Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Victor Jara - Butchered By Pinochet & The American People

Here is a bit more on Victor Jara who has been a great influence in folk Music and in politics or social reform throughout the Americas. But very little on the United States since the Americans are quite content to live in a country run by an elite. It is of course the very nature of a class based society that those in the upper-classes promote the lie that the society is an egalitarian society. Yes everybody gets to vote though your vote may or may not be counted and the difference between the two parties is more a matter of style and rhetoric rather than substance. From earliest childhood on we are taught the great myth that our society is the best ;it is the most egalitarian; it is the most just ; it is the most compassionate. Meanwhile the rich get richer and the middle class dream of becoming members of the class of the rich and the privileged .

Victor Jara-Plegaria a un labrador

Victor Jara- Vamaos por Ancho Camino


Victor Jara
words by Adrian Mitchell, music by Arlo Guthrie
see video at YOUTUBE
Victor Jara of Chile
Lived like a shooting star
He fought for the people of Chile
With his songs and his guitar
His hands were gentle, his hands were strong

Victor Jara was a peasant
He worked from a few years old
He sat upon his father's plow
And watched the earth unfold
His hands were gentle, his hands were strong

Now when the neighbors had a wedding
Or one of their children died
His mother sang all night for them
With Victor by her side
His hands were gentle, his hands were strong

He grew up to be a fighter
Against the people's wrongs
He listened to their grief and joy
And turned them into songs
His hands were gentle, his hands were strong

He sang about the copper miners
And those who worked the land
He sang about the factory workers
And they knew he was their man
His hands were gentle, his hands were strong

He campaigned for Allende
Working night and day
He sang "Take hold of your brothers hand
You know the future begins today"
His hands were gentle, his hands were strong

Then the generals seized Chile
They arrested Victor then
They caged him in a stadium
With five-thousand frightened men
His hands were gentle, his hands were strong

Victor stood in the stadium
His voice was brave and strong
And he sang for his fellow prisoners
Till the guards cut short his song
His hands were gentle, his hands were strong

They broke the bones in both his hands
They beat him on the head
They tore him with electric shocks
And then they shot him dead
His hands were gentle, his hands were strong

Repeat first verse

(©1977, 1990 by by Adrian Mitchell & Arlo Guthrie
All Rights Reserved.)

And from American Nihilist: Please Remember Victor Jara(sept. 11, 2007 )

Here is the last unfinished poem Victor wrote which was smuggled out of the Santiago boxing stadium where he would shortly be martyred. It has been translated from spanish by his wife Joan:

There are five thousand of us here
in this small part of the city.
We are five thousand.
I wonder how many we are in all
in the cities and in the whole country?
Here alone
are ten thousand hands which plant seeds
and make the factories run.
How much humanity
exposed to hunger, cold, panic, pain,
moral pressure, terror and insanity?
Six of us were lost
as if into starry space.
One dead, another beaten as I could never have believed
a human being could be beaten.
The other four wanted to end their terror
one jumping into nothingness,
another beating his head against a wall,
but all with the fixed stare of death.
What horror the face of fascism creates!
They carry out their plans with knife-like precision.
Nothing matters to them.
To them, blood equals medals,
slaughter is an act of heroism.
Oh God, is this the world that you created,
for this your seven days of wonder and work?

Within these four walls only a number exists
which does not progress,
which slowly will wish more and more for death.
But suddenly my conscience awakes
and I see that this tide has no heartbeat,
only the pulse of machines
and the military showing their midwives' faces
full of sweetness.
Let Mexico, Cuba and the world
cry out against this atrocity!
We are ten thousand hands
which can produce nothing.
How many of us in the whole country?

The blood of our President, our compañero,
will strike with more strength than bombs and machine guns!
So will our fist strike again!
How hard it is to sing
when I must sing of horror.
Horror which I am living,
horror which I am dying.
To see myself among so much
and so many moments of infinity
in which silence and screams
are the end of my song.
What I see, I have never seen
What I have felt and what I feel
Will give birth to the moment ...

Home Page Eye For Talent The Best in World MUsic

take care,


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