Canción Ranchera, a Mexican variation of the Spanish canción (song) brought to America during the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries and popularized in the 1940s and 1950s by such Mexican matinee idols as Jorge Negrete and Pedro Infante. It is commonly sung by mariachi groups, the conjunto, the dueto, the trío, and the country singer. It is a genre associated with the rural, agricultural worker—ranchera means "from the ranches," or "from the countryside." A rural working-class dialect of Spanish commonly characterizes the lyrics. Frequent themes include unrequited love, abandonment by a lover, and unfaithful women. The brokenhearted lover, mostly male but not always, narrates a tale of woe regarding a love affair gone awry and the subsequent drinking sprees the spurned lover undertakes to ease the pain. The genre has also become popular in the United States. Well-known canción ranchera composers include Tomás Méndez, José Alfredo Jiménez, and Cuco Sánchez.
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