Resources for Loss

"La Golondrina" by Mariachi Vargas, contributed by Zavier Chavez (2019)

For my contribution, I have chosen "La Golondrina." This song is a traditional Mexican folk song sung in different occasions. It was originally written by Narciso Serradell Sevilla in the 1860s after being exiled from Mexico due to invasion from the French. Many of his fellow exiled Mexicans unified through this song, and it became a song of solidarity amongst the people. My family often plays this song at funerals as well, but I cannot say if that's a universal thing or just my family. Regardless, it exists as an important folk song in Mexican culture that has been recorded many times in many different styles. I have chosen the version by Mariachi Vargas simply because it is most familiar to me.

The song uses the image of a migrated swallow that must leave its home as a parallel to the Mexicans who had to leave their motherland. In the funeral setting, the patria idolatrada can refer to Earth, which the migration referring to the passing into heaven. As for the actual lyrics, here they are along with a rough translation:


A donde irá
veloz y fatigada
la golondrina
que de aquí se va
por si en el viento
se hallara extraviada
buscando abrigo
y no lo encontrara.

Junto a mi lecho
le pondré su nido
en donde pueda
la estación pasar
también yo estoy
en la región perdido
O Cielo Santo!
y sin poder volar.

Deje también
mi patria idolatrada
esa mansión
que me miró nacer
mi vida es hoy
errante y angustida
y ya no puedo
a mi mansión volver.

Ave querida
amada peregrina
mi corazón
al tuyo acercare
voy recordando
tierna golondrina
my patria y llorare.


Where can it go
rushed and fatigued
the swallow
passing by
tossed by the wind
looking so lost
with nowhere to hide.

By my bed
I'll put your nest
until the season passes.
I too, O heaven!
am lost in this place
unable to fly.

Leave, too
my beloved homeland,
that home
that saw my birth.
My life today
is wandering, anguished.
I cannot
return home.

Dearest bird
beloved pilgrim,
my heart
nigh to yours;
tender swallow,
my homeland and cry.

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