Late September Commemoration

I’m late this year in commemorating the anniversary of September 11, 1973. This infamous date came into being as the day that the military dictatorship of General Agusto Pinochet overthrew the democratically elected government of socialist President Salvador Allende Gossens in Santiago, Chile. Much has been written and recorded from that time and in terms of historical and personal testimonials of thousands of Chileans who experienced political violence/murder, persecution, and exile. I thought I would share a song written by fellow Latin American singer/songwriter Silvio Rodriguez of Cuba, as he responded to the events of the 1973 coup d’état in Chile.

There I loved a terrible woman,
crying through the everlasting smoke
of that city, cornered by winter symbols.
There, I learned to remove cold skin 
and throw my body into the drizzle 
in the hands of hard white fog 
in the streets of enigma.

That is not dead. 
They didn't kill me.
Neither through distance, 
Nor by the vile soldier.

There among the hills, I had friends
That among the smoke bombs, were as brothers .
There I had more than four things that I have always wanted.
There our song became small, 
Among the desperate crowd, 
A powerful song of the earth broke over us.

That is not dead .
They didn't kill me .
Neither through the distance, 
Nor with the vile soldier 
Neither through distance, 
Nor by the vile soldier 

Even there, it followed me like a shadow
The face of him, who I no longer see
And death whispers in my ear that it will still come.
There I felt a hatred, ashamed by
Children beggared by dawn
And this desire to exchange each string for a bag of bullets…

That is not dead.
They didn't kill me .
Neither through the distance, 
Nor with the vile soldier. 
Neither through the distance, 
Nor with the vile soldier.
Santiago De Chile
Silvio Rodríguez Dominguez

allí amé a una mujer terrible 
llorando por el humo siempre eterno 
de aquella ciudad acorralada 
por símbolos de invierno

allí aprendí a quitar con piel el frío 
y a echar luego mi cuerpo a la llovizna 
en manos de la niebla dura y blanca 
en calles del enigma

eso no esta muerto 

no me lo mataron 

ni con la distancia, ni con vil soldado×2

allí entre los cerros tuve amigos 
que entre bombas de humo eran hermanos 
ahi yo tuve mas de cuatro cosas que siempre he deseado
ahi nuestra canción se hizo pequeña 
entre la multitud desesperada 
un poderoso canto que canto de la tierra era quien más cantaba

eso no esta muerto 
ni con la distancia, 
ni con el vil soldado

Hasta allí me siguió como una sombra
El rostro del que ya no se veía
Y en el oído me susurro la muerte del que ya aparecería
Allí yo tuve un odio una vergüenza
Niños mendigos de la madrugada
Y el deseo de cambiar cada cuerda por un saco de balas

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