Main accordion: Eva Ybarra
Accordion in chotis y redova: Flaco Jimenez

Fui huérfano de madre de muy joven
Solito yo aprendí y sobreviví
Durmiendo entre las vías de los trenes
Lo malo de las calles conocí

De niña masticaba el chapopote
Nacida entre los brazos de mi abuela
Mamá necesitaba de mi ayuda
Por eso nunca terminé la escuela

Nos fuimos una noche de paseo
A la lomita de la inspiración
Y contemplando todo San Antonio
Allí fue que nació nuestra canción

La vida nuestra siempre ha sido una aventura
Las cosas que el destino fue tirando
No importa que tan tristes y tan duras
Vestidos de valor
Fuimos bailando... (slows to full stop)

(Jitterbug)

Vivimos por dos meses en un carro
Yo puse a las cortinas alfileres
Y Mon cantaba vestido de charro
“Asina“ trabajando en lo que fuere.

(Chotis)

Regando surcos en Montana o Minnesota
Huyendo de tornados y aguaceros
Sembrando y cultivando betabel
En ranchos con familias de braceros

(Redova)

La vida nuestra ha sido una aventura
Las cosas que el destino fue tirando
No nos causaron penas ni amarguras
En conclusión........
Salimos ganando

Translation:

I was an orphan (of mother) from a young age
I learned and I survived on my own
Sleeping between the tracks of the trains
The worst of the streets I came to know

As a child, I chewed chapopote for gum
Born in the arms of my grandmother
My mother needed my help
That's why I never finished school

We went on a night out
To Inspiration Hill
And contemplating all of San Antonio
That's where our song was born

Our life has always been an adventure
The things that destiny threw at us
No matter how sad or how difficult
Dressed up in courage
We went dancing

(Jitterbug)

We lived for three months in a car
I put pins in the curtains
And Mon sang in charro dress
That was the way
Working at whatever there was

(Chotis)

Watering furrows in Montana or Minnesota
Fleeing tornadoes and downpours
Sowing and growing beets
In ranches with families of the workers

(Redova)

Our life has been an adventure
The things that destiny threw at us
They did not cause us sorrow or bitterness
In conclusion:
We won


3. Adiós Mi Amor
Letra: Jesse Vidales, 1936
Música : Lourdes Pérez, 2017

Performed by:
Vocals: Lourdes Pérez, Henry Gomez, Chuy Vásquez
Guitar: Henry Gomez
Requinto: David González

Adónde irá el ser que adoro tanto
Adónde irá dejándome esta pena
Y un cruel tormento sangrando el corazón
Y un cruel tormento sangrando el corazón
Qué dolor y que tristeza me ha causado su partida
Qué dolor y que tristeza me ha causado su partida

Qué dolor y qué tristeza me causado su partida
Qué dolor y que tristeza me ha causado su partida

Adiós mi amor ya te vas y me dejas
Adiós mi amor
Dulce amor mío
Cómo te amo yo a ti
Cómo te amo yo a ti

Piensa que yo sin ti
La vida no la quiero
Porque mi alma
Te la entregué a ti

Piensa que yo sin ti
La vida no la quiero
Porque mi alma
Te la entregué a ti
Adiós mi amor
Adiós mi amor


Translation:
Goodbye My Love

I wonder where the one I love so much is going
Where is she going
Leaving me this sadness
And a cruel torment
My heart bleeding
And a cruel torment
My heart bleeding

How much pain and
sadness
Your departure has caused me
How much pain and
sadness
Your departure has caused me


Goodbye my love
You are leaving
I stay behind
Goodbye my love
Sweet love of mine

Oh, how much I love you
Oh, how much I love you
Bear in mind that without you
I care not to live
Because my soul
I gave to you
Bear in mind that without you
I care not to live
Because my soul
I gave to you

Goodbye my love
Goodbye my love

4. La Hermosa Casa
Words & music: Lourdes Pérez

Based on the oral history of
Mildred de la Cruz

Vocals: Las Tesoros de San Antonio
(Rita Vidaurri, Blanquita Rodríguez & Beatriz Llamas)
Accordion: Eva Ybarra
Guitar: Henry Gómez
Tololoche: Ramón Gutierrez
Bajo sexto: Max Baca

Ya terminamos la pisca
Los costales de algodón
Subiremos al guayín
Pero antes, una canción
Margarito de la Cruz
Tú fuiste mi inspiración

Hasta la calle Tampico
En el año 17
Iban cargando su casa
Encima de un molinete
Y protegiendo a sus hijas
Muy jovencitas las siete

Venían de Doctor Arroyo
Allá dejaron los ríos
La cordillera, la nieve
Las flores con su rocío
Comenzando un largo viaje
Qué corazones bravíos!

De camino a San Antonio
Hasta Laredo llegaron
Con una bolsita de oro
Que con el tiempo gastaron
Y así, vendiendo pan dulce
Llegar al Norte lograron

La hermosa casa llena de vida
Nunca la olvida mi corazón
Bailando polcas con mi abuelito
Y mi abuelita de inspiración

En una mesa hecha de madera
Y construida con precisión
Hacían encantos muy poderosos
Y se lograba la sanación

Esta es tu casa dijo abuelito
Juntos la hicimos un bello hogar
La hermosa casa que no se olvida
Cómo quisiera yo regresar

Translation:
Finally, we're done picking
The cotton sacks
We’ll load onto the cart
But before that, a song
Margarito de la Cruz
You were my inspiration

All the way to Tampico St.
In the year '17.
They came carrying their house
On top of a molinete
And protecting their daughters
Very young, the seven of them

They came from Doctor Arroyo
They left the rivers behind
The snow, the mountain range
The flowers with their dew
Undertaking a long journey
What brave hearts!

On the way to San Antonio
To Laredo they arrived
With a little bag of gold
That, over time, they spent
And thus selling sweet bread
They achieved reaching the North.

The beautiful house filled with life
My heart will never forget
Dancing polkas with my grandfather
And my grandmother as an inspiration

On a table made of wood
Constructed with precision
They made powerful incantations
And healing was achieved

"This is your house,” said my grandfather
Together we made it a precious home
The beautiful house
That one cannot forget
How I wish to return


5. El Alameda
Words & music: Lourdes Pérez

Based on the oral history of
Josie Merla

Performed by:
Vocals: Lourdes Pérez
Guitar: Henry Gomez
Violin: Javier Chaparro
Piano: Al Gómez

Por La Villita
Viene bajando
Con una pose de torera una mujer
Va hacia el teatro
El Alameda
De taquillera y otros días de ujier
Si usted la viera
Como sonríe
Qué maravilla verla el sábado a las seis
Y aunque su casa
Es bulliciosa
En el teatro el silencio es ley
Cuando las luces
Se han apagado
Y despacito se abre el telón
Un bolero un pasodoble
Una ranchera de Solís
Y en el momento
Ella se transporta

Un bolero un pasodoble
Una ranchera de Solís
Y todito lo demás
No importa!

Un traje negro
Muy elegante
Comprado a plazos
Esta noche va a lucir
Pues los Chavales
Vienen de España
Y sus canciones ella quiere oír
Cuando las luces
Se han apagado
Y despacito se abre el telón

Un bolero un pasodoble
Una ranchera de Solís
Y en el momento
Ella se transporta

Un bolero un pasodoble
Una ranchera de Solís
Y todito lo demás
No importa!

Por la Villita
Viene bajando
Fue secretaria
Y operó un elevador
Lejos de casa
Supo de llantos
Supo de ausencias y de dolor
En sus memorias
De San Antonio
Quedan los ecos
Sigue viva la función
Un bolero un pasodoble
Una ranchera de Solís
Y vean a Merla
Que se transporta
Un bolero un pasodoble
Una ranchera de Solís
Y todito lo demás
Qué importa!

Translation:
She is coming down through La Villita
A woman with the pose of a bullfighter
She is going to the theater
The Alameda
She is a ticket seller
And some days an usher
If you could see her smile!
What a delight to see her on Saturday at six
And although her house is noisy
In the theater, silence is law

When the lights
Go down
And slowly the curtain opens
A bolero
A pasodoble
A ranchera from Solís
And in a moment
She is transported
A bolero
A pasodoble
A ranchera from Solís
And everything else
Does not matter

A black dress
Very elegant
Bought on layaway
Wearing it tonight she will shine
Because "Los Chavales"
Are coming from Spain
And their songs
She wants to hear
When the lights
Go down
And slowly the curtain opens

A bolero
A pasodoble
A ranchera from Solís
And in a moment
She is transported

A bolero
A pasodoble
A ranchera from Solís
And everything else
Does not matter

She is coming down
La Villita
She was once a secretary
And an elevator operator
Away from home she learned about tears
She learned about anguish
And pain
In her memories of San Antonio
The echoes remain
The show is alive

A bolero
A pasodoble
A ranchera from Solís
And look at Merla
How she is transported!

A bolero
A pasodoble
A ranchera from Solís
And everything else
What does it matter?!


6. The Kitchen Sessions
Music by Lourdes Pérez

Based on the oral history of
Jimmy Kitchen

Performed by:
Sax: Joe Posada
Organ: “Sauce” González
Drums: Armando Aussenac

7. Chavela

Words & music by Lourdes Perez

Based on the oral histories and letters from 1948-49 of
Isabel Casillas and Enrique Sánchez

Performed by:
Vocals: Enrique Sánchez, Lourdes Pérez, Henry "Kike" Gomez, Chuy Vásquez
Guitar: Lourdes Pérez
Violin: Javier Chaparro
Tololoche: Ramón Gutierrez


Yo tengo
Tengo yo en mi jardín la flor más bella
Chavela, todo mi amor profundo es para ti
Ya la vida me dio una canción
La que nace de tu corazón
Bailando, siempre te amaré

Ya la vida me dio una canción
La que nace de tu corazón
Bailando, siempre te amaré

Mucho gusto en conocerla, señorita
Ya su mano tan sutil me cautivó

Yo lo he visto a usted por la calle Sabinas
Su sonrisa fue la que me enamoró

Me ha pedido que lo acompañe a La Gloria
A bailar algún bolero, algún danzón
Si supiera que en la gloria ya me encuentro
Este amor parece un sueño, una ilusión

(instrumental)

En dos horas voy a recibir tu carta
Y un minuto se me hace una eternidad

Ya parece un siglo desde que te fuiste
Ojalá te pueda ver en Navidad

No sé que sería de mi si no me quieres
Quiero hablarte de la luna una vez más

Yo me siento como si algo me faltara
De tu lado yo nunca me iré jamás

Yo tengo
Tengo yo en mi jardín la flor más bella
Chavela, todo mi amor profundo es para ti
Ya la vida me dio una canción
La que nace de tu corazón
Bailando
Siempre te amaré

Ya la vida me dio una canción
La que nace de tu corazón
Bailando
Siempre te amaré
Te amaré
Te amaré

Translation:

Chavela (nickname for “Isabel")

I have
I have in my garden the most beautiful flower
Chavela, all my deep love is for you
Life already gave me a song
The one born from your heart
Dancing, I will always love you

Life already gave me a song
The one born from your heart
Dancing, I will always love you

Nice to meet you, Miss (formal)
Already your subtle hand captivated me

I have seen you around Sabinas Street
Your smile was the one that I fell in love with

He has asked me to accompany him to La Gloria (Glory)
To dance a bolero, a danzón

If he only knew that I already find myself in glory
This love seems like a dream, an illusion

(Instrumental)

In two hours I will receive your letter (informal; first name basis)
And a minute is an eternity to me

It seems like a century since you left
I hope I can see you at Christmas

I do not know what would become of me if you do not love me
I want to talk to you about the moon one more time

I feel like something is missing
From your side I will never leave, ever

I have
I have in my garden the most beautiful flower
Chavela, all my deep love is for you
Life already gave me a song
The one born from your heart
Dancing, I will always love you

Life already gave me a song
The one born from your heart
Dancing, I will always love you
I will love you
I will love you

8. Still Here
Words by Lourdes Perez

Tribute to/based on the oral history of
Angie Merla

Performed by:
Spoken word: Mildred Hilbrich
Ambient accordion: Santiago Jiménez, Jr.

Four twenty five South Pecos Street
Is no longer
Angelita Tovar Hernández
Still here

Your memory holds
The original colors
Scent of crepe paper roses
Dipped in wax

The house of sixteen 'laughters'
Your mother's hands
The smile of your late brother
José Ángel

It was 1957
Your life cut in half
By the freeway
The broken compass
That remapped your history
And separated you
From friends and loved ones

Cobblestones
Underneath paved streets
Of San Antonio's downtown

Preserve the tip toe
Sounds of tiny shoes
Of a little girl

Taught to walk and know
Her surroundings
Fearlessly

Tucked carefully in a box
Under the bar, a baby
In 1949
At Hernández' Place
A witness

Four twenty five South Pecos Street
Is no longer
Angelita Tovar Hernández
Still here

9. Piedra por Piedra
Words & music by Lourdes Pérez

Based on the oral history of
Lucy and Susie Bazaldúa

Vocals: Blanquita Rodríguez & Lourdes Pérez
Guitar: Henry Gómez
Harp: Roberto Casillas
Trumpets: Al Gómez

De mi madre, aroma de dalias
De mi padre, pantalón ranchero
De Santita, quedó la inocencia
Y en el San Fernando
Lo que tanto quiero

Las raíces de donde venimos
El caliche del barrio "La Blanca"
Son mi orgullo, mi lindo pasado
Porque lo que fuimos
El tiempo no arranca

De mi adorada familia
Heredé la picardía
Mi padre piedra por piedra
Con magia y masonería
Nos enseñó a respetarnos
Y a querer lo mejicano
Tener la mirada en alto
Y honestidad en las manos
Tener la mirada en alto
Y honestidad en las manos

A sus vecinos brindaba
En tiempos de navidad
Canastas llenas de frutas
Amor y fraternidad
Montaba en el patio un cine
Y allí en la calle Obregón
Los niños se deleitaban
Con lucha libre y acción
Los niños se deleitaban
Con lucha libre y acción

Ven hermano, ponte el tando
Ya pronto va a comenzar
La polca de Sam Vallejo
Y allí vamos a estrenar
Ven hermano, ponte el tando
Ya pronto va a comenzar
La polca de Sam Vallejo
Y allí vamos a estrenar

Remueve los cueros
Prepara el camión
Remueve los cueros
Prepara el camión

Refugia Rosario Maria de Jesús
Va de vendedora
Le ha hecho una capa a su hermana, Cachila
La que más adora

Los manteles y jarritos
Que nuestra casa adornaban
Atesoran los recuerdos
De una vida bien llevada

El mundo será bonito
Pero nada se compara
Con todo lo que tenemos
En la tierra mejicana


Translation:
From my mother, the scent of dahlias
From my father, the trousers of a rancher
From Santita, only the innocence remained
And in the San Fernando* cemetery
That which I love so much

The roots of where we come from
The gravel road of "La Blanca" neighborhood
They are my pride, my beautiful past
Because who we were
Time cannot tear from us

From my adorable family
I inherited the mischievousness
My father, stone by stone
With magic and masonry
Taught us to respect ourselves
And to love what is Mexican
To hold the head up high
And have honesty in the hands

To his friends he would bring
At Christmas time
Baskets filled with fruit
Love and fraternity

He used to make a movie theater in the front yard
And there, on Obregón Street
Children would delight themselves with Mexican
wrestling

Come on, brother
Put your hat on
The polka of Sam Vallejo is taking place
And we are going to debut
Come on, brother
Put your hat on
The polka of Sam Vallejo is taking place
And we are going to debut

Remove the leather and prepare the truck!
Remove the leather and prepare the truck!

Refugia Rosario Maria de Jesus
Is walking around being a saleswoman
She made a cape for her sister Cachila
The one she loves the most.

The table clothes and the little jars
That adorned our house
Treasure the memories of a well lived life
The world may be beautiful
But nothing compares
With all that we have
In our Mexican land

10. Adiós Mi Amor (Reprise)
Letra: Jesse Vidales, 1936
Música : Lourdes Pérez, 2017

Performed by:
Vocals: Lourdes Pérez
Guitar: Henry Gomez
Accordion: Santiago Jiménez, Jr.

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