Considering our current immigration kerfuffle in this country, I thought I’d focus on Mexican-American music. We begin with a peppy little Tex-Mex number, in English and Spanish, by Los 3 Divas. And then we’ve got the song that won’t be on Dubya’s iPod, “Nuestro Himno.”
There’s been a ridiculous amount of focus on this pleasant Spanish rendition of our terrible, terrible national anthem (which should really be changed to “America the Beautiful”) by a bunch of pop stars. “Nuestro Himno” is to the immigration debate as Jessica Lynch is to the discussion of the Iraq War. Nevertheless, it’s an interesting little artifact and not a bad listen.
Bonus World Music: Abayudaya
Anyone who went to Hebrew school or a Jewish summer camp knows the song “Hinei Ma Tov (הִנֵה מָה-טוֹב) (Psalm 133), but you’ve probably never heard it like this. That’s because this version is performed by the Abayudaya, a small community of Luganda-speaking Ugandans who adopted Judaism in 1919. Though they are not ethnically related to other Jews and haven’t been adopted into any existing Jewish community, they have taken on the obligations of kashrus, shabbos and circumcision, so I’m not sure whether they would be considered Jewish according to Halakha. In any case, their music is a curious hybrid of Hebrew scripture with African sounds.