Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Miner's Song

Victor Jara was a Chilean poet and singer who was killed in the overthrow of the Allende government. His poem, The Miner's Song, became a theme and rally cry for what took place in Chile these past 3+ months.  John Hockenberry had this to say in August about the words of the song:

In a way the miner’s predicament is a metaphor. The literature of Chile is full of metaphors and elaborate allegories to history and destiny so it would be natural for all Chileans to look to these miners as surrogates for their own national narrative. As the bicentennial approaches for Chile in September people tell us that the fate of the miners is a parable for Chile’s history. All Chileans understand this story of a period of darkness where people had to rely on themselves to survive only to emerge into the light joyful, but always mindful of where they came from.
Jara's words:
Todo para qué
Nada para mi

Minero soy
A la mina voy
A la muerte voy
Minero soy
Humano soy
The translation:
I go
I come back
I climb up
I climb down
What’s it for
Nothing for me

I am a miner
I go to the mine
I go to death
A miner am I
I am a human being

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