I’d like to say one thing about the uniqueness of Bruce’s stature, both moral and human.
When he played in Santiago del Cile in 2013, his first ever performance in the country, it was 40 years and one day after Pinochet’s golpe (that, on a note not be forgotten, was fully supported and consolidated by the USA).
Bruce decided to open the encore section with Manifiesto, a son from great artist Victor Jara. Jara was a Chilean teacher, poet, songwriter, and political activist. Shortly after the Chilean coup of 11 September 1973, Jara was arrested, tortured under interrogation and ultimately shot dead, his body thrown out into the streets. The contrast between the themes of his songs, on love, peace and social justice and the brutal way in which he was murdered transformed Jara into a symbol of struggle for human rights and justice for all the victims of the Pinochet regime.
I don’t think that there are that many american artists who go and play in Chile and take time to pay homage to the atrocities suffered from the people, let alone inform themselves on this subject.
But I was not actually surprised that Bruce did it, that’s who he is, that’s why we spend our lives with him.
Bruce announced the song with these words (in Spanish): “In 1988 we played for Amnesty International in Mendoza, Argentina, but Chile was in our hearts. We met many families of Desaparecidos, which had pictures of their loved ones. It was a moment that stays with me forever. A political musician, Víctor Jara, remains a great inspiration. It’s a gift to be here and I take it with humbleness”.
I don’t sing just to sing
niether because i have a good voice.
I sing because the guitar
makes sense and has a reason,
It has a heart made of earth
and wings of a little dove,
It’s like holy water
it blesses glories and sadness
Here my singing got stucked
just like Violeta used to say,
a working guitar
with a spring smell.
A guitar that doesn’t belong to the rich ones
nor anything like it.
My singing comes from the scaffoldings
used to reach the stars.
Because singing makes sense
when the veins palpitate
from whom will die singing
the truthful truth
not the brief flatterings
or the foreigner fames
but the singing of a lark instead
until the bottom of the earth.
There where everything arrives
and where everything begins
The song that has been brave
will always remains as ‘canción nueva’*
*new song: movement in latin-american folk music in the ’60s.