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