Testimonies

The testimonies are sorted by publication date, showing the new ones first.
Click on to sort by witness, to sort alphabetically by musical piece title, or to sort by publication date.


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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Published on: 20 October 2016


We Shall Prevail (Venceremos)

Author:
Claudio Iturra (lyrics) and Sergio Ortega (music)
Testimony by:
Lucía Chirinos
Place & date:
« The parish priest at Buen Pastor played the accordion. He played so beautifully. Because I played the piano, I asked him if I could borrow it. “I’ll lend it to you” he said. Discreetly I began to learn “Venceremos”, “La Internacional”, the National Anthem and the Anthem of the Police. »
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Published on: 25 September 2016


The Little Fence (La rejita)

Author:
lyrics: collective creation; music: “Jálame la pitita” by Luis Abanto Morales (Peruvian polka)
Testimony by:
Lucía Chirinos
Place & date:
« Let’s get going, would say “the lizards”, as we called the policemen because they dress all in green. I looked and looked so I wouldn’t forget anything, because I didn’t know how many years I would be locked up for. I was emotional too: one gets frightened. »
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Published on: 25 September 2016


Dona Nobis Pacem

Author:
Text from Agnus Dei (Roman Catholic Mass); music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Testimony by:
Lucía Chirinos
Place & date:
« Music was always present in my family. My dad played the violin and my mum the piano. When I was a child, my mum sent us to dance and piano lessons. I also learnt at the Evangelical Church and sang on the radio. My husband Mario played the guitar very well and had a wonderful tenor voice. »
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Published on: 25 September 2016


Today I Sing for the Sake of Singing (Hoy canto por cantar)

Author:
Nydia Caro and Riccardo Cerratto
Testimony by:
Beatriz Bataszew Contreras
Place & date:
« I have never been a great music listener. Nevertheless, before the coup I used to listen to Nueva Canción, especially Quilapayún and Rolando Alarcón. I also liked cumbias, to fool around. We would dance and have fun. On the other hand, and this is more due to my family, I have always liked classical music, particularly Tchaikovsky. »
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Published on: 13 September 2016


Ode to Joy (Himno a la alegría)

Author:
original by Friedrich von Schiller (lyrics) 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 source of strength, solidarity and ironclad brotherhood, created during those long months in captivity, seeking an outlet for our hearts. I believe that that experience left a mark on all of us. »
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Published on: 05 August 2016


I Can Trust the Lord (Puedo confiar en el Señor)

Author:
Unknown
Testimony by:
Sigifredo Ramos Vásquez
Place & date:
Cárcel de Temuco, September - December 1973
« My experience during our captivity can be summed up in this personal observation. Protest songs were forbidden, so we had no other option than to sing religious songs. One religious song really struck a chord among my fellow prisoners, to such an extent that it took on the character of a true battle anthem. »
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Published on: 27 July 2016


Melody by Jorge Peña Hen

Author:
Jorge Peña Hen
Testimony by:
María Fedora Peña
Place & date:
Cárcel de la Serena, October 1973
« “Look here, Maria Fedora. I’ve brought you a treasure...” - it was the voice of my brother Juan Cristián as he crossed the doorway of our mother’s house one morning in January 1983. Peering over the staircase banister, I saw him raise his right hand with something clenched inside. »
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Published on: 01 July 2016


Melody by Jorge Peña Hen

Author:
Jorge Peña Hen
Testimony by:
Eliseo González
Place & date:
Cárcel de la Serena, October 1973
« Jorge Peña Hen was in solitary confinement that day. I don’t know how, but someone brought him matches. With his saliva, he made ink from the phosphorus tips, which he then used to write a score of music on a scrap of paper. »
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Published on: 26 April 2016


The Little Fence (La rejita)

Author:
lyrics: collective creation; music: “Jálame la pitita” by Luis Abanto Morales (Peruvian polka)
Testimony by:
María Cecilia Marchant Rubilar
Place & date:
Cárcel de Mujeres Buen Pastor, La Serena, September 1973 - January 1974
« We always sang this song when we were taken to Regimiento Arica. That was a torture centre. On our departure and return, the female prisoners who remained behind also sang the song. The lyrics were a collective effort, it was like our anthem. »
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Published on: 02 January 2016