Who is there? It’s Cri-Cri, it’s Cri-Cri. And who is this man? The Singing Cricket. Francisco Gabilondo Soler, “Cri-Cri”, is the greatest composer of children’s songs in Mexico. His music crosses the barrier of time and space. He is appreciated by many generations, especially in Latin America.
Francisco Gabilondo: A curious and self-taught boy
Cri-Cri was born on October 6, 1907 in Orizaba, Veracruz. According to the Society of Authors and Composers of Mexico, from a young age he showed interest in learning and studying, but he did not like going to school, “he preferred the whispers in the forest, to the annoying noise of his classmates”.
In his childhood he loved learning languages and new words. He “devoured” books and loved to imitate “voices” of nature: the song of water, the sound of insects, of the air… He had a privileged hearing. His grandmother’s chatter and the music she played for him on the piano were transformed in his mind into new melodies. Methodical and self-taught, he became interested in various areas of knowledge. At age 17 he traveled to New Orleans where he was captivated by the jazz movement, so he decided to learn music formally.
Cri-Cri’s first fantasy songs
He began his career playing in bars and composed his first songs in 1930. Emilio Azcárraga Vidaurreta gave him a chance on the radio after noticing that children paid attention and liked listening to his songs. This was the beginning because on October 15 of the same year he wrote and performed, only with his voice and his piano, El chorrito, Bombón I and El ropero. He never imagined his songs would be successful, but his show stayed on the air for 20 years.
Francisco Gabilondo Soler has become an idol. His repertoire includes 226 compositions, 120 were recorded. He created more than 500 characters, wrote more than 3,500 pages of texts and stories. Walt Disney tried to collaborate with him and buy the rights to his songs on many occasions, but he always refused. Cri-Cri died on December 15, 1990 in his ranch in the State of Mexico.
All Mexicans have grown up with his songs and our children will, too. That is why we suggest 15 of his most popular, so that your little ones can delight in his music, just as you did.
15 popular songs by “Grillito Cantor”
This is a list with 10 emblematic songs of the great Francisco Gabilondo Soler “Cri-Cri”.
1. The Little Duck (La Patita)
- The Cowboy Mouse (El Ratón Vaquero)
3. The Water Trickle (El Chorrito)
4. The Wardrobe (El ropero)
5. The March of Letters (La marcha de las letras)
- Walking to School (Caminito de la escuela)
7. The Ugly Doll (La muñeca fea)
8. Cucurumbé, the Black Girl (La negrita Cucurumbé)
9. Eyelashes John (Juan Pestañas)
10. The Pot and the Skillet (La olla y el comal)
11. The Puppy (El perrito)
12. Sleepy Pigs (Cochinitos dormilones)
13. Rainy Afternoon (Tarde de lluvia)
14. Che Spider (Ché Araña)
15. Black Dancer (Negrito bailarín)
And there are so many missing… Which one is your favorite?
Translated by: Ligia M. Oliver Manrique de Lara
Spanish version: Here