Poet of Destiny (Poeta del destino)

Author:
Sergio Vesely
Testimony by:
Sergio Vesely
Place & date:
« This song is a tribute to Miguel Enríquez, Secretary General of the Movement of the Revolutionary Left (MIR), who was gunned down by a commando of the dictatorship’s secret police on 5 October 1974. My own five-year militancy in that organisation resulted in my enormous respect for this individual. »
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Prayer So You Don't Forget Me

Author:
Óscar Castro (words) and Ariel Arancibia González (music)
Testimony by:
Rosalía Martínez
Place & date:
« When Katia Chornik contacted me a few years ago asking me to provide my testimony about my musical experience in prison, I thought I didn’t have much to say. I had spent most of my detention held by the DINA secret police, at the house on José Domingo Cañas Street, called the Ollagüe Barracks. »
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Run Run Went up North (Run Run se fue pa'l norte)

Author:
Violeta Parra
Testimony by:
Ernesto Parra Navarrete
Place & date:
« Run Run ... On the big pitch, mild summer weather was in the air. But for us, aching from the torture, hungry, haggard, stinking, tattered, tired of our uncertain future, all we longed for was a breath of energy that would allow us to feel that we were still alive and that the feelings of our absent loving partners were present. »
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Saint Gregory’s Tonada (Tonada San Gregorio)

Author:
Pedro Humire Loredo
Testimony by:
Pedro Humire Loredo
« This tonada song* recalls the horrible situation I was subjected to in the cells of the police station in the San Gregorio district in southern Santiago. That afternoon of 11 September 1973, I was at school marking some music tests. After a while I heard a very loud bang on the door and went to open it at once. »
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South-Eastern Storm (La Sudestada)

Author:
unknown
Testimony by:
Luis Alfredo Muñoz González
Place & date:
« While I was in solitary confinement in Cuatro Álamos, one day I noticed there was a large room at the end of the corridor, which, overnight, the "dinos" (members of the DINA secret police) had filled with prisoners. At the end of the day, these comrades organised quite a "jamboree": talking, sharing information, asking questions and singing. »
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Story of the Chair (Historia de la silla)

Author:
Silvio Rodríguez
Testimony by:
Eduardo Andrés Arancibia Ortiz
Place & date:
Cárcel de Santiago, 1980 - 1991
« This was one of the songs Silvio Rodríguez sang to us the day he visited the political prisoners in Santiago’s Public Jail in 1990. I had the chance to thank him on behalf of Víctor Zúñiga Arellano, a political prisoner who died in an escape attempt in 1987 in the Santiago Penitentiary, as this songwriter had been a treasured companion during Víctor’s life in hiding. »
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The Clock (El reloj)

Author:
Roberto Cantoral
Testimony by:
Ana María Arenas
« The day I was captured, after the first torture session, I asked for permission to sing a Christmas carol, the name of which I cannot remember. I did it to let one of my captive friends know that I was also at the Venda Sexy. »
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The Crux of the Matter (La madre del cordero)

Author:
Tito Fernández
Testimony by:
Servando Becerra Poblete
Place & date:
Campamento de Prisioneros, Estadio Nacional, 9 November 1973 - 10 November 1974
« I recited this poem in the National Stadium. I continued to do so in the Chacabuco prison camp, earning the nickname of “Venancio” from my fellow prisoners. »
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The Internationale

Author:
Eugène Pottier (lyrics) and Pierre Degeyter (music). Popularised by Quilapayún in 1970s Chile.
Testimony by:
Ana María Jiménez
Place & date:
Villa Grimaldi, April 1975
« In April 1975, the triumph in Vietnam was celebrated. We heard about it through a comrade who went to the bathroom and found a piece of the week’s newspaper. It was so beautiful for us to be there, having shouted so often for Vietnam at demonstrations. »
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The Paper Boat (El barco de papel)

Author:
Julio Numhauser, popularised by the band Amerindios.
Testimony by:
Carlos Muñoz
Place & date:
« One of the most important songs in the detention centres. Impossible to count how many times we sang it. Every time someone was released from a detention camp or there was credible information that a person would be sent into exile, a gigantic chorus would sing this song, in a powerful unison. »
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