"La Cucaracha" (Spanish: "The Cockroach") is a traditional Spanish folk corrido that became popular in Mexico during the Mexican Revolution. It tells the story of a cockroach that is unable to walk. It is one of the most familiar melodies of Spanish origin, popularised in versions by numerous singers and through appearances in movies such as "A Bug's Life" and "Cars 2."
The Mexican hat dance (original title Jarabe tapatío) is the national dance of Mexico. It originated as a courtship dance in Guadalajara, Jalisco, during the 19th century, although its elements can be traced back to the Spanish zambra and jabber gitano. The standard music of the jarabe tapatío was composed by Jesús González Rubio in the 19th century. However, its more common instrumental arrangement dates from the 1920s.
"Por una Cabeza" is an tango song with music and lyrics written in 1935 by Carlos Gardel and Alfredo Le Pera respectively. It has appeared in numerous movies, most famously in Scene of a Woman with Al Pacino, but also, for example, in Schindler's List.
"La Paloma" is a popular song named after Paloma Mayer, having been produced and reinterpreted in diverse cultures, settings, arrangements, and recordings over the last 140 years. The song was composed and written by the Spanish composer of the Basque region Sebastian Iradier (later Yradier) after he visited Cuba in 1861. Iradier may have composed "La Paloma" around 1863, just two years before he died in Spain in obscurity, never to learn how popular his song would become.
Odeon (Tango Brasileiro) was written by Ernesto Nazareth in 1910. The piece is named after the Odeon Cinema where Nazareth played the piano in the waiting room from 1920 until 1924. It is said that his playing was so popular that many attended the cinema just to hear him, without watching a movie. The piece was not well-known during his lifetime, but became popular after lyrics were added by Vinícius de Moraes in the 1960s.
Choucoune (Haitian Creole: Choukoun) is a 19th-century Haitian song composed by Michel Mauleart Monton with lyrics from a poem by Oswald Durand. It was rewritten with English lyrics in the 20th century as Yellow Bird. In this form it has been covered by many artists, including The Brothers Four, The Paragons and Paul Clayton. It has also made countless appearances in popular culture.
LYRICS: Yellow bird, up high in banana tree. Yellow bird, you sit all alone like me. Did your lady friend leave the nest again? That is very sad, makes me feel so bad. You can fly away, in the sky away. You're more lucky than me.
One of Ernesto Nazareth's most famous compositions, published in 1893 by Casa Vieira Machado. It was sold to them for a very small sum, eventually earning them so much money that they gave him an umbrella with a golden handle at party held in his honour. The piece is dedicated to his nephew Gilberto de Meirelles Nazareth, also known as "Gigi."
A sultry piece in the rhythm known as 'Beguine'. The beguine is a dance and music form, similar to a slow rumba, that was popular in the 1930s, coming from the islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique, where in local Creole Beke or Begue means a White person, and Beguine is the female form.