After the War (Después de la guerra)

Music piece by:
Testimony by:
Nelly Andrade Alcaino

The military officials in charge of the Tejas Verdes camp made us sing. They gave us just one day to select the songs and rehearse.

There were 15 women in our room. We began proposing songs. One person tried to invent a song that included a line that went something like: “my little bright-eyed lieutenant”, which the rest of the group vetoed.

Then we thought of the song "Libre" ("Free", popularised by Nino Bravo), which the group also vetoed: we were locked in the room day and night, allowed out only a couple of times a day to go to the bathroom.

Then I remembered Sandro’s song "Después de la guerra" and made the following argument: “All of us are prisoners of war, so everyone can relate to this song”. I recited the words and everyone agreed to sing it, so we rehearsed it all day long.

When they took us out to the prison yard, we sang it with all our might. There was complete silence when we finished. The military officers looked at each other and then ordered that we be returned to the room. The soldiers in the guard towers came down to ask where we had found that song.


Published on: 07 January 2015

After such a long time
As you can see, now I’m back
I came to meet your eyes
that are only vestiges of suffering.

Do you know how hard the war was?
I saw so much evil, so much pain
that today it feels like a dream to be telling
about the miserable things of that horrible hell.

I have the vodka near my lips
for you and for me I toast,
meanwhile the gypsies keep singing that melody
That today I hear once again:
La la la laila la la lara la la la ra la ra la…

But your eyes don’t look at me like they used to
because the hard life changed them.
All the tenderness they radiated
became sadness and animosity.

May the gypsies keep on singing
because this song helps me forget.