A Cocky Fellow (El puntúo)

Author:
Víctor Canto and Luis Cifuentes (lyrics), Roberto Parra (music)
Testimony by:
Luis Cifuentes Seves
Place & date:
Campamento de Prisioneros Chacabuco, November 1973 - February 1974

This cueca* was composed in Chacabuco between November 1973 and February 1974, and was sung by the band Los de Chacabuco, to which Víctor Canto and I belonged.

"Los de Chacabuco" was founded and directed by Ángel Parra. Its members were: Víctor Canto, Ángel Cereceda Parra (Ángel Parra), Luis Cifuentes, Marcelo Concha, Luis Corvalán Márquez, Antonio González, Manuel Ipinza, Ernesto Parra, Julio Vega and Ricardo Yocelewski.

This cueca was secretly recorded in Chacabuco by Alberto Corvalán Castillo, son of the Communist Party's secretary general Luis Corvalán, with help from Guillermo Orrego and Domingo Chávez. Alberto died in Bulgaria from permanent heart damage caused by torture suffered at the National Stadium velodrome.

The recording was made from underneath a wooden stage built by the prisoners. The cassette recorder was provided by a guard in the concentration camp. The cassette tape was taken from the camp by Ángel Parra and was initially released on vinyl in Italy between 1974 and 1975. Ángel Parra also included this cueca in his album "Pisagua + Chacabuco", published in Chile in 2003.

The lyrics may be difficult to understand since they partly refer to concentration camp folklore, but also because they mock the soldiers subtly enough for them not to notice.

(*) Cueca: a lively dance genre in 6/8 or 3/4 time, usually for voice(s) and instrumental accompaniment, and suitable for couple dancing with a predetermined choreography.

Victims remembered in this testimony:


Published on: 17 December 2014

Clandestine recording made by political prisoners in Chacabuco in 1974.


I came to Chacabuco
cuz I’m such a good person
that's good, said my old man,
so you get to see the area.
So I came to Chacabuco.

On the airplane, I came
like a puppet
although they didn’t serve me
a dry Martini.

A dry Martini, oh yes
not that I was about to escape
but they wouldn’t let me
climb on the tank. (1)

Climb on the tank, oh yes,
don’t know what’s going on,
they say I’m hauling with me
the entire plaza. (2)

The entire plaza, oh yes,
it shouldn’t surprise you,
let's try a bit harder
with the parcels. (3)

With the parcels, oh yes,
I’m looking my best for the mayor
at home I’ve already got
almost ten buckets. (4)

Almost ten buckets, oh yes,
who would have said it
I’ve already got perks
at the supplies store (5).

At the supplies store, oh yes,
don’t get scared of me
I’ve already made friends
with the commander.

With the commander, oh yes,
don’t you get too excited
because I'm one of the judges
on the committees. (6)

Let's get cracking, I'm getting plump,
I'm with the kitchen crew now. (7)