The La Peña Community Chorus of Berkeley recorded these two pieces as a message of support for the people of Aysén, Chile, who have since the beginning of this year been in a state of confrontation with the central government. Lichi Fuentes, co-director of the chorus, and a native of Chile, organized the performance. I sing as part of the bass section of the chorus, but I’m not in this video because I’m behind the camera. Probably just as well from the musical standpoint …
The first song, Tu Cantar, has been called the unofficial anthem of Latin America. My translation:
If your voice is yearning for release
And you want your passion to be seen
If your heart is burning up with love
And you can’t keep from bursting into song
The song you sing will carry in the breeze
One day all ears will hear your melody
When you see how trees come into life
When you see the light die in the sea
Then you’ll know how far you have to walk
From where you are to join the human race
If you feel it’s not within your heart
To give some help to those who are in need
If your eyes can’t shed a hearfelt tear
You need to love yourself a little more.
The second is Canción con Todos – Song With Everybody. Translation by an anonymous member of the chorus.
I go out walking through the cosmic waist of the south.
I tread on the greenest part of the wind and of the light.
I feel, as I walk, all of America’s skin in my skin
And a river flows through my blood to end in my voice.
Sun of high Peru, face of Bolivia, tin and solitude,
A green Brazil kisses my Chile of copper and minerals.
I rise from the south, towards the soul of the entire Americas
Purest root of a call destined to grow and explode.
All of the voices, all of them! All of the hands, all of them!
All of the blood can become a song in the wind.
Sing with me, sing! Panamerican brother/sister
Free your hope with a call in your voice.