This song has been on my mind a lot in the last couple of weeks. I first heard it in the documentary Llaguno Bridge: Keys to a Massacre, where it was covered by Venezuelan politician Maripili Hernández, with the lyrics slightly rearranged. Here’s the original.
It’s kind of fitting that it’s been set to scenes of the Chilean fascist dictatorship at work, even though Violeta Parra died a several years before Pinochet’s coup. She was actually singing of the Spanish fascists, murdering a communist leader.
And here are the lyrics:
Look at how they talk to us about freedom
When they deprive us of it in reality.
Look at how they proclaim tranquility
When we are being tortured by authority.
What will the Holy Father say
Who lives in Rome,
When they are strangling his doves?
Look at how they talk to us about paradise,
When they’re raining bullets on us like hail.
Look at their enthusiasm for the sentence,
Knowing that they’re killing innocence.
He who officiated death like a hangman
Is calmly eating his breakfast.
With this they’re putting the rope around a neck,
The Fifth Commandment has no seal.
Amid more injustices, Mr. Attorney General,
My soul will have more strength to sing.
How lovely the wheat will be in the field
Watered with your blood, Julián Grimau.