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Pancho Claus - A Bilingual Christmas

Pancho Claus - A Bilingual Christmas

In his more than sixty years as a singer and songwriter, Eduardo Lalo"
Guerrero has given voice to the barrios, weaving their energy, their sorrow,
and especially their humor into songs that made Mexican-Americans across
the Southwest realize their common identity. In a career that spanned the
great depression of the 1930's, the zoot suit riots of the 1940's, the
Chicano movement of the 1960's, and the genuine Mexican-American political
power of the 1970's and 1980's, Guerrero embodied the essential humanity of
the barrios. He transformed what he saw and heard and lived through as a
child, into songs that touched millions of people, and he has become one of
Tucson's ambassadors to the world.

In the spirit of the holidays, one of his songs is presented below. Happy

Pancho Claus (The Night before Christmas)

'Twas the night before Christmas and all through la casa Not a creature
was stirring, Caramba! Que pasa?

Los ninos were all tucked away in their camas, Some in vestidos and
some in pajamas. While Mama worked late in her little cocina, El viejo was
down at the corner cantina.

The stockings were hanging con mucho cuidado, In hopes that St.
Nicholas would feel obligado To bring all the children, both buenos y
malos, A Nice batch of dulces and other regalos. Outside in the yard
there arouse such a grito, That I jumped to my feet like a frightened

I went to the window and looked out afuera, And who in the world, do
you think que era? Saint Nick in a sleigh and a big red sombrero Came
dashing along like a crazy bombero! And pulling his sleigh instead of
venados, Were eight little burros approaching volados.

I watched as they came, and this little hombre was shouting and
whistling and calling by nombre.

Ay, Pancho! Ay, Pepe! Ay, Cuca! Ay, Beto!
Ay, Chato! Ay, Chopo! Maruca and Nieto!

Then standing erect with his hand on his pecho He flew to the top of
our very own techo. With his round little belly like a bowl of jalea, He
struggled to squeeze down our old chimenea.

Then huffing and puffing, at last in our sala, With soot smeared all
over his red suit de gala. He filled the stockings with lovely regalos,
For none of the children had been very malos.

Then chuckling aloud and seeming contento, He turned like a flash and
was gone like the viento.

And I heard him exclaim and this is VERDAD,

Merry Christmas to all, And to All Feliz Navidad!

{Special Thanks to HHS-HEO News e-mail list-  Editor, Carl Montoya} 

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