May the Omelette Flip Over (Que la tortilla se vuelva)

Music piece by:
Chicho Sánchez Ferlosio. Popularized by Quilapayún
Testimony by:
Claudio Melgarejo
Experience in:

I spent a week in captivity, in November 1973. I didn’t hear many songs, but the most popular ones sung by my comrades were 'Venceremos' (We Shall be Victorious) and 'Que la tortilla se vuelva' (May the Omelette Flip Over), also known as 'The Tomato Song', which portrays the bosses' exploitation of the workers.

At that time, the young in Latin American were steeped in revolutionary change and we empathised with the situation around Che Guevara and Cuba.

After my imprisonment in the police station in Concepción, I was required to sign in at the prison at 70 Chacabuco Street (Concepción Prison/El Manzano Prison) for the next five years. There I was tortured. They would take me away in a vehicle, with a hood over my head, and I would be found in the street at dawn.


Published on: 13 July 2015

The grass covering the roads
is trampled on by ramblers
and the worker’s wife
is trampled on by four rascals
those types who have money.

What fault is the tomato's
resting peacefully on the vine
if some bastard comes along
and sticks it in a can
and sends it off to Caracas.

The lords of the mine
bought a steelyard balance
to weigh the money
that every week
they steal from the poor worker.

When will God in heaven wish
for the omelet to be flipped over
so that the poor eat bread
and the rich eat shit.