Monday, December 11, 2006

I Would Rather Remember His Victims

Whilst the press bombards us with images of the dead dictator, I prefer to concentrate more on those who were murdered on his orders. The words below come from one of the most well known of Pinochet’s victims; singer, songwriter and poet Victor Jara (or here in Spanish). An article about the fate of Victor Jara is the first thing I can remember reading about the aftermath of the coup that brought Pinochet to power.

Vientos del Pueblo

De nuevo quieren manchar
mi tierra con sangre obrera
los que hablan de libertad
y tienen las manos negras

Los que quieren dividir
a la madre de sus hijos
y quieren reconstruir
la cruz que arrastrara Cristo

Quieren ocultar la infamia
que legaron desde siglos,
pero el color de asesinos
no borrarán de su cara

Ya fueron miles y miles
los que entregaron su sangre
y en caudales generosos
multiplicaron los panes

Ahora quiero vivir
junto a mi hijo y mi hermano
la primavera que todos
vamos construyendo a diario

No me asusta la amenaza,
patrones de la miseria,
la estrella de la esperanza
continuará siendo nuestra

Vientos del pueblo me llaman,
vientos del pueblo me llevan,
me esparcen el corazón
y me aventan la garganta

Así cantará el poeta
mientras el alma me suene
por los caminos del pueblo
desde ahora y para siempre

My thanks to Evaristo for pointing me to the English translation:


Once more they want to stain
my country with workers’ blood
those who talk of liberty
and whose hands are blackened

those who wish to separate
the mother from her sons
and want to reconstruct
the cross that Christ dragged

They want to hide their infamy
their legacy from the centuries,
but the color of murders
cannot be wiped from their faces

Already thousands and thousands
have sacrificed their blood,
and its generous streams
have multiplied the loaves of bread

Now I want to live
beside my son and my brother,
daily working together on
a new springtime for all of us

You can’t scare me with your threats
you masters of misery;
the star of hope
continues to be ours.

Winds of the people are calling me
winds of the people carry me
they scatter my heart
and take the breath from my throat

so the poet will sing
as long as my soul sounds
from the roads of my people
now and forever.

Cava will be consumed this evening at South of Watford Central HQ, the news that Margaret Thatcher is “profoundly saddened” by the loss of her dear friend will only make it taste better.


Tom said...

My wife and I used to attend some political meetings in Wales with some Chilean refugees who had escaped from Pinochet's regime. One woman in particular had been tortured by the secret police. But she was such a cheerful, lively, happily socialist person. She inspired a sense of internationalism and solidarity in me which was far stronger than any intangible concept of revolution or communism.

Evaristo said...

You'll find the translation of the song here.

By the way, the last part (vientos del pueblo me llaman, vientos del pueblo me llevan...) is from a poem from Miguel Hernández, who died during the Spanish Civil War.


Graeme said...

Thanks Evaristo - I've included the translation