México Lindo y Querido, written and composed by Jesús “Chucho” Monge (1910 – 1964), has become established as one of most esteemed mariachi ballads of all time. It’s a popular song that identifies with Mexico across the Hispanic world, carrying a melody which captures the affection many hold for these lands, in particular through its poignant chorus:
México Lindo y Querido
si muero lejos de ti
que digan que estoy dormido
y que me traigan aquí
The ballad was first made famous by Jorge Negrete (1911 – 1953) who ironically died outside of Mexico—succumbing to hepatitis in Los Angeles at the young age of 42—and his body was repatriated to rest at the artists’ corner of El Panteón Jardín in Mexico City. Even today, his name continues to be a musical icon in Mexico. The original version of his ballad can he heard here on YouTube.
The song itself lives on as a centerpiece number for mariachi bands, and has also been continually covered by a roll-call of famous Mexican musicians; the most recognizable contemporary version is the one performed by Vicente Fernandez.
Another contemporary recording of the ballad has been produced by “Playing For Change”—who sent a team across Mexico recording the ballad as interpreted by over 70 independent Mexican musicians from all walks of life and combining the work into this extraordinary music video: