The Dance of Those Left Behind (El baile de los que sobran)

Music piece by:
Los Prisioneros
Testimony by:
Eduardo Andrés Arancibia Ortiz
Experience in:

I learnt about Los Prisioneros through the 'Hecho en Chile' programme on Radio Galaxia, presented by Sergio 'Pirincho' CárcamoChilean radio presenter, well-known for his music programmes on Radio Minería and Radio Futuro.. Their music became our trench and musical poetry, like all other forms of struggles against dictatorship.

I was already listening to the 'Nuestro Canto' programme presented by Miguel DavagninoChilean radio presenter affiliated with the former Radio Chilena. on Radio Chilena in 1976. From 1986 I listened to the music dissident to the dictatorship on Radio Umbral, played by the late Pedro Henríquez. This was the radio panorama that allowed us to hear the voices and sounds of resistance.

This is how I survived loneliness, first underground and then in prison, artistically cultivating my own politically revolutionary project. In prison, there was always a radio set to accompany my political ideas infused with poetry and hope.

The barking of the dog in 'El baile de los que sobran' sank deep into me. They were from before the coup, from 'Luchín' by Victor Jara, and reappeared as rock in popular music.

The loyal canine friend, always near the poor, can build us up again, repair our hope. This four-legged creature is nowadays an emblem of the popular uprising, through Negro MatapacosStray dog that participated in student protests in Santiago in the 2010s and became a symbol of the social revolt of 2019..

During a family visit, my 13-year old little brother told me that Los Prisioneros had rebel blood. This bout of affection, my brother, is what guides me to this day. Los Prisioneros were, are and always will be bearers of the struggles of mankind. Yesterday, today and tomorrow.

Victims remembered in this testimony:


Published on: 15 December 2019

It's another night of walking
it's another end of the month, with nothing new
My friends ended up, just like you
this year the games ended
their twelve games.

Join the dance of those left behind
no one will ever kick us out of here
because no one ever really wanted to help us out.

They told us when we were kids
play the studying game
all of us men are brothers
and together we should all strive.

You heard the advice
the eyes of our teacher
The sun shone over our heads
and it was all false
because at the end of those games
others ended up with laurels and futures
and my friends were left
kicking stones.


Hey, I remember some stories
about the future
Hey, the time I learned about them I felt the safest.

Under our shoes
there's mud and concrete
The future is nothing
like what was promised during those twelve games.

Others learned secrets you weren't told
Others were truly given
that thing called education
They would ask for effort
They would ask for dedication
And what for? To end up dancing
and kicking stones.