The Black King (El rey negro)

Music piece by:
Sergio Vesely
Testimony by:
Sergio Vesely

One cold winter night of 1975, the small clinic of Melinka, in the Puchuncaví Detention Camp, became the setting for a touching story.

A woman from the neighbouring village of Rungue, who was not a prisoner, gave birth to a daughter in that unusual place. Two political prisoners, both of them medical students, assisted the mother in labour while the other 208 prisoners slept in their respective cells, oblivious to what was happening.

At dawn, the news spread quickly and many of us took it as a sign of hope. A long line of prisoners formed outside the door to the infirmary in order to enter and greet the mother and the newborn baby. Many brought small but notable gifts. I wrote some verses on a piece of paper and I gave it to the mother.

A week later we held a cultural event in the dining room to celebrate the happy event occurrence. On that day I finished writing my song 'The Black King' and I sang it for the first time for an audience comprised of political prisoners and soldiers.


Published on: 02 December 2014

A true story
my son, I’m about to tell you.
A long time ago
there was a black king in the land.

He lived next to a well
and his house was made of mud
he was the people’s friend,
they were all like his brothers.

The sun shined on every tree
there were shepherds and oxen
there was music in the wind
there was music in the wind
in the times of the black King.

His Crown was made of tin
and his beard of chocolate,
he wore a seashell for a shoe
and his hair was of straw.

He never wanted wealth
nor did he ever command his countrymen,
he was kind because he was good
and people respected him


His kingdom had no laws
he ruled freely,
working in the mornings
and meditating in the afternoon.

He invented a game for the children
they held hands
no one could dominate them,
that’s what his kingdom was like.


My son, I am so sad,
the black king vanished
I haven’t seen him in a long time
ever since the day I grew up.

Now you shall go out to search for him,
you’ll tell him I remember him,
that I carry him in my suitcase,
you’ll tell him that I'm in tears.