The Clock (El reloj)

Music piece by:
Roberto Cantoral
Testimony by:
Ana María Arenas

The day I was captured, after the first torture session, I asked for permission to sing a Christmas carol, the name of which I cannot remember. I did it to let one of my captive friends know that I was also at the Venda Sexy.

Before being imprisoned, my friend and I rehearsed this Christmas carol in the Coro Mozart, where we sang. This choir was an amalgamation of members of the Coro de Cámara of the Universities of Chile, the Católica and the Técnica del Estado.

We were all from the left and were looking to have a safe space to share music and ideas.

After the Christmas carol, my comrades from Venda Sexy asked me to sing some more. I sang the 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. “El reloj”, which I learned as the version of the trio Los Panchos.


Published on: 24 August 2019

Clock, don’t mark the hours
Otherwise, I’ll go insane
She is going to leave forever
When the sun rises again.

We only have this night left
To live our love
And your tick-tock reminds me
Of my helpless pain.

Clock, stop your course
Because my life is extinguishing
She’s the star
that lights my being
I'm nothing without her love.

Stop the time in your hands
Make this night eternal
So that she will never leave me
So that the sunrise will never rise.