Wednesday, December 26, 2007
The Tragedy of Victor Jara
This song always makes me weepy, and I just discovered this haunting video on youtube. Victor Jara was a revolutionary Chilean singer who was murdered after the Pinochet coup of 1973. He was actually the biggest Chilean pop star, and his murder at the hands of the US/CIA-backed junta should have shocked the world. This song, "Vamos por ancho camino" (We're going by the wide road) is a poetic metaphor for the Chilean socialists' doomed strategy of popular front; uniting all the segments of society behind their broad banner, and tragically opening the door for the coup and the right-wing resurgance which lasted decades. The song, with its Andean flutes and percussion, recorded long before they became cliched, evokes hopeful innocence, belied by its future soon to be drowned in blood.
May Victor Jara always be remembered.