This Group Made a Norteño Anthem for Bernie Sanders

By Sameer Rao Mar 28, 2016

Despite high-profile support from rappers and viral superstars, Vermont senator and Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders doesn’t have an anthem to match his supporters’ enthusiasm. But thanks to a new Spanish-language track from a California-based norteño band, he might now have one. 

"Running for president, but the rich don’t want him/Bernie Sanders is his name, now you’re going to feel his burn," sings Juve Quintana on "El Quemazon," which roughly translates to "The Burning." Quintana fronts Grupo La Meta, a Modesto, California-based band specializing in norteño music. He told Buzzfeed News that he wrote the song with the hopes of reaching fellow Mexican-American and Latino voters: 

"I thought, what can I do so the Hispanics, the paisanos, the Mexicans vote for him? Everyone I speak to says, ‘I’m going to vote for Hillary’ and I say, ‘Have you heard of Bernie Sanders?’ And they say, ‘No, I don’t even know who that is.’"

"El Quemazon," which you can listen to above, embodies the themes and structure of many "corridos"—narrative ballads that often focus on oppression and social strife—and addresses Sanders’ positions on topics like universal healthcare and economic inequality. The song casts Sanders as a people’s hero, with lyrics like, "Many call him Robin Hood, others call him The Bern."

Quintana also said that he wrote the song in response to the rhetoric espoused by Republican frontrunner Donald Trump and his supporters: "I don’t know what [Trump]’s thinking, but I think he forgets that even he came from a family of immigrants. And if they never came to this country he wouldn’t be here now and this is why we all come, for a better life for our families and so our kids can go to school."

Arturo Carmona, the Sanders campaign’s director of outreach for Latino communities, told Buzzfeed News that the campaign is reaching out to Grupo La Meta. "We want them to be part of our activities, I could see them at a rally," he said.

(H/t Buzzfeed News, ReMezcla, Refinery29)