“El que come y canta luego loco se levanta”

“Él que come y canta luego loco se levanta.”

“He who eats and sings later gets up crazy.”


Context: The informant’s father is from Zacatecas, Mexico, and still regularly visits his hometown. The informant is from St. Helena, California.

“My dad would say it when I sang at the table during dinner. I think he was scared I would choke to death during dinner. It was a precaution. You act like a maniac because you’re trying to stop choking. Especially if you’re one of those people who breathes through their mouth when they sing.”

Interpretation: I interpreted this proverb differently than my informant. I think this could be used to silence children and make them behave by presenting a threat. There is plenty of similar Mexican folklore that follows this idea, such as the creature el Cucuy, who haunts children when they disobey their parents. My informant claimed that “the entire Mexican population” is aware of el Cucuy, so it is not outlandish to think that a Mexican-American father was driven by the desire to quiet his child in addition to protecting the child from choking.