Chacabuco Mass (Misa chacabucana)

Song by:
Ángel Parra and Ariel Ramírez
Testimony by:
Luis Cifuentes Seves
Experience in:
Campamento de Prisioneros Chacabuco, January - February 1974

This song is the second track on the cassette recorded in the Chacabuco prison camp by the band Los de Chacabuco, formed by Ángel Parra and led by him until his release. At the time that the cassette was recorded, Ángel had already been freed and Ernesto Parra had become the group's conductor.

The Chacabuco Mass consists of eight songs: four by Ángel Parra, composed in the camp, and four by Ariel Ramírez from his Misa Criolla (Creole Mass) recorded by Los Fronterizos* in the 1960s: 'After plowing the earth' (Ángel Parra), 'Kyrie' (Ariel Ramírez), 'Gloria' (Ariel Ramírez), 'Sanctus' (Ariel Ramírez), 'Exclamation' (Ángel Parra), 'Agnus Dei' (Ariel Ramírez), 'Man of clay' (Ángel Parra) and 'Ave Maria' (Ángel Parra).

These songs, as well as those from the Gospel of St Luke and the St John Passion, were performed by Los de Chacabuco in the masses celebrated by the chaplains for the benefit of the prisoners and the military.

It is interesting to note that Ángel was the only truly religious member in Los de Chacabuco. Nevertheless, the other members joined him enthusiastically and respectfully in singing these songs, essentially as a way of acknowledging the attitude of the Army chaplain Varela, who always treated the prisoners with great respect and solidarity.

NOTE

(*) Los Fronterizos: a folk band from the north of Argentina, active 1953-1977. Their collaboration with composer and pianist Ariel Ramírez on Misa Criolla was one of their enduring successes.


Published on: 13 November 2015

Clandestine recording made by political prisoners in Chacabuco in 1974.