Music for a Sunday: “When the eagles crawl on the ground”

This wonderful Alí Primera song goes out to the people of Venezuela today, as they mourn the sudden loss (on Friday) of William Lara, their former president of the National Assembly (and at the time of his fatal car accident, governor of the state of Guárico).

If you’ve seen The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, you’ve seen William Lara. He’s the man who got on the phone to reporters in several countries, informing them that the putschists were lying, that Hugo Chávez did not step down as president, that he was kidnapped and held prisoner. Had Chávez and his vice-president been killed, as the putschists had no doubt intended, Lara would have been next in line, constitutionally, to serve as president of Venezuela; his life, like that of all Chávez’s parliamentary cohort, was at grave risk during those 48 awful hours. Lara was also the one who swore in Diosdado Cabello, then vice-president, as temporary president, so he could officially order the military out to bring Chávez back. And, having worked as a journalist himself, William Lara knew the importance of getting the truth out through the media. The role he played in the rescue of his president was a crucial one.

Here are the lyrics to the song, which at the time of Alí Primera’s own death (also in a car accident) was still just a poignant precursor of the Bolivarian revolution to come:

When the soldier doesn’t serve the Homeland in a general’s garden,

When the eagles crawl on the ground,

When no one talks empty talk,

When there are no more oppressed people,

Then, I’ll sing an ode to peace.

You can hear from a distance the drums of San Juan,

How they say to the blacks who used to be slaves, that they used to be slaves;

But what I know is that there’s no song

That says to Venezuela that she’s free, because she’s not.

When the eagles crawl on the ground,

When no one talks empty talk,

When there are no more oppressed people, then

I’ll sing an ode to peace.

Let’s go, just once

Let’s go, just once

We have to make revolution soon

Because the longer we wait,

The harder it gets.

When the eagles crawl on the ground,

When no one talks empty talk,

When there are no more oppressed people, then…

I’ll sing an ode to peace.

Honor and glory to William Lara–journalist, revolutionary, parliamentarian, governor, hero. Peace be to his name.

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