Selena’s last performance at Astrodome before she was tragically shot by Yolanda Saldivar, Financial Manager and President of her fan club
Selena Quintanilla-Perez, queen of Tejana music, released “Como La Flor,” which would become the lead single of Entre a Mi Mundo, in October 4,1992. “Tejana” or “Tejano” means Texan and typically refers to Latin music that is uniquely specific to Texas. Authentic Tejano music draws inspiration from Folk music, Rock and Roll, Mariachi, and most importantly the American Cowboy Culture. Needless to say “Cowboy Culture” doesn’t exactly evoke images of strong independent women. Thus, women were routinely excluded from the genre for many years. However, Selena, daughter of a washed up musician, rewrote the rules of Tejano music and became “Best selling Latin Artist of the decade,” “Top Latin artist of the 90’s,” and the artist with the most successful singles of 1994 and 1995. To many fans, her success is marked by “Como La Flor.”
The release of “Como La Flor,” coincided with many important milestones in the fight for women’s rights. For instance, Abortion had just been reaffirmed by the supreme court and women starting to join the work force. Ideals were slowly beginning to shift and despite the hesitation of Selena’s father, the influence of women’s liberation is certainly present in the clothing, pose, and title of Entre a mi Mundo.
Pictured wearing her signature bustier, Selena invites listeners to enter her world on her terms.
Juxtaposed against an upbeat and pleasant background the lyrics to “Como La Flor” aren’t exactly easy listening. While the instrumentals are closer to Pop than previous songs, the lyrics stay true to the melancholy love songs that are typical of Mariachi. “Como La Flor” is both an acknowledgement of lost love and a celebration of the strength of a woman who abandons her unrequited love.
Here is a small excerpt from the lyrics:
“Como la flor (como la flor)
Con tanto amor (con tanto amor)
Me diste tu
Me marcho hoy
Yo se perder
Como me duele
Como me duele”
To read the lyrics in English and Spanish please go here.
Though the speaker is heartbroken and can’t see past her pain, “Yo se perder” or “I know how to lose” shows that she is unwilling to stay in a situation that doesn’t serve her. For me, this line really drives home the album’s vision because the speaker’s break up with her lover represents Selena’s refusal to give her power away.
For me, this song represents the height of Selena’s success as a singer who was a role model and a hero for many people. If you don’t know anything about Selena she was probably one of the most grateful people to ever reach such a high level of fame and adoration. She welcomed fans on stage at many of her concerts, sent members of her fan club hand-written autographs, and she never refused a request for an autograph. “Como La Flor” is literally about overcoming heartbreak but has always been associated with Selena’s positivity. As a song, “Como La Flor” expresses the importance of knowing your worth; however, as the most important advancement in Selena’s career, it reminds me to be grateful and let your light shine in an increasingly impersonal world.
Fun Fact: Selena hated singing “Como La Flor” because she was tired of doing so. After it was released it became so popular she was forced to sing it at every concert as a service to her fans.