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La Bamba

Haven't you listen to it yet?

You may listen to one of the hit versions of La Bamba, remember Ritchie Valens'?,

or perhaps you would prefer to have it plain, that is, one of La Bamba's "decaf"  electronic versions?

 Aha!... you want to listen to the real thing, one of the full regional interpretations of  La Bamba , played with Arp and sang by locals ?


La Bamba is supposed to have been written by "El Guaruso", a native from Tlalixcoyan nearby Veracruz, on or about the 17th of May 1683, as a result of all preparation carried out by locals in the Hacienda Malibrán to defend themselves of an attack by epoch-famous pirate Lorenzo de Graft "Lorencillo".

On 17th of May 1683, Lorencillo's fleet: 11 vessels and about 1200 men, having been spotted on the horizon by locals, warning was immediately given to the Hacienda where people quickly gathered at the toll of a bell to let them know the news: Lorencillo was about to strike the area and they were all in for robbery, murder and assault on local women.

Spanish origin Doña Beatríz del Real, owner of Hacienda Malibrán and mulatto Malanga his loyal foreman, Doña Beatriz thought that people would not be able to fight Lorencillo back because they were not mariners, however, mulatto Malanga replied time and again that if they were not ... they will have to become... to defend their people, after a bit of hesitating they decided to prepare their defense, just to find out when they were "ready", that Lorencillo and his people had passed through .... in their way to Veracruz about 10 miles north.

All of the above was observed by El Guaruso who was a self-made musician that improvised better than wrote music verse accompanied by his Jarana (local guitar). It is said that with the taking of the bell's toll call event, the brave stand of people pretending to become mariners to fight Lorencillo and some others facts, The Guaruso quickly composed La Bamba and played it right away during the night "celebration" they had at the Hacienda... probably at that very same hour, Lorencillo was taking Veracruz, killing some 300 people and doing during four days what pirates did best... robbery, murder and assault on local women, they fled when they spotted the sails of the spanish fleet commanded by Diego Zaldívar.

On the upper left, San Juan de Ulúa Island.

Below in the picture above, the wall surrounding Veracruz for defense purposes can be seen. decision for the construction of the wall was taken in 1684, a year after Lorencillo's attack.

Lorencillo's raid to Veracruz made authorities react and decide to finish construction of the San Juan de Ulúa fortress, started back somewhere around 1565.

Lorencillo's assault to Veracruz is said to have been design at the Roatán Island among a group of pirate leaders like Agrammont, Lorencillo, Van Horn, Michel and Pedro Bot.

Pirates attraction for Veracruz must have been due to the fact that from there, spaniards embarked gold and wealth of whatever value for them, to be taken to Spain.

Before Lorencillo, back in 1568, pirate Juan Aquines Acle disembarked at San Juan de Ulúa but was quickly ushered out by Spanish General Francisco de Luján and his fleet of 23 vessels and well trained crew sank all of the pirate's vessels.


Bamba comes from: Bambarria, that apparently refers to efforts made to prevent something... but after it has actually happened!

Popular believe is that the song's name was applied in a clear address to Veracruz authorities eagerly procuring the defense of the port... when it no longer was in danger.

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