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El Corrido de Cesar Chavez, or "The Ballad of Cesar Chavez"


Luis Valdez and Agustin Lira created the El Teatro Campesino in 1965 as a group to produce music and theater in support of the United Farm Workers. Farm workers gathered on Friday nights for music, performances, and stories with political flavor. The artists and musicians took their material directly from experiences in the fields and improvised their materials. This "corrido," a song with lyrics accompanied by a guitar, tells the story of Cesar Chavez leading the march from Delano to Sacramento protesting labor conditions for farmworkers.


4. The Ballad of Cear Chavez

by Felipe Cantu any Agustin Lira

One day on the seventeenth of March
Good Thursday in the morning Forming a march
Cesar left Delano

Brothers, farm workers
This will be an example
We take this march
Right to Sacramento

When we arrived in Fresno
All the people shouted
And Long-live Cesar Chavez
And the people who joined him

We said farewell to Fresno
We said farewell with strength
To arrive quite happily
To the town of Merced

We are nearing Stockton
The daylight is almost gone
But my fellow brothers shouted
Continue with a lot of courage

When we arrived in Stockton
The mariachis sang to us
And Long-live Cesar Chavez
And Our Lady that they carried

Labor contractors, scabs
This will be a historical event
You will go to hell
And we to heaven

That leader Cesar Chavez
That is a direct man
He wanted to stand face to face
With Governor Brown

Listen brother Cesar Chavez
And your name spoken everywhere
On your chest you deserve to have
The Blessed Virgin of Guadalupe


El Teatro Campesino (Felipe Cantu and Agustin Lira), "El Corrido de Cesar Chavez," with lyrics translated by Abby Flores Riveria. Courtesy of