179 results where found for «Today I Sing for the Sake of Singing»


Lament for the Death of Augusto the Dog (Lamento a la muerte del perro Augusto)

Song by:
Sergio Vesely
Testimony by:
Sergio Vesely
« Augusto the dog (not to be confused with the journalist Augusto Olivares, affectionately nicknamed "Augusto the Dog", who was murdered in the Presidential Palace on 11 September 1973), was the mascot of the political prisoners held at the Ritoque concentration camp, and accompanied his master when the military junta decided to close that prison and transfer the inmates to the neighbouring Puchuncaví concentration camp. »
[...]
« Nobody could stop Augusto from suffering the same fate as thousands of left-wing Chilean militants. The bullet that killed him came from the gun of a Navy officer, who hours before had assured us that nothing would happen to the dog if we stopped him crossing the fence and nosing around the Commander’s compound. All of us know that Augusto didn’t leave our side that day and we have sufficient grounds to suspect that the murderer had a political prisoner in his sights when he pulled the trigger. »
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Free (Libre)

Song by:
Nino Bravo
Testimony by:
Paicavi Painemal
Experience in:
« I’m from Chol Chol, part of the Coihue community. I was arrested along with twelve other people and they took us to the Second Police Station of Temuco. I was 30 years old. It was a week before I was due to get married. »
[...]
« Before getting to the prison of Temuco, they took me in a car to a place that appears to have been the Puente Viejo (Old Bridge) over the river Cautín. I could hear the train passing and the noise of the water. »
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National Anthem of Chile

Song by:
Eusebio Lillo and Ramón Carnicer
Testimony by:
anónimo
Experience in:
« I was detained in Panguipulli on 24 September 1973, along with 17 other young people. I was a high school student. I was also working at the forestry and logging company of Huilo Huilo, which had been taken over by the working class. We were tortured for two or three days at the police station of Panguipulli. They left me unconscious. »
[...]
« Then they took us to a police station in Valdivia. In the stables they took our names and addresses, and then sent us to the prison on Teja Island. In the prison, one of the prisoners spent night and day in a dungeon. Despite being in solitary confinement, he would open his window and sing the National Anthem at full blast. We all went outside to have a look, even the guards. The prisoner didn’t sing the verse about the brave soldiers, out of protest I imagine. He sang for about four days. After that we heard nothing more about him. »
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Luchín

Song by:
Víctor Jara
Testimony by:
anónimo
Experience in:
« They said that once you got to the prison of Teja Island, you were safe. However, once when we were in our cells, they shot several young people who were between 18 and 21 years old. When I saw their pictures I asked myself why I hadn’t been among them. »
[...]
« Singing cheered our souls up after so many days of suffering. I particularly remember the song ‘Luchín’. For me, this boy represented thousands of children suffering misery and the sadness of losing their parents. I imagined that same horse that looked at him with sadness while grazing. This horse probably remained alone. »
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Priests and Soldiers (Curas y milicos)

Song by:
Sergio Vesely
Testimony by:
Sergio Vesely
« I don’t want to exaggerate but Camp Melinka became not only a factory that produced handicrafts and a performance hall but also a university. Every day there were classes to learn foreign languages, art, medicine or literature. Solar ovens were built. Talks were given on arachnology. Literacy programmes were offered. »
[...]
« Songs are good for releasing a singer from tempestuous doubts and allowing him to denounce injustice openly, with no qualms. In other words, the way things are painted when we see the world in black and white. Joking aside, the positive medicinal effect of music therapy is undeniable. Beyond the value a songwriter gives a song or that others may give, song-writing was a discovery that helped me, above all, to give meaning to my life as prisoner. »
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Love (Amor)

Song by:
Sergio Vesely (music); Guillermo Núñez (lyrics)
Testimony by:
Sergio Vesely
« This song is based on a poem Guillermo wrote in the Puchuncaví Prison Camp dedicated to his partner Soledad. Of all the songs I composed as a prisoner, this is the only one where the lyrics are not mine. The reason is very human and simple. One day Guillermo asked me if I could set to music verses he had written so he could sing them to his beloved the next time she visited him. I found the idea so original and I liked it so much that I decided to help him. I took the sheet of paper with the poem to my cell in one of the adjacent huts. After reading and re-reading it several times, I began to compose this song. It’s a shame, but I don’t recall if Soledad ever got a chance to hear it. »
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King Ñaca Ñaca (El rey Ñaca Ñaca)

Song by:
Sergio Vesely
Testimony by:
Sergio Vesely
« “Ñaca-ñaca” was an interjection we used at Camp Melinka whenever we wanted to signal and poke fun at any dark thought that might crossed our minds. That may be why it seemed the ideal name to give to the papier maché puppet that played the role of the mean king in the puppet stories we performed to entertain the children who came to visit their captive fathers. But Ñaca-Ñaca’s important role was more than that. The paper model was borrowed to perform the 'star role' in one of the cultural events we customarily staged every Friday. Events which, it should be pointed out, were attended only by captives and armed guards. It was a “Prisoners’ Show”, full of fantasy. »
[...]
« At our Friday evening performances, a guitar-playing jester acted as director and he narrated the gory tale of the mean king. I wrote this song for him to sing at the beginning of the narrative. "King Ñaca Ñaca" is one of three children’s songs I composed while in prison. »
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National Anthem of Chile

Song by:
Eusebio Lillo and Ramón Carnicer
Testimony by:
Sergio Vesely
« The Puchuncaví Prisoners Camp had a daily routine similar to that of military regiments. In a ridiculous ceremony, the flag was raised every morning at dawn and then it was taken down at nightfall. »
[...]
« But, looking at it with different eyes, it also was amusing, because it gave us another chance to sing at the top of our voices the line that goes: “Que o la tumba serás de los libres, o el asilo contra la opresión” (May you be the grave of the free or the refuge from oppression). »
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The Prisoner of Til Til (El cautivo de Til Til)

Song by:
Patricio Manns
Testimony by:
Renato Alvarado
« I arrived at Tres Álamos on the eve of the departure for Mexico of a large group of prisoners. The group included Dr. Ipinza, who before leaving entrusted me with the job of physician, the medicine donated by the Red Cross, and his position in the Council of Elders. At 28 years of age, I found this title odd but also understandable, in light of the social esteem with which all tribes regard their healers. This tale has its origins there, as does a famous doctors’ strike, but that is another story. »
[...]
« Unfortunately, one of the spies planted among the political prisoners snitched to authorities about this whole operation. A few hours later, Pulento, Toluca and yours truly were brought before Conrado Pacheco, the Military Commander of Tres Álamos. Amusingly, by this time the case being investigated was no longer a list of people’s names which had been pushed through a hole in a wall, but a group of people who were about to pass through that hole. In other words, they thought a full-fledged, textbook case of mass escape was being planned. »
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The Scholar (El letrado)

Song by:
Quelentaro (Gastón and Eduardo Guzmán)
Testimony by:
Luis Cifuentes Seves
Experience in:
Campamento de Prisioneros Chacabuco, November 1973 – February 1974
« From the first time I heard it, I was impressed by the way the duo Quelentaro sang this song, which was also written by them. When I sang it, I always tried to sing it in their style. I never sang it on stage, only for myself or for small groups of friends strumming guitars together. »
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