We were right there on the border in Presidio and we figured, “How could we not?” So we went. Yes, every single Mexican person laughed at me for not knowing Spanish. Yes, I only had American dollars and, no, I did not notify my bank that I would be out of country so my card would not work. We crossed anyway. We sailed through the border with no issues (other than me not speaking Spanish) and ate a little roadside taco stand run by a young man named Oscar. Oscar knew English and his family thought it was hilarious that an American dare go to another country without knowing the language. Still, he apologized for not speaking better English—an apology I assured him was most unnecessary.
All told we were in Mexico for an hour and a half. But still we visited and you now what? That calls for a few tunes that mention our neighbor to the south.
Come a Little Bit Closer: Jay and the Americans are one of the first bands to do throwback music–this time it was a 50s sound in the 60s. Sure, the song has some eye rolling moments and cringy lyrics. But, damnit, when you hear it on the radio, do you change the station? Not if you’re alone. Then you turn it up in all its backwards 1960 romanticizing a southern border tryst followed by a fight glory.
Mexican Shuffle: Listen, this is my list and I can do as I please. The arbitrary rules I set out for myself regarding lyrics can be broken this once for none other than Herb Alpert (still one of the best concerts I have ever seen). The man is magic and so is his music.
Caribbean Wind: How Dylan manages to constantly ax his best songs only to have them be released years–sometimes even decades–later, is hard to fathom. This epic song that is as lyrically dense as it is musically rich mentions many a locale, including Mexico. For my money though, I’ll always go with the version released on Biograph with the liner notes written by Cameron Crowe.