La Llorona: Tear Down The Kingdom

by Vital E.

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about

Women are not included in history, are not given credit, and worst of all we are blamed for so many things. -Josefina Lopez (1992)

WHY LA LLORONA NOW?

There is danger in people/myths having a single-story. This is why I felt called to release two songs from a performance art musical I have been working on, La Llorona: Tear Down The Kingdom. The release is an attempt at combatting Hollywood's single-storied horror version of the legend of La Llorona on its opening weekend. They cast her as a villain. She is way more than what they are selling.

I have studied this myth and read works analyzing this legend by authors such as Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Gloria Anzaldúa, and Domino R Perez. From their works, I began to understand the myth as a cautionary tale of colonization physically and psychologically. Their analysis of this character's story was so deep that it reflected to me my own internalized colonization. La Llorona is powerful. She is more than a scary weeping woman. She is a survivor of violence and poverty who spoke truth to riches and power. Indeed, she might be an ultimate anti-imperialist feminist hero. Knowing this, I felt I couldn't be silent while an unflattering single-story version of her is being sold across the country. Further, the skewed version of this myth is being sold to us during a time of massive anti-immigrant rhetoric. Hollywood is vilifying a character that stood up against imperialism and war. We need La Llorona more now than ever. In other words, if Hollywood is to sell its version this weekend, then I feel required to reflect — through music and art — the critical analysis offered up by the three authors above.

Some things to remember while discussing the legend of La Llorona:

+No one chooses to have an affair with a king. Choice requires a balance of power. There is no balance of power in relation to a divine king.

+Whoever holds the analysis, holds the power. Decentralize it.

+Finally, Hollywood's movie declares "she wants your children." It is the perception of the authors above (and my own) that La Llorona is a victim of state violence both in the psychological and physical landscape who refused to give the king what he wanted, total control of her life. This is about "others children" insofar as she stripped the king of his power.

La Llorona: Tear Down The Kingdom is for all those intrigued and missioned to protect a feminist decolonized analysis of the legend of La Llorona. We will protect her by honoring the various critical analyses of her-story.

With love and in solidarity,
Vital E.
@vital_e_
Pronouns She/Hers

Some sources to explore:

The danger of a single story by Chimamanda Adichie
Women Who Run With The Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes
Re-Thinking Margins and Borders: An Interview with Gloria Anzaldúa

credits

released April 19, 2019

Written by P. Pisano
Produced by Kerry Pompeo, Jason Crawford, and Vital E.
Mixed by Kerry Pompeo
Mastered by Fred Kevorkian

Additional credits for Woman At The End Of The World:
Recorded at Concord Music Group
Vocals recorded at Wave Lab Studios engineered by A.J. Tissian
Performed by Vital E. & Jason Crawford

Additional credits for To The King:
Recorded at Iceplant & Concord Music Group
Vocals recorded at Wave Lab Studios engineered by A.J. Tissian
Performed by Vital E. & Jason Crawford
Additional keyboards by Wayne Silver

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Track Name: Woman At The End Of The World
All alone I tried
All alone I rose
All alone I found control
Control of mind
Control of will
Control of what I choose to build

So keep breathing in
And breathe him out
Keep breathing till you feel the ground
All we have is now
All I need is here
Let the wind give way to my deepest fear

He can make me
He can break me
He can take away my love
Tear down the kingdom at all cost

Been a long long way
Climbing back to you
Climbing back to the deeper truth
That the earth will change
In this time and space
That we must obey the deeper place

He can make me
He can break me
He can take away my love
Tear down the kingdom at all cost

I'll take it down down down down
Track Name: To The King
Time and space my dearest friends
Make me a magic man
I wonder if he'll ever tell
Whats in my wishing well

Cause its easier to live a lie
Its easier to just get by tonight
Its easier to walk a line in the revolution
But the revolution is alive

Kings are men and men are kings
What sacred can they bring
I wonder if we'll ever see
The world they're breaking free

Cause its easier to live a lie
Its easier to just get by tonight
Its easier to walk a line when you're losing love
Im losing love

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