Part 15: Mercedes Sosa and Nueva Canción
Following on from the previous post, we really should take a closer look at Mercedes Sosa, one of the most internationally celebrated singers to emerge from Argentina. She was one of the key figures in the ‘Nueva Canción’ movement which developed in the 1960s across Latin America. This was a folk protest movement that reflected the troubled political situation of the times. Sosa championed many of these singer-songwriters, not just fellow Argentinians, but also artists from other countries, not least Chile (Victor Jara, Violeta Parra). In the early eighties she expanded her repertoire to include songs by rock artists including León Gieco and Charly García. These songwriters have all featured previously on this blog (click their names below to see their entries).
Sosa often closed her shows with this anthemic call to arms, written by Armando Tejada Gómez and César Isella. Performing such outspoken material was dangerous, particulary during the 1970s, and she was arrested on stage in 1978, along with the entire audience. Sosa went into exile, but she made a triumphant return to Argentina in 1982. Just a few months later the military regime collapsed. Her homecoming concert is the focus of the documentary ‘Como un Pájaro Libre’ (see below).
CANCIÓN CON TODOS Salgo a caminar por la cintura cósmica del sur piso en la región mas vegetal del viento y de la luz siento al caminar toda la piel de América en mi piel y anda en mi sangre un rio que libera en mi voz, su caudal Sol de Alto Perú, rostro Bolivia, estaño y soledad un verde Brasil, besa a mi Chile, cobre y mineral subo desde el sur Hacia la entraña América y total Pura raíz de un grito destinado a crecer y a estallar. ESTRIBILLO: Todas las voces, todas Todas las manos, todas Toda la sangre puede ser canción en el viento Canta conmigo, canta Hermano americano, Libera tu esperanza con un grito en la voz...
SONG WITH EVERYONE I go for a walk through the cosmic central band of the south I tread along the region most fertile, of wind and of light And as I walk I feel all the skin of the Americas against my skin And a river runs through my blood that frees my voice, (finding) its level The sun in Peru at its height The Bolivian landscape, tin and solitude A green Brazil kisses my Chile, copper and ore I climb up from the South towards the heart of America The pure root of a cry destined to grow and explode CHORUS: All the voices, all of them All the hands, all of them All the blood can be a song in the wind Sing with me, sing American brother Set free your hope with a cry in your voice
* CHORDS / ACORDES: Em - B7/D# - Ddim - A/C# Am/C - Em F#m-5 - B7 1st time: Em9... (and repeat) 2nd time: E - F - G (flamenco riff) Chorus / Estribillo: E - C - E - C G - Bm - C 1st time: Edim - B7 2nd time: B7