Music for a Sunday: You can’t buy my suffering

Otto pointed me in the direction of this gem:

This one’s special for two reasons: (1) it was recorded on René Pérez’s birthday, and (2) the great Chilean folk group, Inti Illimani, provide an inimitable accompaniment.

Here’s my translation of the lyrics:

I am
I am what they left behind
I’m all the leftovers from what they stole
a village hidden on the summit
my skin is leather
that’s why I can withstand any weather

I’m a smoke factory
peasant labor for your consumption
facing the cold in the middle of summer
love in the time of cholera, my brother

The rising sun and the dying day
with the best sunsets
I’m development live in the flesh
a political speech without spittle

The prettiest faces I’ve ever known
I’m the photograph of a missing person
the blood in your veins
I’m a piece of earth that’s worth the trouble

A basket of beans
I’m Maradona versus England
scoring two goals
I’m what’s holding up my flag
the backbone of the planet is my mountain range

I am what my father taught me
whoever doesn’t love his country
doesn’t love his mother
I’m Latin America
a legless people but one that’s walking

You can’t buy the wind
You can’t buy the sun
You can’t buy the rain
You can’t buy the heat
You can’t buy the clouds
You can’t buy the colors
You can’t buy my joy,
You can’t buy my suffering

I have the lakes, I have the rivers
I have my teeth to smile with
The snow that pretties up my mountains
I have the sun to dry me and the rain to bathe me

A desert high on peyote
A drink of agave liquor to howl with the coyotes
I have everything I need
I have my lungs to breath the clear blue

The suffocating altitude
I’m the molars in my mouth, chewing coca
The autumn with its withered leaves
the verses written under the starry night

A vineyard full of grapes
A sugar-cane field under the sun in Cuba
I’m the Caribbean Sea that watches over the huts
performing rituals with holy water

The wind that combs my hair
I’m all the saints hanging around my neck
The juice of my struggle is not artificial
Because the fertilizer of my land is natural


The work is rough but I do it with pride
here we share, what’s mine is yours
These people won’t be had with dirty tricks
and if anything falls down, I’ll rebuild it

I won’t blink when I look at you
So you’ll remember my name
Operation Condor invaded my nest
I forgive, but I won’t ever forget

Let’s walk
Here we live and breathe struggle
Let’s walk
I’m singing so you’ll listen

Let’s go marking the way
We’re on our feet
Let’s walk
Here we’re on our feet.

The pride is something you can’t help but share when you hear it.

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One Response to Music for a Sunday: You can’t buy my suffering

  1. Cort Greene says:

    Thanks again, Calle 13 et all gave me chills, goose bumps and tears all at once.

    Rojo Rojito


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