Años Perdidos

by Jose Luis Lepe

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about

In the oral tradition of storytelling, the Corrido stands as an enduring historical musical form in Mexican culture that has documented the daily lives of countless authors and their subjects. It is precisely this tradition that Jose Luis Lepe imaginatively applies in his debut album, Años Perdidos. In the epic poetic prose that distinguishes the traditional Corrido, Lepe brings to life the characters he’s met along the way and the loves lost and gained, all melded with a ferocious pride for the homeland. The songs are peppered with unforgettable colloquial references such as chicken hawks, wet steel (a .45 caliber pistol), mule carts and many others. All these references share equal parts in the narrative with the Accordion and Bajo Sexto as they fill the empty canvas Lepe has chosen for his stories. The fascinating aspect of Años Perdidos is the nostalgic tone that seeps into every word that Lepe utters—a tone that is perfectly reflected in the album’s title: The Lost Years.

credits

released April 15, 2011

All Songs written by: Jose Luis Lepe.

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LMS Records Los Angeles, California

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Track Name: Años Perdidos
En los jardines mas floridos de mi pueblo
corte las flores mas hermosas que fui hallando
para ponerlas en la frente de mi madre
un diez de mayo que se estaba celebrando

Andando lejos me di cuenta que los anos
son gotas de agua que al juntarse dan problemas
en la presencia de mi padre y mis hermanos
rodo mi llanto porque no halle cosas buenas

Arrepentido por los anos que se fueron
les di un abrazo y me les puse de rodillas
aquellos ojos que partir un dia me vieron
tenian la marca de mi ausencia en sus mejillas

Senti tristeza pero ya no habia remedio
el tiempo pasa y tiene que cobrar lo suyo
como un tesoro conservaban los juguetes
que cuando nino yo jugaba con orgullo

Cuando uno es joven se ilusiona de la nada
sin importarle que alguien llore su destino
las oraciones de mi madre me llamaban
y unas mujeres me tapaban el camino.

Aquellos hijos que anden lejos de sus padres
hagan esfuerzos por volver a su querencia
no esperen mucho porque puede ser muy tarde
y encuentren cosas que remuerdan su conciencia


English Translation:

In the most florid gardens of my home town
I cut the most precious flowers I could find
To place them in front of my mother
On the 10th of May celebration

As years go by I realize that years
Are water droplets that combined create problems
In the presence of my father and my brothers
My tears rolled because I did not find good memories

Repentant for the years that passed by
I embraced them and got down on my knees
The eyes that once saw me leave
Had the scars of my absence on their faces

I felt sad, but what could I do?
Time passes and life takes over you
Like a treasure, they had preserved the toys
That I proudly played with as a boy

As a youth, it’s so easy to dream and hope
Without caring if anyone cries on our behalf
My mother’s prayers would call to me
But women would get in my way

For those children far away from their folks
Make an effort to return to their loving arms
Don’t wait too long or it may be too late
And you’ll end up with so much guilt
Track Name: Luis Anaya Fregoso
Voy a cantar el corrido
de Luis Anaya Fregoso
se le acabo la existencia
un dia que limpiaba un pozo
siendo el hombre precavido
entro a lo mas peligroso

Metio hasta el fondo del pozo
la pompa de gasolina
no pudo darse la idea
esta persona tan fina
que con los gases del humo
un pozo se contamina

Con el cuerpo sin controles
quiso subir la escalera
y cuando estaba en peligro
no habia nadie que lo viera
y los planes que tenia
salieron de otra manera

Cayo al fondo de cabeza
con la sangre envenenada
no pudo alcanzar la mano
cuando su hija se la daba
le faltaban escalones
a la escalera mentada

Maldito pozo artesano
que ya no te hagan confianza
te llevastes a un paisano
por culpa de una estramancia
que puso para limpiarte
y no midio la distancia

No todo el tiempo la muerte
anda en balas de casquillo
mirenle bien los disfraces
porque no ensena el colmillo
adios al Rodeo Jalisco
municipio de Atenguillo


English Translation:

I’m going to sing the corrido
Of Luis Anaya Fregoso
His life ended
One day as he cleaned a well
Being a pre-cautious man
He walked into the mouth of danger

Up to the end of the well he placed
The gasoline pump
This refined person
Did not foresee
That with the gases from smoke
The well becomes polluted

Losing control of his body
He tried to climb the ladder
In the middle of danger
No one could see him
And the plans he had made
Turned out differently

He fell in headfirst
His blood poisoned
He could not reach for the hand
That his daughter stretched out for him
Some steps were missing
From the mentioned ladder

Damned artesian well
Let no one trust you again
You took a fellow compatriot
Because of the substance
That he used to clean you
But did not measure the distance

Death does not always come
Encased in bullet shells
Look closely at all its disguises
Because he won’t show his fangs
Goodbye to Rodeo Jalisco
In the town of Atenguillo
Track Name: El Rebelde
Soy un hombre muy rebelde
igual que una mula bruta
el que pretenda a esa dama
conmigo se la disputa

Cien porciento Mexicano
pariente de Montezuma
no le temo a los demonios
ni al anima de Zayula

El que se me ponga perro
lo despacho a los infiernos
porque si lo dejo vivo
puede resultar con cuernos

Con el pantalon bien puesto
donde quiera me paseo
con billetes en la bolsa
para no verme tan feo

Yo cargo muchos casquillos
repletos de dinamita
por si algunos fulanillos
ofenden a la senorita

El arma que yo me porto
no es cualquier fierro mojoso
es una .45
con el canon venenoso

Cuando le jalo el gatillo
me quieren hacer compadre
pero la mujer bonita
no me gusta pa comadre


English Translation:

I am a very rebellious man
Same as a dumb mule
And whomever woos that lady
With me he’ll dispute

100 percent Mexican
Descendant from Montezuma
I’m not scared of demons
Or the ghost from Zayula

Those who get hardheaded
I’ll send off to hell
Because if I leave them alive
They could grow horns

With my pants on firmly
I’ll trod along anywhere
With some bills in my pocket
To make me look fair

I carry tons of shells
Filled with dynamite
In case any so and so
Offend my lady

The weapon I sport
Is not any mouldy metal
It’s a .forty-five
With a venomous barrel

When I pull the trigger
The want to be my buddy
But a beautiful woman
I don’t like as a friend
Track Name: Recordando A Celia
Soy el senor Jose Lepe
y quiero hacerle un corrido
a una hermanita que tuve
sin haberla conocido
mi madre nunca nos dijo
de lo que habia sucedido

Al casarse con mi padre
tuvo su primer criatura
hay gente que nos platica
con tristeza y amargura
que un descuido de mi madre
la mando a la sepultura

La nina tenia dos anos
cuando nacio mi otro hermano
mi madre se fue a traer agua
al arroyo mas cercano
la nina quedo en peligro
y nadie le echo una mano

Uno nueve cuatro y ocho
fue un ano de mala suerte
la nina le puso fuego
a una hornilla de juguete
se le prendio su vestido
y eso le causo la muerte

Los vecinos escucharon
cuando la nina gritaba
lo primero que pensaron
que mi mama le pegaba
y en vez de correr dijeron
mira que mujer tan brava

Una vez oi a mi padre
comentarselo a un amigo
que por no estar el presente
su hija murio sin auxilio
en Suelos Duros, Jalisco
ranchito donde yo vivo

Voy a dejar el escrito
a ver si aprende la gente
a retirar del peligro
a los ninos inocentes
perdon madre si te ofendo
yo se que fue un accidente


English Translation:

I am Mr. Jose Lepe
And I want to sing a corrido
To a little sister I had
Without ever meeting her
My mother never told us
Of what had occurred

After marrying my father
They had their first child
There are people who tell us
With sadness and bitterness
That an oversight by my mother
Sent her to her grave

The girl was two years old
When my brother was born
My mother went to gather water
From the nearest stream
Leaving the child in danger
And nobody gave her a hand

One nine four and eight
Was a year of bad luck
The child tried to light up
A toy stove
Her dress catching fire
Causing her death

The neighbors heard it all
As the child screamed
But the first thought that came to their minds
Was that my mother was hitting her
And instead of going to help her they said
That woman is mean

Once I heard my father
Comment to a friend
That because he was not there
His daughter died without any help
In Suelos Duros, Jalisco
The small ranch where I live

I’ll leave it written
Hoping that people will learn
To keep innocent children
Away from danger
I’m sorry mother if I offend you
I know that it was an accident
Track Name: El Gavilancillo
Soy como los gavilanes
que traen el pico afilado
no cargo garras prestadas
y en cualquier corral me paro

Tengo gustos especiales
no cualquier pichon me llevo
ando buscando pollitas
de las que no han puesto huevo

Vijilando gallineros
me divierto muy a gusto
tengo que amansar los gallos
pa que no me den un susto

Si me sorprende un coyote
correteando mi pollita
no ha de faltar zopilote
que consuele a la viudita

Las gallinas cuando quieren
dejan al gallo dormido
brincan al corral ajeno
y se meten a otro nido

Yo por esa gallinita
dejaria de ser pollero
es la que me trae con ganas
de asaltar el gallinero


English Translation:

I am like a hawk
With a sharpened beak
I don’t carry borrowed claws
And I’ll stand in any corral

I have special tastes
I don’t take just any pigeon
I am looking for chicks
That have yet to lay an egg

Keeping an eye on chicken shacks
I enjoy very much
I have to tame the roosters
So they don’t catch me by surprise

If a coyote startles me
Chasing my chick
There is no lack of vultures
To console the widow

When the hens want
They leave the roosters sleeping
Jump over to a different corral
And climb into another nest

For that little chicken
I’d quit being a poulterer
She’s the one that provokes me
Into storming the chicken shack
Track Name: La Carreta
Por los caminos que la gente echo al olvido
hay unas huellas de dos ruedas de carreta
ano con ano se escuchaba el rechinido
cuando mi abuelo levantaba su cosecha

Un par de mulas ensillaba muy temprano
encaramado por un lado de mi abuela
con la carreta engrasada de los ejes
echaban vueltas de la casa a la parcela

Cortando elotes y flores de calabaza
y frijol tierno con la vaina madurando
no se bajaba de la espalda su escopeta
por si un venado se anduviera atravesando

Con los becerros dentro de un corral de piedra
metian las vacas para llevarse la leche
en una cueva escondian alcohol de cana
pa que mi abuela se aventara un pajarete

No se me olvidan los andenes de las mulas
ni la carreta con el cargamento encima
se fueron lejos los hermanos de mi padre
y abandonaron sus labores de rutina

Aquellos tiempos tan bonitos ya no vuelven
ni mis abuelos ni mis padres tienen vida
pa que las huellas de esas ruedas se conserven
voy cancelando las entradas y salidas


English Translation:

Through the roads that people have forgotten
There are tracks from two wheels on a cart
Year after year the screeching could be heard
When my grandpa harvested his fields

A pair of mules he’d saddle up early ‘morn
Lifted up to mount by my grandma
With the cart greased up by the axel
Made round trips from the house to the plot

Cutting corncob and pumpkin flowers
And tender beans with ripened pods
His rifle never came down from his back
In case a deer crossed his path

With the calfs inside a stone corral
Brought in the cows so they could milk them
In a cave they’d hide the cane wine
So my grandma could sneak a morning drink

I don’t forget the mules’ path
Nor the cart or the cargo on top
My father’s brothers moved very far away
And left their routine labor

Those precious moments will not come back
Neither grand folks nor my parents are alive
So that those cart tracks could be preserved
I’m blocking entrances and exits
Track Name: Gracielita
Que bonitos ojos tienes Gracielita
que parecen dos gotitas de café
fue mi Dios el que los puso en tu carita
fue mi suerte porque yo los encontre

Tus ojitos lanzan flechas cuando miran
y una de ellas me pego en el Corazon
miraditas que por poco me asesinan
y que pueden ser tambien mi salvacion

Quien le puso tanta miel a tu boquita
quien te puso Gracielita linda flor
yo quisiera tener alas de abejita
y cuidar el panalito de tu amor

Campos verdes, arroyuelos y jardines
estan tristes por la flor que les corte
una rosa me negaba su perfume
y espinandome las manos lo logre

Gracielita no te vistas mas de negro
porque me haces recordar algo muy cruel
tus encantos me gobiernan el cerebro
y me traen como muneco de papel


English Translation:

What beautiful eyes you have Gracielita
They look like two coffee drops
It was my God who put them on your face
It was my luck because I found them

Your eyes shoot flames when they stare
And one of them hit me square in the heart
Little stares that very nearly kill me
But can also save my life

Who put so much honey on your lips
Who named you Gracielita little flower
I wish I had little bee wings
To guard your little honeycomb of love

Green lawns, streams and gardens
Are saddened by the flower that I cut
A rose that was denying me her fragrance
I finally picked, pricking my hands

Gracielita Don’t wear black no more
Because It reminds of something cruel
Your charms rule my brain
Turning me into a paper doll
Track Name: El Bocho De Mexicali
Anduvo por Mexicali
en un bochito trepada
repartiendo Tupperwares
nos vendia y otros fiaba

Nunca le midio el aceite
ni le cambio bateria
a veces se le apagaba
a veces nunca prendia

Maria nunca fue conforme
le hacia cosquillas el norte
le tuvo miedo al coyote
y entro con un pasaporte

Venia con el gusanito
de hacer viajes a Las Vegas
donde los casinos pagan
con lo mismo que otros juegan

Tenia bastante perico
y era muy inteligente
quien sabe como le haria
pero convencia a la gente

Esa carretera quince
se la sabe de memoria
tantas idas y venidas
ya no caben en la historia

Adios Mariquita Vega
de tu pasaje me alejo
tu bocho de Mexicali
se fue para el fierro Viejo


English Translation:

She roamed through Mexicali
Climbed inside a buggy
Distributing Tupperware
Some sold, some on credit

Never measured the oil
Or changed the battery
Sometimes it’d turn off
Sometimes it’d never start

Maria was never content
The north tickled her
But she feared the coyote
So she entered with a passport

She came with the idea
Of making trips to Las Vegas
Where the Casinos pay
With what others gamble

She carried a lot of blow
And was very smart
Who knows how she did it
But she had a way of convincing people

The Interstate 15
She knows it by heart
All the comings and goings
Don’t fit in this story

Goodbye Mariquita Vega
From your story I depart
And your buggy from Mexicali
Has gone to the old junkyard
Track Name: Zacatecano
Voy a cantarle una cansion
a un pedacito de la patria mexicana
hasta me brinca el corazon
cuando recuerdo mi tierra zacatecana

Un tamborazo regional
quiero que venga y acompane mis cantares
dos garrafones de mescal
me haran que grite dichos y barbaridades


Viva la tierra del nopal
voy pregonando por pueblitos y ciudades
y no me digan que hago mal
si me emborracho entre parientes y amistades

En Zacatecas yo naci
comiendo tunas agarre el color que tengo
no me averguenzo ser de aqui
soy mexicano y de nopales me mantengo

Echenle golpes al tambor
haganme ruido clarinets y trompetas
y no me lo hagan de favor
que aqui hay billetes para tapizar banquetas


Vengan mujeres a bailar
y taconeenle que la fiesta va empezando
y cuando empiecen a sudar
echense un trago pero sigan zapateando

Denle un soplido al saxofon
y no se aguiten ni se sientan ofendidos
saquenle el mojo a ese trombon
que me rebuznen esos fierros retorcidos

I’m going to sing a song
To a tiny piece of the Mexican homeland
My heart skips a beat
When I remember my Zacatecan land

I want a Regional Marching band
To join me in my song
Two gallons of Mescal
Will make me scream expressions
And stupidities

Viva the land of the “nopal”
I proclaim around towns and cities
And don’t say I’m in the wrong
If I get drunk amongst friends and family

I was born in Zacatecas
Eating tunas is how I got this skin color
I’m not embarrassed to be from here
I’m Mexican and on nopales I survive

Let the band hit those drums
Clarinets and the trumpets make noise
And don’t do it as a favor
Because there’s enough cash here to upholster a banquet

Come and dance my ladies
And click your heels that the party is starting
And when you start to sweat
Have a drink but keep on clicking your heels

Someone blow on the Sax
And don’t get worked up or feel offended
Take the muffler out of that trombone
Let that twisted metal bray
Track Name: Los 33 De La Mina
En los derrumbes de minas
muchos mineros han muerto
las esperanzas de vida
se van al cero por ciento
pero en la mina de Chile
surgio un rescate perfecto

Con una flor en el pico
vuela palomita vuela
parate junto a la mina
y aunque el Corazon te duela
cantale a los mineros
y a sus familias consuela

Esa mina de oro y cobre
tiene mucho de que hablarse
acorralo a los mineros
por no poder percatarse
que la tierra era muy fragil
y que podia derumbarse

Tecnicos inteligentes
llenos de sabiduria
con ayuda de Dios padre
y de la Virgen Maria
reforzaron un equipo
que a todos rescatarian

El mero cinco de Agosto
habian quedado atrapados
pero el dia trece de Octubre
todos fueron liberados
antes de que fallecieran
en la mina sofocados

El desierto de Atacama
Se convirtio en campamento
mas de dos mil periodistas
llegaron con su talento
para que el mundo supiera
de tal acontecimiento

La maquina que abrio el hueco
donde la capsula entrara
junto con un rescatista
y un cable que la jalara
como joya milagrosa
debe ser considerada

El ano dos mil diez corre
y me despido senores
del presidente de Chile
y sus colaboradores
mina San Jose y sus heroes
tambien sus trabajadores



English Translation:

In the collapsing of mines
Many miners have died
The chance of survival
Seem like zero percent
But in the mines of Chile
Emerged a perfect rescue

With a flower in its beak
Fly little dove, fly
Land near the mine
And even if your heart aches
Sing to the miners
And comfort their families

This mine of gold and copper
Has a lot to be talked about
It cornered all the miners
For not realizing
That the soil was very fragile
And that it could all come toppling down

Intelligent engineers
Full of wisdom
With the help of God the father
And the Virgin Mary
Put together a team
That would rescue them all

On that fateful August 5th
They became entrapped
But the 13th of October
All were liberated
Before they would perish
Suffocated in the mines

The desert of Atacama
Was turned into a camp
More than 2,000 journalists
Arrived with their talent
So the world could learn
About the turn of events

The machine that opened the earth
Where the capsule could enter
Along with a rescuer
And a cable to pull them
Should be considered
A miraculous jewel

The year 2010 continues
And I say my farewell
To the president of Chile
And his collaborators
The San Juan Mine and its heroes
And also its workers
Track Name: Vestida De Verde Mar
Vestida de verde mar
con su pelo bien peinado
a quien no le ha de gustar
su cuerpo recien banado

Que bonito se le ve
el escote de su blusa
parece que un arco iris
volteado se le dibuja

Con su treinta y ocho D
de veras me trae alerta
de plano si trae con que
me mantenga y me divierta

Cuando pasa junto a mi
con esa falda cortita
fulanos de por alli
quieren comprar pistolita

A veces me quiere ver
y su mama no la deja
pero ya le mande hacer
una ventana sin reja

La voy a fotografiar
pa ponerla en un cuadrito
que tiene mi celular
y verla a cada ratito


English Translation

Dressed in sea green
With her hair nicely combed
Who would not like
Her freshly bathed body

How beautiful it looks
The cleavage of her blouse
It looks like a rainbow
Drawn upside down

With her 38D
She really has me at attention
In plain terms she brings
Plenty to keep me entertained

When she walks by me
With her short mini skirt
Other guys from around
Want to impress her

Sometimes she wants to see me
But her mother doesn’t let her
But I just ordered
A bar less window for her

I’m going to take her picture
And put it in the tiny screen
Of my cell phone
So I can look at her all the time
Track Name: Carmencita
Carmencita que bonita
que mujer tan diferente
tu y las flores
arremeten contra mi
son iguales de preciosas
y confunden a mi mente
que no cesa de pensar no mas en ti

Tu y las flores me condenan
a que llore sin consuelo
duele mucho no poderlas alcanzar
que Diosito mande un angel
de los que cuidan el cielo
a ladearlas mientras las puedo cortar

Te imaginas Carmencita
cuantas flores se marchitan
van perdiendo su hermosura y su altivez
primaveras que llegaron
y se fueron muy aprisa
que tristeza que no vuelvan otra vez

Si tu amor es imposible
ya no quiero estar sufriendo
yo no entiendo para que te conoci
te lo juro Carmencita
que sin ti me estoy muriendo
y la vida no la quiero yo sin ti


English Translation:

Carmencita you’re so pretty
You’re so different
You and the flowers
Seize and shock me
You are equally precious
And confuse my mind
Can’t think of nothing else but you

You and the flowers condemn me
To inconsolable tears
It is painful not being able to reach both
Let God send an angel
Of those that guard heaven
To tilt them while I cut them down

Can you imagine Carmencita
How many flowers wither
Lose their beauty and haughtiness
Many a Spring that arrived
And departed in a haste
What a pity that they will not return

If your love is impossible
I don’t want to suffer any longer
I don’t understand why I ever met you
I swear Carmencita
That without you I am dying
And I don’t want my life without you
Track Name: La Carmela
Los domingos por la tarde
despues que el sol se mete
voy a ver a Carmelita
a ver quien me tira un cohete

Dicen que quieren matarme
por pisar esos terrenos
ya empezo a relampaguearme
pero no se oyen los truenos

No me anden pintando rayas
porque soy muy agresivo
y les puedo dar de baja
al que se pase de vivo

Los papas de Carmelita
pasan con la cara verde
de coraje que la hijita
cada noche se les pierde

Yo me curo el mal de amores
en los brazos de Carmela
y aunque les cause dolores
esta palomita vuela


English Translation:

Sunday early evening
After the sun goes down
I’m going to see Carmelita
Let’s see who takes a shot at me

They say they want to kill me
For trespassing that territory
The storm of lightning has started
But I can’t hear the thunder

Don’t go painting me as crazy
Because I’m very aggressive
And I can bring down
Anyone who tries to pull one on me

Carmelita’s parents
Are always enraged
Because their daughter
Escapes every night

I heal my love sickness
In the arms of Carmelita
And even if it causes them pain
This dove flies away