Trim the Sails (Brazas a ceñir)

Music piece by:
Luis Mella Toro
Testimony by:
César Montiel

Some testimonies have short notes that explain Chilean slang, dates, names, acronyms, concepts and important contexts. To read the notes, click on the underlined wordsThis is a sample note..

The Navy sailors made us sing every day, when we got up very early to raise the flag. We, as the squaddies, had to sing military songs, their songs.

One of the songs was ‘Brazas a ceñir’ (Trim the Sails), the hymn of the Army. We had to sing loud and spirited, as they said. We also had to sing the anthem ‘Lili Marlene’. Those who didn’t would receive a kick in the butt or a kick of the rifle.

When I listen to these anthems, I instantly remember Puchuncaví.


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Published on: 18 June 2022


Ready to set sail
with resolve, trim the sails
make good use of the breeze from the South
that sets us forth swiftly.

The storm approaches
the young ones to be stowed
the course is always the same
I want to imagine
a port to anchor.

Sailor, do not falter
sail with a song
far away a thousand fortunes await you
that you will not be able to forget.

You must not stain your name
giant of the wide sea
this is the slogan, sailor
fulfil your duty
and you will prevail.

Sailboats are my passion
emblem of my flag
it is your stronghold sail
of unmatched patriotism.

With you wild sea
I want to start the fight
in my soul, an ardent feeling
and always triumphant
over the storm.