Day 1: La Cucaracha

Okay, if you’ll remember, we’re doing this 25 songs, 25 days challenge – cause no way can any of us make an entire month here – in which we discuss songs.  Songs that are meaningful based on some random list of criteria, like songs that remind you of ex-boyfriends (anything by Taylor Swift will do, won’t it?) or your parents (I’m bettin’ on Twindaddy’s being “A Boy Named Sue”), etc.

First prompt asks for a song from your childhood AND an explanation of why you picked it.  In other words essay, not fill in the blank, students.  To that I say – what childhood?  I was raised by wolves until I was four.  Then I was captured by Disney and forced to slave 18 hours a day in a sweat shop making Mickey Mouse ears.  Until I escaped and ran away to Vegas where I made a living as a gambler and doled out advice to Kenny Rogers.  Know when to hold ’em.  Know when to fold ’em.

I bet Twindaddy doesn't even know how to play poker.  Wuss.

I bet Twindaddy doesn’t even know how to play poker. Wuss.

Okay, fine, my childhood was not that interesting.  I was born in 1976, back before The Internet.  Yea, truly, it wast the dark ages.  Back then we didn’t need artists like Lady Gaga to be bizarre.  We had Madonna and Cyndi Lauper and we were HAPPY, darn it.

At first I thought I would talk about Cyndi, cause I remember how much I loved her song “She Bop”.  I sang that song like I was the most awesome nine-year-old on the planet.  This was before I realized what the song was about.  Thanks a lot, Cracked.

Ooops I got it past the censors, boop boop!

Ooops I got it past the censors, boop boop!

Speaking of disillusionment, in kindergarten we all sang a song called “La cucaracha”, a charming little Spanish song about . . . wait, what?  Okay, here are the lyrics as I remember singing them as a child.

La cucaracha, La cucaracha

Blah blah blady blady blah

Yo do mo pretty

Oh yeah me quatro

La la la la la la la

Or something like that.  In other words, I had no idea what I was singing.  And likely neither did the teacher, unless she had some sort of twisted sense of humor.  Here are the Spanish lyrics I learned in Spanish class in high school (this was the coolest day of Spanish class ever).

La cucaracha, La cucaracha

Yo no puede caminar

Porque no tiene, porque le falta

Cigarillos de fumar

Translation? According to my Spanish teacher, this was a song about a prostitute who could not walk because she did not have her weed.  Cockroach was not a bug, it was another word for marijuana as in “Pass me that roach, man.”  Yet for some reason they use cigarettes in the last line.

Stoned hobo cockroach.  See, this is why I hate bugs.

Stoned hobo cockroach. See, this is why I hate bugs.

Anyway, just wow.  I mean, how on earth is this song even remotely appropriate for little kids?  I mean, sure we didn’t know what we were singing (we were a bunch of little whitey kids mostly) but seriously?  Then I started looking up tthe song on the Internet just now and guess what I found?  That wasn’t true EITHER.  I’m starting to feel like I did when I realized that Jeremiah the Bullfrog shared his mighty fine wine, not that we had a mighty fine time.  (Nice one, music teacher.)

It's also a dance!  That apparently you do stoned!

It’s also a dance! That apparently you do stoned!

I suppose technically it is hard to tell what is true, since there are so many versions.  Most of them use marijuana instead of cigarillos, so I didn’t even have the right Spanish lines.  Others (the cleaned up ones) just talk about a cockroach that loses its leg and can’t walk.  Another version is about a cockroach who has had too much weed and can’t walk.  I wonder if the cockroach smoked a bowl while Jeremiah drank?  If so, I bet they had a mighty fine time.

Joyyyyy to the worlllld mannnnn . . .

Joyyyyy to the worlllld mannnnn . . .

So what is the lesson I learned as a child from this “children’s song”?  You cannot trust adults, they will only lie to you.  And they won’t share their wine either.  Adults stink.  La la la!

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22 responses

  1. Thanks for the history lesson…and the earworm.

    1. la cucaracha l cucaracha, I just caught it in a trap. And now I’ll kill it because it’s vermin. La la la la la la la la.

  2. I distrusted all adults after finding out the truth about the tooth fairy…

      1. You dont wanna know.

        1. Well as long as it’s not something awful like saying she doesn’t exist. Cause someone tried that with Santa, and I did NOT buy it. He is totes real. The reindeer aren’t, of course, don’t be ridiculous. But Santa and the Tooth Fairy are. Oh, did you also know they’ve been having an affair for years? Don’t tell Mrs. Claus.

          1. Nothing is sacred anymore!

  3. We used to sing “La Vie En Rose” in French class in high school.

    1. The life of Rose? I don’t know much French. What was that about – dare I ask?

      1. Dammit, that’s not it. I’ll have to see if I can figure out what it was, but it was about a hooker. We also sang French drinking songs. Our teacher was a riot.

  4. I used to sing “La cucaracha.” Something like, “La cucaracha, La cucaracha, running up and down the wall. La cucaracha, La cucaracha, me I love you not at all.”

    I assume that one IS about a cockroach. Then again, I could be wrong. What bothers me most is that I still remember it. Thanks for putting that gem of an earworm in my head today. 😉

    1. You’re welcome. I’m sure I’ll have another one for you tomorrow. Whatever it is I’m supposed to have a song about . . .

  5. I don’t think you’re taking this challenge seriously.
    Keep it up! 😀

    1. As always. Will do! Do de do de do de dooo.

  6. I would totally hang out with that stoned bug guy, he looks cool.

    1. I’d go after him with pesticide.

  7. I wonder why Kenny Rogers got Michael McDonald to stand in for him on The Gambler album cover? That was well before he ruined his face with that plastic surgery….

    1. You should see the video. It looks like he’s had several injections of Botox. His expression never changes throughout the entire thing. Creepy.

  8. Seems like most adults, especially now, just let their children sing and dance to songs that maybe sound okay, but they never try to really understand what are being said in those songs…

    As for the challenge, whew, I’m keeping off this one. I’ve just parrticipated–er–I am still participating in one that was supposed to have ended yesterday. My current post is my pitiful public apology of sorts…LOL!!!

    1. No kidding. I’m pretty sure most people are like, frack, she’d doing 25 posts in a row? And putting horrible songs in our heads too? Crap in a hat.

      But don’t blame me. Blame TD. He was the one to first steal the idea.

  9. Ha! That’s a funny story Alice. I knew the song “La cucaracha” but had no knowldge of it’s meaning – cute. When I was young I loved the song “Cracklin’ Rosie” by Neil Diamond. I thought it was a neat song about a man(a hobo travelling the rails) and a woman who were friends. My Mum was rather prudish and she would tell me to stop singing that song as it wasn’t nice. But she would never tell me why, so I kept singing it. Likely more so since she told me to stop. She wouldn’t force her will on me as she was not interested in telling me why it was “bad”. Probably a good idea as it would have delighted me. It wasn’t until I was an adult that someone told me it was a song about a prostitute named Rosie and I realized that the lyrics all had double meanings like:

    Cracklin’ Rosie get on board
    Were gonna ride till there ain’t no more to go
    taking it slow and lord don’t you know
    Have me a time with a poor mans lady

    Ha! I’ll still sing it sometimes to annoy my Mum.

    1. Cracklin’ Rosie! Ack! Neil Diamond drives me up a wall! Granted that might be because my mother liked listening to him so much and I was certain as a teenager I would drop into a neverending coma. But that’s pretty funny.

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