Quirino Mendoza y Cortés

(b. May 10, 1862, Tulyehualco, Xochimilco, DF--d. Nov. 9, 1957, Mexico City) Musician and songwriter of such classics as ``Cielito Lindo'' and ``Jesusita en Chihuahua''. His father Policarpio Fidelfio Mendoza Ocampo was a farmer and church organ player and his mother Juana Cortes de la Rosa was daughter of Hilario Cortes, a musician from Jerez, Zacatecas.

Quirino learned from his parents to play piano and some string instruments. Later he was an organ player in the towns of Milpa Alta and Xochimilco. A few year later, he became a teacher and in his spare time he used to go to the Teuhtli Hill for meditation where he met Catalina Martinez. Catalina was who inspired him to write his famous song Cielito Lindo because of the birthmark near her mouth, although the first version of the song does not mention it:


	iVamos al Teuhtli hermosa joven,
	para admirar el campo
	y alli los dos unidos,
	cielito lindo, nos amaremos!

	Tenochtitlan, de ahi se mira,
	donde hay tan lindas mujeres,
	cielito lindo,
	que tu no igualan.
The second, most known version, was performed for the first time on May 10, 1882.

  De la Sierra Morena,
  cielito lindo, vienen bajando
  un par de ojitos negros,
  cielito lindo, de contrabando.

  Ay, ay, ay, ay,
  canta y no llores,
  porque cantando se alegran,
  cielito lindo, los corazones.

  Pajaro que abandona,
  cielito lindo, su primer nido,
  si lo encuentra ocupado,
  cielito lindo, bien merecido.

  Ese lunar que tienes,
  cielito lindo, junto a la boca,
  no se lo des a nadie,
  cielito lindo que a mi me toca.

  Ay, ay, ay, ay,
  canta y no llores,
  porque cantando se alegran,
  cielito lindo, los corazones.
      -- Quirino Mendoza y Cortes

Quirino married Catalina and had three children: Manuel, Jesus and Domingo. He dedicated himself to teaching without expecting much of a reward, and later joined the Revolution, reaching the rank of Lt. Coronel while directing the military band in Puebla. It was during this period that he composed the polca Jesusita en Chihuahua which premiered December 25, 1916.

Together with his friend Manuel M. Ponce founded the Mexican Society of Music Authors and Composers where he registered over 160 works, from religious pieces (73 hymns), 102 songs (double steps, marches, fox trot, etc.), 57 children songs, 50 huapangos, polcas, mazurcas, chotis and 12 religious chants.

Source: Compositores Mexicanos by Juan Alvarez Coral