The Apparition (El aparecido)

Music piece by:
Víctor Jara
Testimony by:
Pedro Mella Contreras

When they took me out to physiotherapy treatment, I sang some verses of the song ‘The Apparition’ loudly:

'Son of rebellion / Followed by twenty plus twenty / Because he gives life / They want to kill him.'

The inmates and prison officers would listen to me. There were about 600 people in total. Since the jail had no windows, it rang out.

Singing was therapeutic and enabled me to release tensions.

With the songs, you could reveal what was happening at that time.

For example, the verses that I sang relate to the fact that we escaped from being executed by the CNI(National Information Centre) Secret police of Pinochet’s dictatorship between 1977 and 1990..

Víctor Jara had already passed away, but one appropriates the song and makes it one’s own story.

When I listen to these songs now, I return to that time. These are things that happened to us, and we have always said that memory is alive.

To this day, many things keep leaving a mark on us.

We are survivors of a dictatorship. I am alive to recount what was taking place in that period in Chile.

We do it for the memory and so that our youth and future generations know what happened in Chile.

History has to be told as it was, and we don’t want it to happen again. With memory, there is history!


Published on: 30 September 2019

He opens paths on the hills
Leaves his mark on the wind
The eagle gives him flight
And silence envelops him.

He never complains about the cold
Never complains about the tiredness
The poor guy feels his steps
And follows them like a blind man.

Run, run, run
Over here, over here, over there
Run, run, run
Run because they will kill you
Run, run, run.

Hi head is finished off
By ravens with golden talons
How he has been crucified
By the fury of the powerful.

Son of the rebellion
Followed by twenty and another twenty
Because he gives life
They want to kill him.