October 4, 2009

Rest in Peace, Mercedes Sosa

Solo Le Pido A Dios
Mercedes Sosa


Sólo le pido a Dios
Que el dolor no me sea indiferente,
Que la reseca muerte no me encuentre
Vacío y solo sin haber hecho lo suficiente.

Sólo le pido a Dios
Que lo injusto no me sea indiferente,
Que no me abofeteen la otra mejilla
Después que una garra me arañó esta suerte.

Sólo le pido a Dios
Que la guerra no me sea indiferente,
Es un monstruo grande y pisa fuerte
Toda la pobre inocencia de la gente.

Sólo le pido a Dios
Que el engaño no me sea indiferente
Si un traidor puede más que unos cuantos,
Que esos cuantos no lo olviden fácilmente.

Sólo le pido a Dios
Que el futuro no me sea indiferente,
Desahuciado está el que tiene que marchar
A vivir una cultura diferente.

Today, Mercedes Sosa passed on. Today may be the first day I heard her songs sung by her. Upon hearing of her death, I watched You Tube videos and listened to online versions of this song. I know all the words to this song, because of the countless times I have heard this song sung by friends around campfires, on the steps of the fountain in the plaza, in someone’s living room, in my own dining room.

It seems as if it is protocol in Latin America. If you take out a guitar and begin to sing, this song has to be in the repertoire. That will only be more so the case, now that Mercedes Sosa has passed on. She may no longer be with us, but her songs will continue to be sung all over Latin America and the world.

Listening to this song takes me back to Samaipata, Bolivia, where I sat with friends around a campfire under the full moon and sang this song. It was then I first realized how bright the moon can be, high up in the Andes, far out in the countryside, away from the city.

It takes me back to Cuzco, sitting in the chicheria, drinking chicha with the mamitas, eating the small plates of food they bring out with the chica, and, of course, singing this and other songs.

It takes me back to Parque Tayrona, Colombia, where I spent New Year’s eve, on the eve of the millennium. That night, the beaches of Parque Tayrona were filled with smoke from the countless campfires. A friend took out his guitar and sang this song.

It takes me back to so many places, so many memories, of good times in America Latina, adonde yo fui a vivir una cultura diferente. Que descanses en paz, Mercedes Sosa.

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