“No basta rezar: La música de la Teología de la Liberación” (To pray is not enough: The music of Liberation Theology)

SONGS FROM FIRST PROGRAM

 

SONGS FROM SECOND PROGRAM

 

FIRST PART (Songs from first program)

 

Song:Porque los pobres no tienen

Translation of “Porque los pobres no tienen”

 

Song:No basta rezar

Translation of “No basta rezar”

 

Song:Canto de entrada (Misa popular salvadoreña)

(Translation pending. Coming soon!)

 

Song:Canto de entrada (Misa campesina nicaragüense)

Translation of “Canto de entrada (Misa campesina nicaragüense)”

 

Song:¿Qué dirá el Santo Padre?

Translation of “¿Qué dirá el Santo Padre?”

 

Song:Kyrie (Misa campesina nicaragüense)

Translation of “Kyrie (Misa campesina nicaragüense)”

 

Song:Las preguntitas

Translation of “Las preguntitas”

 

Song:Gloria (Misa popular salvadoreña)

(Translation pending. Coming soon!)

 

Song:Gloria (Misa campesina nicaragüense)”

Translation of “Gloria (Misa campesina nicaragüense)”

 

Song:Plegaria a un labrador

Translation of “Plegaria a un labrador”

 

Song:Techos de cartón

Translation of “Techos de cartón”

 

 

SECOND PART (Songs from second program)

 

 

Song:Baião das comunidades

 

Song:Credo (Misa campesina nicaragüense)

Translation of “Credo (Misa campesina nicaragüense)

 

Song:Ofertorio (Misa popular salvadoreña)

(Translation pending. Coming soon!)

 

Song:Ofertorio (Misa campesina nicaragüense)

Translation of “Ofertorio (Misa campesina nicaragüense)”

 

Song:La muralla

Translation of “La muralla”

 

Song:Canto de meditación (Misa campesina nicaragüense)

(Live version)

Translation of “Canto de meditación (Misa campesina nicaragüense)”

 

Song:El Cristo de Palacagüina

Translation of “El Cristo de Palacagüina”

 

Song:Santo (Misa campesina nicaragüense)

Translation of “Santo (Misa campesina nicaragüense)”

 

Song:Hermano, dame tu mano

 

Song:Canto de comunión (Misa popular salvadoreña)

(Translation pending. Coming soon!)

 

Song:Vamos a la milpa (Misa campesina nicaragüense)

Translation of “Vamos a la milpa (Misa campesina nicaragüense)”

 

Song:Sólo le pido a Dios

Translation of “Sólo le pido a Dios”

 

Song:Canto de despedida (Misa popular salvadoreña)

(Translation pending. Coming soon!)

 

Song:Canto de despedida (Misa campesina nicaragüense)

Translation of “Canto de despedida (Misa campesina nicaragüense)”

 

 

TRANSLATIONS INTO ENGLISH

 

 

Porque los pobres no tienen

 

Because the poor don’t have

anywhere to turn their gaze,

they turn it towards the sky

with an infinite hope

of finding what was taken

from their brother in this world.

 

Because the poor don’t have

anywhere to turn their voice,

they turn it towards the sky

seeking a confession

since their brother doesn’t listen

to the voice of his heart.

 

Because the poor don’t have

any hope in this world,

they shelter themselves in the other life

like a sort of just trade-off,

hence the processions,

the candles, the prayers.

 

And, to maintain the lie,

his confessor calls him over

and tells him that God doesn’t want

any revolution

or strikes, or unions

because that offends His heart.

 
 

From time immemorial

hell has been invented

to frighten the poor

with its eternal punishments,

and the poor, who are innocent,

believing, in their innocence.

 

From a church’s heart

Alejandro, the singer, came out.

Instead of litanies,

I hear heresies from him.

I think such a singer

should be excommunicated.

 

Since the world is upside down,

I’ll be sent to prison

and the singer with the cassock

will be granted a top award,

but neither prison nor policeman

shall silence my voice.

 

 

No basta rezar

 

No, no, no, to pray is not enough,

many things are needed

in order to achieve peace.

 

And they pray in good faith

and they pray with their heart,

but even the pilot prays

as he boards the plane

to go and bomb

the children in Vietnam,

to go and bomb

the children in Vietnam.

 

No, no, no, to pray is not enough,

many things are needed

in order to achieve peace.

 

Nothing can be achieved

if there is no revolution.

The rich pray, the master prays

whilst mistreating the laborer,

the rich pray, the master prays

whilst mistreating the laborer

 

No, no, no, to pray is not enough,

many things are needed

in order to achieve peace.

 

In the world there won’t be peace

whilst man exploits man

and inequality exists,

whilst man exploits man

and inequality exists

 

No, no, no, to pray is not enough,

many things are needed

in order to achieve peace.

 

When the people rise up

and transform everything

you all will say with me

that prayer alone wasn’t enough.

 

No, no, no, to pray is not enough,

many things are needed

in order to achieve peace.

 

No, no, no, to pray is not enough.

No, no, no, to pray is not enough.

 

 

Canto de entrada” (Misa Popular Salvadoreña)

(To be included)

 

 

Canto de entrada (“Misa campesina nicaragüense”)

 

You are the God of the poor,

the human and simple God,

the God who sweats in the streets,

the God with the weathered face;

that’s why I speak to you

just like my people speak,

because you are God the laborer,

Christ the worker.

(Refrain)

 

Hand in hand you walk with my people,

you struggle in the fields and the city,

you stand in line at the construction site

waiting to be paid your day’s wages.

 

You snack on shaved ice there, at the park,

with Eusebio, Pancho and Juan José,

and you even complain about the syrup

when it doesn’t have enough honey.

 

I have seen you at the corner store

standing behind a counter,

I have seen you peddling lottery tickets

unashamed to do so

I have seen you in gas stations

checking the tires of a truck

and even laying tar on highways

wearing leather gloves and overalls

(Translation: © Gilberto Vázquez Valle and Sara Nelson)

 

 

¿Qué dirá el Santo Padre?

 

Look at how they ramble on about liberty

while they actually deprive us of it.

Look at how they proclaim tranquility

as we are tormented by authority.

 

What shall the Holy Father,

who lives in Rome, say

as they behead his doves?

 

Look at how they speak to us about paradise

when bullets are raining like hail,

look at the enthusiasm with which they sentence

knowing that they now killed innocence.

 

The one who dispenses death like an executioner

Is calmly having his breakfast

 

Wheat for what is sown

watered with your blood, Julian Grimau

 

The more injustice, Mr. Prosecutor,

the more strength in my soul to sing.

 

With this they put the noose around their neck.

The sixth commandment has no seal.

 

What shall the Holy Father,

who lives in Rome, say

as they behead his doves?

 

 

Kyrie (“Misa campesina nicaragüense”)

 

Christ, Christ Jesus,

identify with us.

Lord, Lord, my God,

identify with us.

Christ, Christ Jesus,

have solidarity,

but not with

the oppressing class

that exploits and devours

the community,

have it instead with those

who are being oppressed,

with the people, my people,

who are thirsting for peace.

(Translation: © Gilberto Vázquez Valle and Sara Nelson)

 

 

Las preguntitas

 

One day I asked: Grandfather, where is God?

my grandfather became sad, and responded nothing to me.

My grandfather died in the fields, with neither prayers nor confession,

and the Indians buried him, with his flute and drum.

 

When I asked: Father, what do you know about God?

my father became serious, and responded nothing to me.

My father died in the mine, with neither a doctor nor support.

The master’s gold, has the color of a miner’s blood.

 

My brother lives in the hills, yet never has he seen a flower;

sweat, malaria, and snakes... the life of a woodcutter.

I hope that no one asks him, if he knows where God is,

someone so important has never visited his house.

 

I sing along the roads, and when I am in prison,

I hear the voices of the people, that sing better than I.

 

There is an issue, here on Earth, more important than God,

and that is that no one should spit up blood,

so that another can live better than he/she.

 

That God watches over the poor...it may be true or it may be not,

But that God dines with the master... that is certain.

 

 

Gloria (“Misa popular salvadoreña”)

(To be included)

 

 

Gloria (“Misa campesina nicaragüense”)

 

With my people’s merriest tunes

I come to sing this “Glory to Christ”,

which, sounding like “Son de toros”,

I like the most.

 

I want to sing to Jesus,

who’s the leader of truth,

with the explosive and

overflowing joy

of the firecrackers that light

the skies at the community’s festivals

 

Let there be glory to God at

Siuna, Jalapa and Cosigüina,

at Solentiname, Diriomo and Ticuantepe.

Glory to God at Tisma, Waslala and Yalagüina,

at Totogalpa, Moyogalpa and Santa Cruz.

 

Let there be glory to the one

who follows the Gospel’s light,

glory to the one who fearlessly

denounces injustice,

glory to the one who suffers

prison and exile and gives his/her life

fighting against the oppressor.

 

Today, Lord, we glorify you with marimbas,

with violins made of ñámbar, with rattles

and atabales, with chirimías, quijongos

and sambumbias, with the native dances

from Subtiava and Monimbó.

(Translation: © Gilberto Vázquez Valle and Sara Nelson)
 
 
 

Plegaria a un labrador

 

Arise and behold the mountain

from whence come (the) wind, (the) sun and (the) water.

You who drive the course of (the) rivers,

You who beget the flight of your soul.

 

Arise and behold (the)your hands,

to grow embrace your brother.

Together we will go, united in (the) blood

now is the time that can be tomorrow.

 

Deliver us from that which us dominates

in (the) misery.

Bring us your kingdom of justice

and equality.

Blow like the wind the flower

of the ravine.

Clean, like (the) fire,

the barrel of my gun.

Have, at last, thy will be done

here on earth.

Give us your strength and your courage

to fight.

 

Arise and behold (the)your hands,

to grow embrace your brother.

 

Together we will go, united in (the) blood,

now and in the hour of our death.

 

Amen.

 

 

Techos de cartón

 

How sad the rain sounds

on the roofs made of cardboard,

How sad it is how my people live

in the houses made of cardboard.

 

Here comes the worker

almost dragging each step,

carrying suffering’s weight.

The suffering is too much,

The suffering’s weight is too much.

 

Up there he left his wife pregnant,

down there is the city

and he loses himself in his maze.

 

Today is the same as yesterday,

his world doesn’t have a tomorrow

 

Children colored like my soil,

and marked by the same scars,

millionaires in tapeworms;

and, because of that,

how sadly live the children

in the houses made of cardboard.

How happy do dogs live at the

slave driver’s house.

 

You won’t believe it

but there are schools for dogs

where they get education

so they won’t bite the newspapers,

But the master,

since a long, long time ago,

has been biting the worker.

 

How sad the rain sounds

in the houses made of cardboard.

How far away hope passes by

on the roofs made of cardboard.

 

 

Credo (“Misa campesina nicaragüense”)

 

I firmly believe, Lord,

that from your fertile mind

all of this world was born,

that from your artist’s hand,

that of a primeval painter,

beauty bloomed:

The stars and the moon,

the little houses, the lagoons,

the little boats sailing

along the river towards the sea,

the immense coffee fields,

the white cotton fields,

and the forests mutilated

by the criminal axe.

 

I believe in you,

architect, engineer,

artisan, carpenter,

bricklayer and assembler.

I believe in you,

builder of thought,

of music and wind,

of peace and love.

(Refrain)

 

I believe in you, laborer Christ,

light of lights and God’s true only-begotten

who, in order to save the world,

in Mary’s chaste and humble womb

became incarnated;

I believe that you were beaten up,

tortured contemptuously,

tormented on the cross

when Pilatus was praetor,

the imperialist, heartless

and worthless Roman

who, by washing his hands,

tried to erase the mistake.

 

I believe in you, comrade,

human Christ, worker Christ,

victor over death,

you who with your immense sacrifice

created a new people

to bring about liberation.

 

You are resurrected

in each arm outstretched

to defend the people

from exploitive domination.

 

Because you are alive in the hut,

in the factory, in the school,

I believe in your relentless struggle,

I believe in your resurrection.

(Translation: © Gilberto Vázquez Valle and Sara Nelson)

 

 

Ofertorio (“Misa campesina nicaragüense”)

 

In this mass,

I offer you, Lord,

the hustle and bustle of each day,

all of the energy produced

through my sweat.

I offer you, Lord,

all of my work,

my vine-shaped arms,

my heart’s lively enthusiasm.

 

Along with bread and wine we,

peasants and workers,

offer you today

chilincocos and almendros

that deep in the mountains

our land brought forth,

dark purple caimitos,

mangos painted with

moon and sun,

pipianes, ayotes, honey from jicote,

chicha made of coyol.

 

The working class,

toiling since dawn,

sings to you from the plough,

from each and every scaffolding,

and even from the tractor;

bricklayers, carpenters,

tailors, day laborers,

each and every one;

blacksmiths, stevedores

and the shoe-shiners

from the downtown park.

(Translation: © Gilberto Vázquez Valle and Sara Nelson)

 

 

La muralla

 

For us to build this wall,

bring me all the hands:

blacks their black hands,

whites their white hands.

 

Aye,

 

A wall that stretches

from the beach to the mountain,

from the mountain to the beach,

there, over the horizon.

 

- Knock, knock!

- Who’s there?

- A rose and a carnation

- Open the wall!

- Knock, knock!

- Who’s there?

- The colonel’s saber

- Close the wall!

- Knock, knock!

- Who’s there?

- The pigeon and the laurel

- Open the wall!

- Knock, knock!

- Who’s there?

- The scorpion and the centipede

- Close the wall!

 

To the heart of a friend,

open the wall;

To the poison and the dagger,

close the wall;

To the myrtle and the mint,

open the wall;

To the snake’s teeth,

close the wall;

to the nightingale in the flower,

open the wall.

 

Let us raise a wall

putting together all the hands

blacks, their black hands,

whites, their white hands.

 

A wall that stretches

from the beach to the mountain,

from the mountain to the beach,

there, over the horizon.

 

 

Canto de meditación (“Misa campesina nicaragüense”)

 

Before the day is born,

the birds from the woodlands,

güises and zenzontles

give us their melodies;

one can hear the loud pecking

of a woodpecker

who, at the top of a tree,

is building the house

where he is going to live;

meanwhile, nearby, a little sparrow

jumps from one twig to another.

 

Today, Lord, like those little birds,

I sing to you asking that you unite us

in love and in strength.

 

I praise you a thousand times

because you were a rebel,

because you struggled night and day

against humanity’s injustice.

 

United, a thousand peasants we sing to you,

we come down from the hills

with our saddlebags overflowing with love,

because you are the valiant one,

the guide and the righter of wrongs,

because you are the chieftain of chieftains

of all of my people.

 

¡Sing, pijules, zanates and pocoyos,

come over chichiltotes, saltapiñuelas

and alcarabán, sing colibrí,

canarios and chocoyos, together with

the macuá, sing happily all of you!

(Translation: © Gilberto Vázquez Valle and Sara Nelson)

 

 

El Cristo de Palacagüina

 

On the hilltop of the Iguana,

a mountain-peak in the Segovias,

an extraordinary splendor shone out

like a dawn in the middle of the night.

The cornfields caught fire,

the fireflies began to glow,

light showered on Moyogalpa,

on Telpaneca and on Chichigalpa.

 

Christ is here and now, born in Palacagüina!

of a fellow named José

and a village-girl named María.

She goes about her work with great humility

washing and ironing the clothes

that please the landlord’s lady.

 

The folks gathered round in clusters

to look on him and see him.

The Indian Joaquín brought him string-cheese

in braids, from Nagarote;

and as far as I can tell, instead

of incense, gold and myrrh,

they gave him caramel-candies,

and pastries from Guadalupe.

 

Christ is here and now, born in Palacagüina!...

 

José, the poor day-laborer

works at it all day long;

the joints in his hands are aching

from his years at carpentry.

María dreams that the child,

like his father, go into woodcraft;

but already the little one’s thinking:

“tomorrow I’ll fight for the freedom of all!”

 

Christ is here and now, born in Palacagüina!...

 

(Translation: © 1980, 2013, Juan Pedro Gaffney R.)

 

 

Santo (“Misa campesina nicaragüense”)

 

At each and every road,

trail, and gully,

I can see, Jesus Christ,

your truth’s light.

You are thrice saint,

you are thrice just,

free us from the yoke,

grant us freedom.

 

You are the just, impartial God,

you are not careless,

you are a man of courage,

chieftain of chieftains.

 

You are thrice saint,

you are thrice just,

free us from the yoke,

grant us freedom.

(Translation: © Gilberto Vázquez Valle and Sara Nelson)

 

 

Vamos a la milpa (“Misa campesina nicaragüense”)

 

Let’s go to the cornfield,

to the Lord’s cornfield,

Jesus Christ is inviting us

to his harvest of love,

the cornfields shine

under the sunlight,

let’s go to the communion’s

cornfield.

(Refrain)

 

The people spread out

all around the altar;

the entire community congregates

very close to the bonfire.

I come from inland,

further beyond Sacaclí.

I have with me beautiful little mazurkas

and a little tune that I sing thus.

 

The little fishes from the lake

want to accompany us

and jubilantly jump,

as if they were tipsy with fraternity,

laguneros and robalos,

guapote and gaspar,

mojarras, guabinas

and even the sardinas seem to sing.

 

Communion is not

an irrelevant and trivial ritual,

it’s to commit oneself to Christendom,

it’s to experience Christendom,

it’s to become aware of Christendom,

it means communing with

the people’s struggles,

it means saying I’m a Christian and

you, brother, can count on me.

(Translation: © Gilberto Vázquez Valle and Sara Nelson)

 

 

Sólo le pido a Dios

 

I only ask from God

that I won’t be indifferent to pain,

that the arid death won’t find me

empty and alone

without having done enough.

 

I only ask from God

that I won’t be indifferent to injustice,

that I will not be slapped on the other cheek

after a claw has scratched this fate.

 

I only ask from God

that I won’t be indifferent to war,

it’s a big monster

and it tramples hard

all that poor innocence of people.

 

I only ask from God

that I won’t be indifferent to deceit,

if a traitor is mightier than a few

let those few not forget it easily.

 

I only ask from God

that I won’t be indifferent to the future;

there’s no hope for the one

who is forced to leave

and live a different culture.

 

 

Canto de despedida (“Misa campesina nicaragüense”)

 

There is nothing more beautiful than

seeing a people gathered, fighting

when they want to improve their lot

because they are determined to do so.

There is nothing more beautiful than

hearing in the song of each and every one,

a single, immense cry, that of fraternity.

 

It is heartbreaking to bid farewell when the joy is so great,

I feel a lump right in the middle of my throat.

But all this sadness will soon become a smile

when we all come back to the Misa Campesina.

 

What a beautiful thing it is to see Chenta Calero

with her four children and Gaspar, her joyful partner.

From here I can see Presentación Ortíz, the fisherman,

and his whole family, singing happily.

 

Today my heart feels like new, I feel it stronger than ever,

like the seed of the marañón when it’s just ripened;

later, when I’m back at home, overflowing with joy,

I’ll weed my garden with more devotion.

 

With the sound from the hand palms, the song

is becoming stronger, so that it vibrates in all and gathers

intensity; with the sound of the hand palms it will be known

that we are many, and if we are united

nobody shall be able to move us.

 

Let’s join our hands to fuse with each other once again,

in this huge circle of brotherhood, of Nicaraguan love.

Let’s unite our hands to build a strong wall

that will forever defend the community.

(Translation: © Gilberto Vázquez Valle and Sara Nelson)