Musicalized Dialogue between Two Old Prisoners (Diálogo musicalizado entre dos ancianos presos)

Author:
Sergio Vesely
Testimony by:
Sergio Vesely

At Puchuncaví Detention Camp (Melinka) I shared a cell with an elderly man from Lota, where he had spent his entire life working in the coal mines. I was struck by the way he spoke. It was very different from the “Chilean” way of a twenty-something year-old from the capital like me. When he talked to our fellow prisoners, I could barely understand a word he said. I composed this song in the cell by transcribing some of our conversations.


Published on: 22 June 2015


What’s the matter with you, buddy, why don't you cumpa*?
I don’t cumpo, buddy. But nothing’s wrong.
What’s the matter with you, buddy, why don't you cumpa?
Dry your face, it’s wet.

I don’t cumpo, buddy. But nothing’s wrong.
What’s the matter with you, buddy, why don't you cumpa?
What’s the matter? I’ve been behind bars a long time,
I’m in the slammer
and no one cares.




(*) Cumpa is a colloquial term for buddy, used here as a verb.