Lucía

Author:
Joan Manuel Serrat
Testimony by:
Beatriz Bataszew Contreras
Place & date:
Campamento de Prisioneros, Tres Álamos, December 1974 - May 1976

Tres Álamos was a more “normal” camp, even though we never had a trial. There was a lot of music, it was sort of ritualistic. There were days when we put more enthusiasm into it, on Saturdays or Sundays after the visits, although I’m not all that sure.

We would communicate with our companions who were one pavilion away. A kind of song-based dialogue was created. They would sing one thing and we would sing something else. Sometimes we would take off on our own flight and sing on our own. There was always a lot of singing. It was a collective act, of companionship and affection. We sang standing up, all connected like in an oval. It produced something with great connection and strength.

We would sing songs by Joan Manuel Serrat. I remember ‘Lucía’ because I liked it a lot, but no doubt were there others. ‘Lucía’ was for quiet and private spaces. You need a very good voice for this song. It’s difficult, not all of us would sing it. The comrade who sang it appeared to become one with the music. I think there was a guitar but I can’t say for sure.

‘Candombe para José’ was very important. The line ‘ánimo Negro José’ (‘go for it, Negro José’) was a bit like saying ‘it will go away, there are always other possibilities’. I feel it was an encouraging song and also a way of showing each other affection. Although it’s completely different, ‘Palabras para Julia’ (Words for Julia) also says that there is a future, in spite of the current circumstances. ‘Ode to Joy’ was extremely important. It suggests that there are going to be changes, that our situation is not going to last forever.

I seem to remember that someone brought up ‘Candombe’ and said ‘shall we sing it?’ And we sang it. Now we look for a reason. I think we don't tend to value chance. Then someone might say ‘if I sang this it was for a reason’. I think that often things just happen, as they do in love. Rather than the lyrics, what made sense for me was that we, eighty women, sang it together. It was extremely potent.


Published on: 08 November 2016


This song flies
for you, Lucía.
The most beautiful love story
that I've had and that I’ll ever have
is a love letter
carried away by the wind
painted in my voice
to nowhere
to no mail box.

There is nothing lovelier
than what I've never had
There isn't anything dearer
than what I've lost.
Forgive me if
today I search in the sand
for that full moon
that scratched the sea.

If I ever was a bird of passage,
I forgot it to nest in your arms
If I ever was beautiful and good
it was when entangled in your neck and your breasts.

If I ever was wise in love
I learnt it from your singing lips
If I ever loved
If one day,
after loving, I loved
it was because of your love, Lucía
Lucía.

My memories of you are
sweeter every day
forgetfulness took away only half of them
And your shadows still
Come to bed with me
with darkness
between my pillow
and my solitude.

There is nothing lovelier
than what I've never had
There isn't anything dearer.
than what I've lost.
Forgive me if
today I search in the sand
for that full moon
that scratched the sea.

If I ever loved
If one day,
after loving, I loved
it was because of your love, Lucía
Lucía.