Dreams of my Imprisonment (Sueños de mi encierro)

Author:
Mario Patricio Cordero Cedraschi
Testimony by:
Mario Patricio Cordero Cedraschi
Place & date:
Cárcel de Valparaíso, Winter of 1975

I’d spent two years in prison and there was no end in sight for my time in jail. I observed during visiting hours that many prisoners had children, a wife, family; in my case, however, having been arrested so young and just turned 19, I felt a growing concern that I’d die without bearing children, and never experience this wonderful human feeling.

This concern became a nightmare and led to these verses that turned into a song and filled the last page of my prison songbook, where I’d written down a number of ballads sung by other prisoners. For a while, a musician from Valparaíso shared my cell and taught me my first chords. When he went into exile he left me his guitar, which was my companion for another long year in captivity.


Published on: 23 December 2014

Song recorded by Mario Patricio Cordero in 2015. Image from a songbook he compiled in prison.


A rock, the sea, a car
a scent, a shout, a dove
they wake me up on this dark night,
I go out for a walk...

A shadow driven by the wind
a cloud crashes in the sky
a mother suckles her child,
I go out for a walk...

A woman, a breast I have
in this night when I have no imprisonment
I speak of children smiling and dream,
I go out for a walk...

A cold bed and many dreams
torture or a dead boot
wake me on this dark night,
I go out for a walk...