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Photographs from the Mary Ann Smothers Bruni Collection
Lleguen contentos de consuelo
los pastores, en alta voz,
con regocijo y anhelo
a cantarle al Niño Dios.
Titireando de frio
y llorando de dolor,
en los brazos de María
se contempla al Salvador.
Approach full of joy
shepherds, with loud voice,
with rejoicing and enthusiasm
to sing to the God Child.
Shivering from cold
and crying from pain,
in Mary's arms
we admire the Saviour.
--“Canto del pecado” in Los Pastores: A Christmas Drama
of Old Mexico , p. 82.
The shepherds, freed by the Archangel Miguel from the plague
of devils, are able to complete their journey to the manger.
Each presents an offering to the child, the shepherds sing,
and Gila dances.
The lazy shepherd Bartolo, however, pleads that he is too
tired to adore the child; a devil has sneaked out of the infierno to
hold him to the ground so he cannot rise. In a comical and
musical battle against Bartolo's sloth, the shepherds use their
staffs to pry him from the ground, and Bartolo makes his offering.
This bit of action, like many, is not in don Leandro's original
script. In an interview with Bruni, recorded in her notes at
the Benson Collection, Elizondo states that the devil's temptation
of Bartolo actually began when a substitute Bartolo, who did
not know his lines well, was helped by Elizondo's son. Ray
hovered over the substitute Bartolo and whispered to him his
lines. This interaction was so popular that it has stayed in
Finally the shepherds, devils (now in street clothes), and audience
members are able to kiss the statue of el Santo Niño
Jesús in adoration.
Click for sound excerpt