¡Feliz Cinco de Mayo! — “South of the Border”
Further proof that Sinatra has a song for all occasions…
It’s about that time when we celebrate May 5, or “Cinco de Mayo,”—what uneducated gringos consider to be “the Mexican Fourth of July.” Of course that’s inaccurate—in Mexico, the Fourth of July is “Cuatro de Julio,” meanwhile Mexico’s Independence Day (Grito de Dolores) is celebrated on September 16.
Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican army’s unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. Yes, there was a time in history where defeating France in armed conflict was something to brag about.
Of course Frank was a lover, not a fighter…
Ok, that’s not entirely true—Frank threw a few punches in his day. But as the tequila washes over your psyche as the fiesta takes its course, let’s try to avoid punching anything and focus more on the love.
Written by Jimmy Kennedy and Michael Carr and published in 1939 for the film of the same name starring country star Gene Autry, “South of the Border” became a hit for Frank after it was included in the album, This Is Sinatra!, released in 1956.
In the lyrics, a man looks back with regret and pain for having lied to the woman he can’t forget (“…and now as I wander, my thoughts ever stray…”) and returned for too late, just as she was preparing to marry someone else.
There in a veil of white
She knelt to pray
The mission bells told him that he mustn’t stay
South of the border, down Mexico way…
Frank knew a lot about “Love & Marriage,”—he also knew a lot about hangovers…
Enjoy your margarita(s), and remember that Seis de Mayo is the official “celebration” of Montezuma’s Revenge.