Evangeline

Album: How Will the Wolf Survive? (1984)
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Songfacts®:

  • This song is about an optimistic, albeit naive teenage girl, who leaves home in search of her 'American dream': "Evangeline is on the roam, just barely seventeen when she left home. Don't know where she is, or where she's going. She is the queen of make believe, Evangeline."
  • The riff is based on "I Ain't Got No Home," a Clarence "Frogman" Henry hit from the late '50s.
  • Drummer, Louie Pérez, and guitarist, David Hidalgo, transformed "Evangeline" and other Los Lobos tracks into a musical theatre production titled Evangeline, the Queen of Make-Believe, which debuted at LA's Bootleg Theatre in May 2012. In our interview, Pérez told us the "Evangeline" character is loosely based on his sister: "It's very loosely imagined from my experience with my older sister - this was her. I was two years younger, which is huge when you're a kid. It was watching all the Shindig and the Hollywood-A-Go-Go and all this stuff on television and the afternoon teen music shows. And just watching her, I remember her dance partner was this pilaster that was in the living room and literally it had the paint worn off from her using it as a dance partner. So this story was loosely inspired by that. Of course, we're taking it a step further and really embellishing Evangeline's story. I kind of lived that same experience with my sister a little later on when I discovered music."
  • How Will the Wolf Survive? was Los Lobos' debut album on a major label. In 2003, Rolling Stone magazine ranked it at #461 on their "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time" list.

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