Susan Peña’s Favorites: Songs in Spanish and English,
[musical CD]. Lyrics and Letra by the Peña-Govea family and guests. San Francisco: http://www.cdbaby.com , 2005. $14.00.
As a child in Marshall, I learned to sing “Un elefante,” go with my father to the “Tamale Man’s Stand” to get supper, and go with my mother to visit the Tejana who had the most wonderful garden. While teaching school in Raymondville, Texas in the 1970’s I was deeply immersed in Tejano culture, the folks, the food, the language, and the music.
This music brings back those days. Susan Peña has family strung from California to the Texas Valley. The dozen bilingual songs and music are a comfortable mix and your body moves easily in rhythm. You’ll hear guitar, trumpet, accordion, mandolin, and other instruments. We have folk classics and original work, e.g., “Elena la ballena,” “Comin’ ‘Round the Mountain,” “The Green Grass Grows All Around,” and “De Colores.” Dancing instructions come in the lyrics booklet with “La Raspa.” Dancing instructions are part of the song in “Las Chiapanecas.” It is an interesting mixture of works for children and adults. The Peña-Goveas perform in public venues of California, and now they perform in my own living room.