The 10 Best Songs About Illegal Immigration

Categories: Lists

los_tigres_del_norte-thumb.jpg
Los Tigres del Norte: champions of mojados
Over the past decade, a slew of art devoted to the cause of amnesty for illegal immigrants has flourished across the United States, everything from music to YouTube videos, posters to poems. It follows in the grand tradition of Mexican protest songs about la frontera and migra, a genre that goes back a century and has produced some of the most touching (or, conversely, hilarious) songs in the Mexican canon. Following are the 10 best, going back decades and involving some of the biggest names in music.

10. "Ilegal en Estyle" by Pilar Díaz Nowadays going by María del Pilar, this 2010 pop ditty came about at the height of America's most recent anti-immigrant madness. Written by the former frontwoman for cult group Los Abandoned, the song encourages undocumented folks to live "en estyle"--that is, to not feel ashamed of their status and to come out of the shadows. Don't dismiss the cutesiness of the video--Pilar's tune offers a playful subversion of roles, and an unabashed celebration of ser un ilegal.



9. "Superman es Ilegal," by Los Hermanos Ortiz
"It's a bird! It's a plane! Nah...it's a wetback." So starts this hilarious reinterpretation of the all-American Superman, whom people always conveniently forget was sent into this country by his parents without asking for permission...hey, was Superman the original DREAMer? A novelty song, but a trenchant one.



8. "El Corrido de los Mojados," by Los Alegres de Teran
I like conjunto norteño pioneers Los Alegres de Terán better when they're not accompanied by horns, but I will not deny the power of this song, which functions on many levels: as an indictment of American immigration policy, as a celebration of the cunning of Mexicans to cross into the United States at will, as an offering of a novel solution to the plight of mojados: all of them should marry a gringita, then divorce her once the Mexican gets a green card--HA! Extra credit goes to Los Alegres for also working in an insult toward gabacha welfare queens, too!


Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
11 comments
sundquistjames7
sundquistjames7

Here is a song entitled: Shopping Bag Lady aka Requiem to a Refugee.  You can hear it at:

eaglemasterworksproductions.com then click In Concert page.  The other song there about refugees is entitled: Caravan.

jahid.captcha
jahid.captcha

Billy Winn

Billy Winn is a singer, songwriter, recording artist, and entertainer taking his first steps onto the international music scene, with an electrifying presence, and a powerhouse talent. In the spring of 2012, he released “Future X Boyfriend,” a sexy Electro/Pop number that garnered exposure and an online buzz for the burgeoning Pop performer.

Go To:>> http://www.billywinn.com/

MusicStewOnKCHW.org
MusicStewOnKCHW.org

Great article! Another GREAT song is "Icky Thump" by the White Stripes. Bad ass guitar riff, with fantastic lyrics - "why don't you kick yourself out, you're an immigrant too? Who's using who? You can't be a pimp and a prostitute, too!"

lwplwp
lwplwp

How could you possibly leave out Frijolero by Molotov? Also from a couple of British contributors Immigration Man by Graham Nash and Illegal Alien I also saw mentioned by someone else. If you have never listened to Immigration Man....Since it is a bit obscure...I highly recommend it.

paulschreiner42
paulschreiner42

List fails without "No Sanctuary Here" by Chris Jones.

armandocdll81
armandocdll81

You forgot the best song of all - "Illegal Alien" by Genesis! 

TedTedTed
TedTedTed

"Instead, the title is a boast--'Illegal, and What of It?'--daring anyone to have a problem with it. Magnificent."

Hoo boy.  A piece on illegal immigration music written by someone with the last name "McManus." Now the fight for amnesty has become something trendy that hipsters can embrace! 

akmckeever
akmckeever

@TedTedTed yeah.... what the hell do people with irish last names have to do with immigration?

MusicStewOnKCHW.org
MusicStewOnKCHW.org

You have to have a Spanish surname to support the cause? Hoo boy, someone is an ignorant sack...

Now Trending

New York Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Loading...