Music for a Sunday: Manifiesto

Bruce Springsteen pays a lovely tribute to Víctor Jara, the great Chilean folk singer who was murdered 40 years ago today. Here’s what he said (and sang):

In 1988, we sang for Amnesty International in Mendoza, Argentina, but Chile was in our hearts. We met many wives of the disappeared and they came with photos of their loved ones. It was a moment that will stay with me forever. If you’re a political musician, Víctor Jara continues to be a great inspiration.

“Victor Jara Lives”

I don’t sing for the sake of singing
nor for having a good voice,
I sing because the guitar
has sense and reason.

I have a heart of earth
and the wings of the dove,
it is like holy water,
it sanctifies glories and sufferings.

Here my song takes on
as Violeta* said
a working guitar
with the scent of spring.

Let it not be the guitar of the rich
nor of things that seem
my song is of the scaffolds
to reach the stars.

May the song make sense
when it beats in the veins
of him who will die singing
the true truths.

Not the fleeting flatteries
nor foreign fames,
but the song of a strip of land
that reaches the bottom of the Earth.

There where everything arrives
and where everything begins
a song which has been brave
will always be a new song.

Translation mine.

*Violeta Parra was another great Chilean folk singer. She died in 1967, fortunate enough never to have witnessed the death of Chilean democracy as Víctor Jara did. Like him (and Springsteen), she was a balladeer of the working class.

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