As part of the Level 3 NCEA Music externals, I used her music together with the music of fellow Latin-American Ritchie Valens to teach my senior music students about racial discrimination and empathy. We studied her signature song Como la flor penned by her brother A. B. Quintanilla and compared this with La Bamba. The music students enjoyed learning about young artists that were similar in age to themselves and particularly enjoyed how they lived their lives with similar issues of growing up - following your dreams, sometimes defying your parents and trying to establish your identity and place in the world, even in the face of racial discrimination.
Today's blog post focuses on one of her crossover hits which increased her fame posthumously - Dreaming of you.
Late at night when all the world is sleeping
I stay up and think of you
And I wish on a star that somewhere you are
Thinking of me too
Cause I'm dreaming of you tonight
Till tomorrow I'll be holding you tight
And there's nowhere in this world I'd rather be
Than here in my room dreaming about you and me. . .
Love can make you do that sometimes. Turn you into an insomniac and make you lose sleep - if not with worry, then with the constant thinking about that person that you're thinking about. It could be someone that you can no longer be with - because time, distance, physical space or death separates you, or it could be someone that you can't be with - because they belong to someone else, or it could be someone that wants to be with you - but you're not sure if you want to go down that pathway. If you even start dreaming about that person in your room, you have to exercise some caution - those dreams in slumber might be nightmares or drama in disguise, that you won't realise it for what it is - before it's too late.
Wonder if you ever see me
And I wonder if you know I'm there
If you looked in my eyes
Would you see what's inside
Would you even care?
I just wanna hold you close
But so far all I have are dreams of you
So I wait for the day (wait for the day)
And the courage to say how much I love you
I love you too!
Being brave enough to reveal your true feelings for someone can be more than nerve-wracking, it can be a debilitating process. If you are not in the habit of sharing your feelings freely or at least articulating how you feel about others, let alone yourself, then you are surely cutting yourself off from experiencing a life that is full, rich in pain and heartbreak as much as it is abundant in the throes of passion and desire. There is also a degree (heck several degrees) of patience that you must adopt if you are able to gradually build your confidence to reveal your true feelings, to know what love is and how it looks, let alone feels - because you might not be able to recognise it, if you're not in the habit of recognising how love feels, what love does and whether love will change your life, change you, change everything you have come to rely upon.
I hope that irrespective of the outcome - whether you choose to do the big reveal or not - just know that you must find your inner courage, you must shine for others so that they can recognise what's inside you too. I hope that when you do find the courage to tell someone you love them, that they reciprocate and tell you that they love you too. . .