Hi Amarynth… That Victor Jara tune you posted really hit me hard, incredible stuff. His music blends so many styles, including tango (?) and 60’s folk, but totally unique. I would really like to learn more about him and hear his records. Incredible that the Western popular music scene doesn’t know his work, or… maybe that’s expected? I would search the net but am extremely busy this week, I know you are generally an excellent source for this kind of info (LOL, I mean please, if you have the time)… You know, people go on about Phil Ochs and I never quite got what the fuss was about (music is of course totally subjective for everyone). With this stuff, I got it right away. Thanks for your post!
The folk type musicians of the day all wrote bits of poetry and songs to Victor Jara when he was killed. Here is one by Pete Seeger:
and a little from Arlo Guthrie:
English musicians that paid tribute to Jara are many: Bruce Springsteen to U2 to Bob Dylan and many Latin American musicians and bands, from classical artists to just about everyone.
Thing is, with the younger crowd today, artists like Pete Seeger or Arlo Guthrie are just not known any longer. But Victor Jara is still known and is still a household name and his music is still being played.
- This reply was modified 11 months ago by amarynth.
Continuing somewhat on the topic of Victor Jara, mixed in with a little history. So, I’ve worked and lived in 9 countries and visited countless others. People that travel collect stuff, T-Shirts, dolls, and such like real stuff. I collected peasant style food preparation techniques and I work that up into gourmet food. And, I collected protest music, most in the Latin Americas.
For Western musicians, there is seldom an understanding of how protest music is inculcated in the psyche of the Latin Americans. Victor Jara of course started the movement – he started something called New Chilean Music, and the genre of protest music started from there, all across Latin America.
So, here is this band, Calle 13 (Street 13 or 13th Street) – a Puerto Rican Band – incredibly popular. They started in rap and reggaeton, but now their music is fusion and they are going their own way and clearly have a distinct style of their own. Frequently I don’t like their music, but I do like their lyrics at times.
The Latin American protest genre is more subtle than others in one way – and in contrapoint, more brutal – a lot of satire, a lot of playfulness and a lot of harsh truth. Started by Victor Jara, the lyrics usually tell stories and the listener has to literally educate to understand it. Also, the videos are more kinda brutal on the eyes than what the usual Westerner is used to, but, this is the style and if one looks at the Chilean Coup and the other Coups that are so regularly perpetrated in the Latin American world, it is brutal.
Here is Calle 13 with El Aguante. This means The Endurance, or We Endure, or Endurance. There are subtitles in English on this video. Even in this very modern style, they sing about Victor Jara, saying, We endured the killing of John Lennon, and we endured the killing of Victor Jara. We endure for a moment of togetherness, a moment of having a good party together. Take a listen at how wide they take it in terms of protest … ‘We endured the dust of Pompeii and Our Liver Endures in Whatever the Bar Invites – that is pure satire and of course harsh social commentary. But of course, the message that these people are strong enough to endure anything, and the power in that message comes through loud and clear.
por lo que fue,
por lo que ai,
por lo que venga.
For what is past,
For what is now,
For what is coming,
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