Return, Return, Return (Volver, volver, volver)

Author:
Vicente Fernández
Testimony by:
Jorge Montealegre Iturra

At the Chacabucan artistic shows, Hugo Peñaloza sang tangos, including “Volver” (Return) by Gardel and Le Pera. This caused a lot of self-ironic laughter when he sang  “que veinte años no es nada” (twenty years is nothing) given our situation of uncertainty in which no one knew how long we’d be imprisoned. He also sang it during a farewell party for a group of comrades who were going to be released. To think of returning was tragicomic. And yet, four decades later, we returned. Of our own free will.

But forty years is not nothing: it’s a long time. And "Volver" is much more than a tango. In September 2013, we remembered the fortieth anniversary of the coup and the death of President Allende. It was then that the journey began.

Names, ironies, places, omissions. After visiting  the house where he lived as a prisoner, now filled with the ghosts of the past, like all the other houses there, Pollito Fonseca went to the theatre and sang one of his hits: the Mexican song "Volver, volver, volver" (Return, return, return) written by Fernando Z. Maldonado. Guitar in hand, Pollito once again sang about returning, literally, forty years later.

Back then, when he performed on the prison camp stage, he sang it mischievously and a sense of dark humour. This was expressed not only because of the real possibility of returning to the prison, but also by the gestures he made when singing “Voy camino a la locura y aunque todo me tortura…” (I’m on the road to madness and still everything tortures me...).

At that point in the song, the entire captive audience would laugh at a verse that was not just funny but also bold: the word "torture" was accusatory and symbolised our story prior to being taken to Chacabuco.


Published on: 06 January 2015


This passionate love,
is all excited,
to return.
I'm on the path to madness
and still everything tortures me,
I know how to love.

We left each other some time ago,
but the time arrived to lose
you were quite right,
I will obey my heart
and I'm dying to return.

And return, return, return
to your arms again,
I'll go wherever you are
I know how to lose, I know how to lose,
I want to return, return, return.

We left each other some time ago,
but the time arrived to lose
you were quite right,
I will obey my heart
and I'm dying to return.

And return, return, return
to your arms again,
I'll go wherever you are
I know how to lose, I know how to lose,
I want to return, return, return.