Salem State University | Language Resource Center | Spanish Lyrics Collection

Victor Jara

Country: Chile

Victor Jara

Songs featured here

  • Te recuerdo, Amanda
  • Juan sin Tierra
  • Las casitas del barrio alto
  • Romance del enamorado y de la muerte
  • Corrido de Pancho Villa

    Up to the top


    Introduction

    Victor Jara was a very popular singer in Chile in the sixties and early seventies. He was assassinated by the regime of General Augusto Pinochet after the U.S.-sanctioned coup in 1973. He has since then become an icon of all those who struggle for social justice in Latin American countries, where social injustice is so great.

    Up to the top


    Links

  • Vientos del pueblo: un homenaje a Victor Jara (México) (Links page to other pages)

    Up to the top


    Recommended albums

    CD cover

    Victor Jara: Vientos Del Pueblo Victor Jara UPC: 731807177823 Format: CD Release Date: Sep 11 1993 Label: Monitor Records. (At Barnes&Noble: $12.99; At amazon.com: $.)

    [Buy it for the Language Resource Center!: Have it mailed to: LRC Chief, Department of Foreign Languages, Salem State University, 352 Lafayette St., Salem, MA 01970. Thanks!]

    CD cover

    Victor Jara: Canto Libre Victor Jara UPC: 731807179926 Format: CD Release Date: Sep 11 1993 Label: Monitor Records. (At Barnes&Noble: $12.99; At amazon.com: $12.99.)

    [Buy it for the Language Resource Center!: Have it mailed to: LRC Chief, Department of Foreign Languages, Salem State University, 352 Lafayette St., Salem, MA 01970. Thanks!]

    Up to the top


    Lyrics

    [All translations by Jon Aske. Please give credit and send suggestions.]

    Te recuerdo, Amanda

    Te recuerdo Amanda,
    la calle mojada,
    corriendo a la fábrica
    donde trabajaba Manuel.

    La sonrisa ancha,
    la lluvia en el pelo,
    no importaba nada,
    ibas a encontrarte con él

    con él, con él, con él,
    son cinco minutos,
    la vida es eterna
    en cinco minutos.
    Suena la sirena,
    de vuelta al trabajo
    y tú caminando
    lo iluminas todo,
    los cinco minutos
    te hacen florecer.

    Te recuerdo Amanda,
    la calle mojada,
    corriendo a la fábrica
    donde trabajaba Manuel.

    La sonrisa ancha,
    la lluvia en el pelo,
    no importaba nada,
    ibas a encontrarte con él

    con él, con él, con él
    que partio a la sierra
    que nunca hizo daño
    que partió a la sierra
    y en cinco minutos
    quedó destrozado.
    Suena la sirena,
    de vuelta al trabajo,
    muchos no volvieron,
    tampoco Manuel.

    Te recuerdo, Amanda,
    la calle mojada,
    corriendo a la fábrica
    donde trabajaba Manuel.

    I remember you, Amanda,
    the wet street,
    running to the factory
    where Manuel used to work.

    Your smile was wide,
    the rain was in your hair,
    nothing mattered,
    you were going to meet with him.

    with him, with him, with him,
    it's five minutes,
    life is eternal
    in five minutes.
    The siren sounds,
    back to work
    and you, walking,
    brighten everything up,
    those five minutes
    make you flower.

    I remember you, Amanda,
    the wet street,
    running to the factory
    where Manuel used to work.

    Your smile was wide,
    the rain was in your hair,
    nothing mattered,
    you were going to meet with him.

    with him, with him, with him,
    who left for the mountains,
    who never hurt anyone,
    who left for the mountains,
    and in five minutes
    was destroyed.
    The siren sounds,
    back to work,
    many didn't return.
    Manuel didn't either.

    I remember you, Amanda,
    the wet street,
    running to the factory
    where Manuel used to work.

    Up to the top


    Juan Sin Tierra
    Victor Jara

    A corrido is a traditional Mexican rural ballad, a frequent way of recording and transmitting news in a non-literate society. There is a long Iberian history of this genre, which continues today.

    Mexico followed a path to "modernization" under the dictatorship of President Porfirio Díaz from 1876 to 1910. This modernization was typical of late 19th early 20th century Latin America, in that it saw "progress" as coming from foreign investment, export-oriented agriculture, European/North American lifestyle for elites and forcing "backward" peasants into the labor force by expropriating their land, to put it to more "productive" use.

    Indians were the epitome of "backwardness" and had to be "modernized." The "hacienda" was the colonial plantation, and there is a long colonial history of haciendas taking over Indian land and forcing Indians to become day laborers. This was vastly accelerated during the Porfiriato (Porfirio Díaz's rule) with the building of railroads and with the new ideology of "order and progress." Starting in the 1850s liberal reforms abolished communal landholding--all land had to be privately owned, which meant basically that it ended up in the hands of the highest bidders. (Colonial law had protected communal Indian lands).

    As a result, many Indians and poor mestizos lost land and became peones--day laborers. By 1910 only 10% of Indian communities still had any land. Out of a rural population of 12 million, 9.5 million were landless. Mexico became a net importer of food as peasants who had previously survived on what they produced were forced into wage labor--but they frequently did not earn enough to buy more expensive, imported food. The infant mortality rate was an astonishing 250 per 1000, and life expectancy was 24 years.

    Emiliano Zapata led Indian peasants in the southern state of Morelos, who had recently been expropriated by the spread of the sugar industry there. The cry of "land and liberty" was the motto of these landless peasants who had suffered from political corruption and exclusion that contributed to the loss of their land.

    Today's Zapatistas draw a comparison/connection in terms of loss of land and political exclusion. The revolutionary movement of the 1910s was really many revolutions at once: liberal elites who wanted to reform the political system so they would have more access, and peasant rebels who wanted social revolution. The "revolution" triumphed over Porfirio Díaz, but which revolution? Liberal elites took over the government and government troops killed Emiliano Zapata. In 1940s President Lazaro Cardenas finally implemented some of the Zapatista program, including land reform, and the creation of ejidos (communal landholding again). Peasants supported the government through system of patronage--by voting for the PRI, they have been able to get roads, water, land. 1992 reforms abolished the ejido and led to the Zapatista rebellion that began on New Years' Day 1994--coinciding with the implementation of NAFTA, which many peasants saw, like Porfirio Diaz's progress, as working against their interests. The rebellion continues today.

    By Dr. Avi Chomsky

    Emiliano Zapata: "An illiterate tenant farmer of almost pure Native American blood, he recruited an army of Native Americans from villages and haciendas in Morelos and, under the rallying cry "Land and Liberty," joined the Mexican revolutionist Francisco Madero in the 1910 revolt against the Mexican soldier-statesman Porfirio Díaz. Having lost faith in Madero, who assumed the presidency in 1911, Zapata formulated his agrarian reform plan; known as the Plan of Ayala, it called for the land to be redistributed among the Native Americans. During the provisional presidencies of the Mexican soldier-politician Victoriano Huerta and, later, the Mexican statesman Venustiano Carranza, Zapata continued his resistance to the government. By this time Zapata had extended his power throughout southern Mexico. With the Mexican revolutionary general Francisco (Pancho) Villa, Zapata marched on Mexico City, entering it the first of three times in 1914. The following year Zapata withdrew to Morelos where, still resisting, he later was murdered by an agent of Carranza.

    Although regarded as merely a pillaging bandit by his enemies, Zapata was idolized by the Native Americans as the true revolutionary reformer and hero; his life has inspired countless legends and ballads.

    "Zapata, Emiliano," Microsoft(R) Encarta(R) 96 Encyclopedia. (c) 1993-1995 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. (c) Funk & Wagnalls Corporation. All rights reserved.

    Voy a cantar el corrido
    de un hombre que fue a la guerra
    y anduvo en la sierra herido
    para conquistar su tierra.

    Lo conocí en la batalla
    y entre tanta balacera
    el que es revolucionario
    puede morir donde quiera.

    El general nos decía
    peleen con mucho valor
    les vamos a dar parcela
    cuando haya repartición.

    Mi padre fue peon de hacienda
    y yo un revolucionario
    mis hijos pusieron tienda
    y mi nieto es funcionario.

    Gritó Emiliano Zapata
    "Quiero tierra y libertad."
    Y el gobierno se reía
    cuando lo iban a enterrar.

    Vuela, vuela, palomita
    párate en aquella higuera
    que aquí se acaba el corrido
    del mentado Juan Sin Tierra.

    I'm going to sing a corrido
    of a man who went to war
    who walked wounded through the sierra
    so that he might conquer his land

    I knew him in battle
    and amid so much cross fire
    one who is a revolutionary
    can die anywhere and at any time.

    The general would tell us:
    "Fight valiantly
    and we'll give you a parcel of land
    when it is all redistributed."

    My father was a peon on the plantation
    and I am a revolutionary.
    My children kept store
    and my grandson is a functionary (paper pusher).

    Emiliano Zapata shouted:
    "Give me land and liberty."
    And the government laughed
    as they went to buy him (after killing him).

    Fly dove, fly
    to that fig tree
    for this is the end of the corrido
    of the celebrated Landless Juan

    Up to the top


    Las casitas del barrio alto
    Letra: Victor Jara; Música: Malvina Reynolds

    This is Victor Jara's Spanish version of Malvina Reynold's famous (in the 70's) song Little Houses. It talks about the life of the privileged classes in Chile and any other Latin American country.

    Las casitas del barrio alto
    con rejas y antejardín
    una preciosa entrada de autos
    esperando un peugeot.

    Hay rosadas, verdecitas,
    blanquitas y celestitas
    las casitas del barrio alto
    todas hechas con resipol.

    Y las gentes de las casitas
    se sonrien, se visitan,
    van juntitos al supermarket
    y todos tienen un televisor.

    Hay dentistas, comerciantes,
    latifundistas y traficantes,
    abogados y rentistas,
    y todos visten polycron.

    Juegan bridge, toman martini-dry
    y los niños son rubiecitos
    y con otros rubiecitos
    van juntitos al colegio high.

    Y el hijito de su papi
    luego va a la universidad
    comenzando su problemática
    y la intríngulis social.

    Fuma pitillos en Austin mini
    juega con bombas y con política
    asesina a generales
    y es un ganster de la sedición.

    Hay rosadas, verdecitas,
    blanquitas y celestitas
    las casitas del barrio alto
    todas hechas con resipol.

    Y las gentes de las casitas
    se sonrien, se visitan,
    van juntitos al supermarket
    y todos tienen un televisor.

    The little houses of the fancy neighborhood
    with window bars and front yards
    a beautiful car entrance
    and a Peugeot waiting there.

    There are pink ones, pretty green ones,
    white ones and sky blue ones
    the little houses of the fancy neighborhood
    are all made with Resipol.

    And the people in the houses
    they smile and visit each other,
    they go together to the supermarket
    and they all have TV sets.

    There are dentists and merchants,
    big landowners and illegal dealers,
    lawyers and stockholders
    and they all wear Polycron.

    They play bridge, they drink martini-dry
    and the children are pretty blond
    and with other pretty blond children
    they go together to the English school.

    And father's boy
    then goes to the university
    beginning to deal with life's questions
    and the social game.

    He smokes cigarettes in an Austin mini
    he plays with bombs and with politics
    he murders generals
    and is a sedition gangster.

    There are pink ones, pretty green ones,
    white ones and sky blue ones
    the little houses of the fancy neighborhood
    are all made with Resipol.

    And the people in the houses
    they smile and visit each other,
    they go together to the supermarket
    and they all have TV sets.

    Up to the top


    Romance del enamorado y de la muerte
    Texto anónimo, música de Victor Jara

    From the CD: Victor Jara: Canto Libre

    Un sueño soñaba anoche,
    soñito del alma mía,
    soñaba con mis amores
    que en mis brazos los tenía.

    Vi entrar señora muy blanca
    muy más que la nieve fría.
    "¿Por dónde has entrado, amor?
    ¿Cómo has entrado mi vida?"

    "Las puertas están cerradas
    ventanas y celosías."
    "No soy el amor, amante,
    soy la muerte, Dios me envía."

    "Ay, muerte tan rigorosa,
    déjame vivir un día."
    "Un día no puede ser
    una hora tienes de vida."

    Muy de prisa se calzaba,
    más deprisa se vestía.
    Ya se va para la calle
    en dónde su amor vivía.

    "Abreme la puerta, Blanca,
    ábreme la puerta, niña."
    "¿Cómo te podré yo abrir
    si la ocasión no es venida."

    "Mi padre no fue a palacio,
    mi madre no está dormida."
    "Si no me abres esta noche,
    ya no me abrirás, querida."

    "La muerte me anda buscando,
    junto a ti vida sería."
    "Vete bajo mi ventana
    donde labraba y cosía."

    "Te echaré cordón de seda
    para que subas arriba,
    y si el hilo no alcanzare,
    mis trenzas añadiría."

    Se rompió el cordón de seda
    la muerte que ahí venía:
    "Vámonos, enamorado,
    que la hora ya es cumplida."


    I was dreaming a dream last night
    beloved little dream,
    I was dreaming about my love
    who was in my arms.

    I saw a very white lady come in
    whiter than the cold snow.
    "Where did you come in through, my dear?
    How did you get in, my life?"

    "The doors are locked,
    windows and shutters too."
    "I am not your love, lover,
    I am death, God sends me."

    "Oh, death so harsh,
    let me live one more day."
    "One day is not possible,
    you have one hour to live."

    "He put on his shoes very quickly,
    he got dressed even more quickly.
    He's leaving for the street
    in which his love lived.

    "Open the door, Blanca,
    open the door, my girl."
    "How could I open the door,
    if this is not the right time?"

    "My father didn't go to the palace,
    and my mother is not asleep."
    "If you don't open the door tonight,
    you will never be able to again, my dear."

    "Death is looking for me,
    next to you it would be life."
    "Come under my window
    where I worked and sewed."

    I will drop down a silk rope
    so that you can come up,
    and if the rope weren't long enough
    I would add my braids."

    The silk rope broke
    and Death who was coming said:
    "Let's go, lover,
    cause the time is up."

    Up to the top


    Corrido de Pancho Villa
    (Tradicional)

    Fui soldado de Francisco Villa
    de aquel hombre de fama inmortal,
    que aunque estuvo sentado en la silla
    no envidiara la presidencial.
    Ahora vivo allá por la orilla
    recordando aquel tiempo inmortal.
    Ay, ay,
    ahora vivo allá por la orilla,
    recordando a Villa allá por Parral.

    Yo fui uno de aquellos dorados
    que con tiempo llegó a ser mayor
    en la lucha quedamos lisiados
    defendiendo la patria y honor.
    Hoy recuerdo los tiempos pasados
    que peleamos con el invasor.
    Ay, ay,
    hoy recuerdo los tiempos pasados
    de aquellos dorados que yo fui mayor.

    Mi caballo que tanto montaba
    en Jimenez la muerte alcanzó.
    Una bala que a mi me tocaba
    a su cuerpo se le atravesó.
    Al morir de dolor relinchaba,
    por la patria la vida entrego.
    Ay, ay
    al morir de dolor relinchaba.
    Cómo le lloraba cuando se murió.

    Pancho Villa te llevo grabado
    en mi mente y en mi corazón
    y aunque a veces me vi derrotado
    por las fuerzas de Alvaro Obregón
    siempre anduve como fiel soldado
    hasta el fin de la revolución.
    Ay, ay
    siempre anduve como fiel soldado
    que tanto ha luchado al pie del cañón.

    Up to the top


    Last updated: August 6, 1999