Music for a Sunday: “Mother, let me fight…”

Rock ‘n’ roll is supposed to be the music of rebellion–right? Well, here’s a great example of that:

Now, not to take anything away from Jerry Doucette, who is one of Canada’s greatest and most-covered guitar heroes, but let’s just contrast that song with another rebel tune, from another great guitar man–Alí Primera, Venezuela’s numero uno folk hero:

Here are the lyrics, in my own translation:

Mother, let me fight

Mother, let me fight

Mother, how I adore you

because I love my people

and you taught me

to fight for them

You taught me

to share my bread

to share my love

to share my dreams

Now I want

to share my arms

that embrace you–

with the same

I want to embrace my people

Mother, let me fight

Mother, let me fight

You taught me

not to kill the butterflies

or cut the roses

that you grew in your garden

I learned little by little

to love the others

For the humble ones

Mother, let me fight

Mother, let me fight

Mother, let me fight

And do you remember, Mother,

how one day, there came a knock at our door–

a boy begging for bread

and you made me give him the old shirt

in which I used to play

and you were a good Christian.

I hope you understand

that the struggle for the people

cannot be won by charity!

Mother, let me fight

Mama, let me fight

You taught me not to kill the butterflies

or cut the roses

that you grew in your garden

I learned little by little

to love the others

For the humble ones,

Mother, let me fight

Mother, let me fight

Mama, let me fight

Quite the contrast, no?

Who is the bigger rebel–the little boy who needs Jerry Doucette to tell his mama to lighten up, or the young man who directly asks his mother for her blessing before going off to the guerrilla struggle for her freedom and for that of his country?

Three days ago, it was Canada Day. Today is the US’s independence day. Tomorrow is Venezuela’s independence day. And the rebellion is still going on. We all have a much bigger fight ahead of us than just getting Mama to let us play some rock ‘n’ roll.

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