It’s Not By Birthday Until The Mariachi Plays

I have always loved celebrating my birthday – spending time with family, enjoying the food and most importantly partaking in the family traditions created to mark the celebration. Also, as a Latina, I always enjoy a good party – even as a child.

Since I can remember, each year on my birthday I was awaken by the sounds of music, specifically mariachi music to the tune of “Las Mañanitas.” My father would get up early and place a LP on the record player and turn up the volume until the entire house filled with the sounds of stringed instruments and trumpets, indicative of the traditional Mexican sound. The voice of Pedro Infante or the tunes of Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan would let me know that it was my cumpleanos as I could finally hear what I called “the Mexican Birthday Song.”

As the voice of Infante would fill the hallways and crevasses of my Miami home, my very proud Mexican father would pick me up and we would dance around the house. As I got older, and much to grownup to be physically lifted by my dad, he always made sure that no matter what part of the world life had taken me, my father always called me first thing in the morning just to sing to me (with some pre-tapped Mariachi help, now in CD format) my favorite song, “Las Mañanitas.”

Till this day, it is not my birthday until I hear “Las Mañanitas.” I’m sure that even when I’m old and gray, I’ll ask for the song… So Happy Birthday to me….

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