Tag Archives: Chile

Violeta Parra – mental health in the Latin American arts

In this song, famous Chilean folk singer-author of the 1950-60s, Violeta Parra muses on how hard live has become for her. (The song is interpreted by her sister, Isabel Parra.) Instead of engaging in sociological or existential commentary about the pain of living, she simply describes how mother nature has, apparently, decided to withhold from her the things that she needs the most.

As we know that she eventually ended up committing suicide,the last verse in this poem  is not just kind of funny. It’s a door to her mood and consciousness, sort of an announcement of what was to come. I guess it’s all about ‘context’; the end of the poem makes sense when we learn that she was contemplating taking her own life.

She also wrote one of the most beautiful odes to life and living I have ever heard, Gracias a la Vida, just before taking her life. It was a good-bye song that moves even the rocks. I’ll upload after this one.

Thanks to Antonio Fidel for uploading and translating.


Quilapayún’s answer to GOP’s foodstamps debacle: “let the wealthy eat shit”

More nueva trova of the 1960s. This one is particularly relevant to today’s news about the plans to eliminate food stamps for the poor. Translation (the best I could do):

The grass in the paths/ the travelers tread over/2x

and the working woman is tread over by four scoundrels of the kind that have money.


Is it the tomato’s fault/if it is peacefully in its vine/2x

and four sons of a bitch come and put it in a can and send it to Caracas?


The misters who own the mine/bought themselves a weight scale/2x

to weight the money that every week they steal from the poor worker.


When will god in heaven allow/the omelet to be flipped over/2x

flip over the omelet so that the poor can eat bread and the wealthy eat shit.