Dona Nobis Pacem
Music was always present in my family. My dad played the violin and my mum the piano. When I was a child, my mum sent us to dance and piano lessons.
I also learnt at the Evangelical Church and sang on the radio. My husband Mario played the guitar very well and had a wonderful tenor voice. We made a good duo. I could find the second voice for any boleroTerm referring to both the Spanish bolero of the 19th century and the Cuban bolero associated with the trova genre and tradition of itinerant musicians..
In Buen Pastor, I would see the girls with teary eyes. They pretended to be strong but then they would go watch television series. It was an opportunity to cry.
I thought: “I will teach them to sing a bit”. With a few fellow prisoners, we created a choir. We found an old guitar, full of scratches, and although it had poor strings, it still made a sound.
We rehearsed a multitude of songs. At night, my fingertips would hurt so much that I had to dip them in cold water to relieve the pain. It was like a burn.
We rehearsed several religious songs and sang during a mass led by a Jesuit priest. This inspired me to take the Catholic communion for the first time.
I remember that that day we sang the canon 'Dona nobis pacem', which I had taught not only to the prisoners but also to the nuns.
The nuns' choir and ours joined forces. The result was beautiful. We were a novelty. The following Sunday the church was full because people wanted to hear us sing.
I also taught them a very beautiful evangelical march that would lift our spirits. It went: “I’m happy and I’ll tell you why / I know that Jesus Christ saved me / I will always sing about his grace / I know that Jesus Christ saved me”.
Published on: 25 September 2016
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