Meet María del Mar: The Voice Behind Mexico City's 'Fierro Viejo’

an old, scraped pick up truck with a lot of junk in the bed

In the vibrant backdrop of urban life in Mexico City, a peculiar sound has nestled its way into the heart of the city's auditory landscape. It's a distinct jingle advertising the sale of scrap metal - "Se compran colchones, refrigeradores, microondas o algo de fierro viejo que venda" - a sound that millions of Mexicans are intimately familiar with.

FIERRO VIEJO QUE VENDAN -Efectos de sonido (sin copyright)

Interestingly enough, the iconic voice behind this ubiquitous jingle is that of María del Mar Terrón, or Marimar as she is fondly known.

At the age of nine, Marimar was asked by her father to record a catchy phrase for his scrap metal selling business. Her dad, an old scrap metal seller, wanted a sound that would stand out but not scare away potential customers. Little did either of them realize that this late-night endeavor in their humble home in Ecatepec, State of Mexico, would grow to become a cultural symbol for the bustling metropolis.

Over the years, the jingle has become more than just an advertisement. It is a wake-up call for city dwellers, a scene-setter in Mexican movies, and even a feature in commercials and marches. The jingle's fame has surpassed its original purpose, making Marimar's voice a distinctive sound of the city.

Marimar, now 27, recalls the night of the recording in a fascinating interview with Chilango. It was a simple task, she says, much like helping her father with any other household chores. Despite the technical challenges of the time, they made it work. The hours-long recording and editing process, which extended from late at night to the wee hours of the morning, was well worth the effort.

Marimar's jingle, in the years following its creation, was shared widely within her father's professional circle in the scrap metal business. Her father's colleagues started using the jingle, and before long, it was playing from speakers across the city and its neighboring regions.

A photo of Marimar in a pink sweater being interviewed by Mexican TV channel "Canal 5"Canal 5

Today, Marimar feels a deep sense of pride every time she hears her childhood recording echoing through the city streets. Her simple act of kindness towards her father has helped numerous scrap metal sellers in their work and sustenance. The recording, intended to make her father's work a little easier, has not only supported many other workers but also turned Marimar into an unexpected city celebrity.

Despite the cultural shifts and technological advancements over the years, Marimar is confident that the 'fierro viejo' jingle will continue to resonate in Mexico City's soundscape. She believes that as long as there are people working hard to make a living, the spirit encapsulated in her jingle will endure.

The enduring charm of Marimar's voice, captured in that childhood recording, has indelibly imprinted itself on the city's identity. The girl who lent her voice to help her father has unknowingly given a voice to a city, cementing her legacy as the iconic voice of Mexico City's 'fierro viejo' sellers.

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