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1 iPopeJohnPaulIIcalledfora“NewEvangelization .”Three hundred years ago in eighteenth-century New Spain, the Franciscan friar Antonio Margil de Jesús(1657–1726)begananevangelizationbyalabados. He walked from the city of Mexico to Costa Rica to Texas and back, teaching people to sing the Spanishlanguage hymns that narrated the sufferings of Jesus, his mother’s merciful generosity,and the available aid of angels and saints in times of trouble. The principal purpose of Margil’s mission was not to convey information in the form of data and dogmas. The main effect instead was the formation of community—people singing in unison, singing to one another, singing all the members of a village into a small “mystical body” of faith, hope, and Christian love. A few years ago, Gilberto Benito Córdova referred to me as a genízaro—a detribalized Indian in the process of becoming acculturated and adopted as a Hispano New Mexican. At first I was totally baffled, Anglo that I am, but I soon came to realize what he meant: that I was someone from the Missouri tribe trying to become as Nuevomexicano as possible. I have not succeeded very well, having started much too late in life, but I have tried to understand some of the principal components of New Mexican Hispano culture. I have especially come to love and venerate the santos and the alabados , and I hope to bring others to know them more clearly, love them more dearly, and perhaps even live better lives because of them. I want this book to include a selection of the most beloved and most often sung of the alabados of New Mexico and hope to provide a basic explanation of the what and why of these sacred Spanishlanguage hymns. I will exile much of the scholarly, theological, and speculative material to footnotes or appendixes. I take four books as my models: Father Juan Baptiste Rallière’s Cánticos Espirituales appeared in various popularly priced editions from the 1880s to the 1940s and provided complete texts in correct Spanish (and after 1916,music in a separatebook ).ToRallière’sformatIwilladdtranslations for the general reader. Juan B. Rael’s The New Mexican Alabado (1951) provided good texts edited from all available handwritten and recorded versions, brief but helpful comments,and some musical scores at the end of the book. I have access to six times the number of versions to work from that Rael had, and this present book will offer much more commentary to help the reader appreciate the texts. John Donald Robb’s Hispanic Folk Music of New Mexico and the Southwest (1980) gives musical notation right along with the lyrics, makes a careful choice of songs, and gives accurate translations. My book will always print complete texts rather than only a few stanzas and will focus exclusively on religious hymns. William González’s Alabados, alabanzas y oraciones de la Nueva México (1999) like his Romancero Introduction Preface 01 Alabados intro 1-2 5/20/05 12:12 PM Page 1 2 INTRODUCTION Religioso de Tradición Oral (1994) provides careful transcriptions mostly edited into standard Spanish, and he offers all available versions of a large number of alabados. Since he published his books in Madrid, he naturally adds no English translations and offers only brief introductions without commentary on individual hymns. Ihaveusedthesefourbookswithadmirationand gratitude, and in this present work I have done my best to imitate the strong points of all four authors. Over the past twenty-five years, I have compiled a collection of about 140 cuadernos (handwritten notebooks) and similar material, all of it indexed, so as to be able to choose among variants in the alabado texts. Though I have gratefully used Mexican and peninsular Spanish versions, I have directed my efforts at constructing a best text in standard Spanish drawn principally from New Mexican sources. Analysis of the standard-Spanish texts in this present volume has depended on Jesuit Father David M. Clarke’s computer-generated concordances, which aided me greatly. A few practical remarks: I will not use the ambiguous word“verse.”I will instead use“line”(self-explanatory) and“stanza”for a complete unit of two or more lines. The numerals to the right of the English translation in sections II and III refer to the episodes in “The Passion and Death of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to New Mexico,” which appears between sections II and III. This listing includes all the episodes,scriptural or folkloric,from the Last...


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