Dreams of my Imprisonment (Sueños de mi encierro)

Author:
Mario Patricio Cordero Cedraschi
Testimony by:
Mario Patricio Cordero Cedraschi
Place & date:
Cárcel de Valparaíso, winter of 1975
« I’d spent two years in prison and there was no end in sight for my time in jail. I observed during visiting hours that many prisoners had children, a wife, family; in my case, however, having been arrested so young, just turned 19, I felt a growing concern that I’d die without bearing children, and never experience this wonderful human feeling. »
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Future (Futuro)

Author:
Sergio Vesely
Testimony by:
Sergio Vesely
Place & date:
« The dream of the political prisoner was to get his freedom back. Everyone of us would feel joy when one of us was about to be released from prison, although it far from easy to see a comrade depart. Even less so for those who suspected they would never enjoy that privilege. »
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How Can I Describe This to You? (Cómo hacer para darte una idea)

Author:
Sergio Vesely
Testimony by:
Sergio Vesely
Place & date:
« This is one of two songs I wrote in prison for my beloved Graciela Navarro. Through the song I try to draw her near, describing my everyday world and how I was experiencing life as a captive. »
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Mid-Afternoon Love (Amor de media tarde)

Author:
Sergio Vesely
Testimony by:
Sergio Vesely
Place & date:
« This song was dedicated to Graciela Navarro, who embellished my prisoner's life the days we were allowed to receive visitors. During the week, when the hourly monotony became unbearable, she would use her free moments to deliver roses and brief love letters for me at the prison gate. »
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Ode to Joy (Himno a la alegría)

Author:
original by Friedrich von Schiller (words) and Ludwig van Beethoven (music). Free version in Spanish by Amado Regueiro Rodríguez, aka Orbe (lyrics) y Waldo de los Ríos (music), popularised in Chile by Miguel Ríos.
Testimony by:
Luis Madariaga
Place & date:
« In prison we would sing this when a comrade was released or sent to exile. It was a powerful pump generating strength, solidarity and ironclad brotherhood, created in those long months in captivity, seeking an outlet from our hearts. I believe that that experience left a mark on all of us. »
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Song of a Middling Man (Canción de un hombre medio)

Author:
Sergio Vesely
Testimony by:
Sergio Vesely
Place & date:
« In our political discussions, we always spoke disdainfully of the middle class. In the view of the Marxist ideologues in prison, that large sector of society supported the dictatorship and it was necessary to reverse that trend. It was not an active support but rather a passive support that involved laying low and finding an accommodation with the dictatorship. »
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Song of the Disappeared (Canción del desaparecido)

Author:
Sergio Vesely
Testimony by:
Sergio Vesely
Place & date:
« Several of my friends and comrades disappeared after being arrested. The dictatorship denied knowledge of their whereabouts but I knew they were lying. Many of these people had been in prison with me in the dungeons of Villa Grimaldi. This song was sung in a cell of Valparaíso Jail with one comrade keeping watch next to the door in case a prison guard approached. »
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That General (Ese General)

Author:
Sergio Vesely
Testimony by:
Sergio Vesely
Place & date:
« The night of 24 March 1976, the residents of cell 198 hardly slept a wink. We hadn’t slept on account of a long, heated discussion about the prospects for revolution in Latin America’s Southern Cone. It was clear what had ignited our discussion: that day we heard the news about the military coup in neighbouring Argentina. »
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The Little Snail (El caracolito)

Author:
Sergio Vesely
Testimony by:
Sergio Vesely
Place & date:
« I composed this song for a small children’s party we organised in the visitors’ yard of the Valparaíso Jail. I remember how the children had fun that day and enjoyed the play. That was the first time I put down the guitar so that a prisoner who played the accordion could accompany me. »
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Today Was Visitors’ Day (Hoy fue día de visitas)

Author:
Sergio Vesely
Testimony by:
Sergio Vesely
Place & date:
« Visitors’ day was an exceptional day that broke the monotonous routine of all the other days of the week. I wrote this song in Valparaíso Jail, where I sang it countless times accompanied by my dearly remembered cellmate, the musician Antonio Suzarte from Valparaíso. »
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