Today I Sing for the Sake of Singing (Hoy canto por cantar)

Music piece by:
Nydia Caro and Riccardo Ceratto
Testimony by:
Ángeles Álvarez Cárdenas
Detention in:
Villa Grimaldi, 6 - 15 January 1975

At that time, many prisoners were subjected to extreme torture in the interrogations. Some managed to get through those processes alright, while others broke down.

Breaking down meant 'speaking' and for the members of the DINA(National Intelligence Directorate) Secret police of Pinochet’s dictatorship between 1974 and 1977. it meant 'this jerk is singing'. I often heard them saying: 'eventually all of them are going to sing'.

Alongside all this horror, the DINA had a radio playing the latest popular music, and I was struck to hear a song by Nydia Caro, who had won the OTI Festival in 1974. It was very popular in Chile at the time.

When I was free, I sought out that song and to this day it makes me relive those moments of great pain. I listen to it and it takes me back to those events.


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Published on: 02 December 2015


I'm empty
I feel nothing
I don’t even want to talk
and I'm singing
I’m too weary
to open my mouth
to say the same
that so many others have said
how stupid
to sing to the world
asking for love and peace
everywhere
if nobody listens
to what we say
what we singers ask for
verse by verse.

[Chorus]
So today I sing just for the sake of singing
without a reason to worry
since the problems
are each person's problems
and each one already has their song.
Today I sing just for the sake of singing
to sing, even though it hurts my heart
To me, the river or the sea are all the same
the north, the south, the cold, the warmth.

I'm empty
I feel nothing
I don’t even want to talk
and I'm singing
I’m too weary
to open my mouth
to say the same
that so many others have said
people want
to hear songs
to forget
the pain of our land,
what use are
our dreams
if a song
can never stop the war.