Eine Kleine Nichtmusik

Witty and pertinent observations on matters of great significance OR Incoherent jottings on total irrelevancies OR Something else altogether OR All of the above

Sunday, December 10, 2006

"I don't see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist because of the irresponsibility of its own people." (Henry Kissinger 27/06/1970)

Still on the topic of mass murderers, I see that Blair's idol's idol has just died. I'm sad that he now will never be brought to justice for having murdered or caused to disappear at least three thousand of his countrymen (probably far more) , an omission which is at least in part the result Jack Straw's supine failure to have him either prosecuted or extradited when he was under arrest in the UK (because the poor dear wasn't well).

Still to paraphrase a memorable Private Eye line:

"Newsflash.... General Augusto Pinochet of Chile has just died. His condition is described as satisfactory."

Or in the style of one of their covers:

Pinochet's Death: A Nation Mourns

I was amused at the news reports that Baroness Thatcher had been deeply saddened by his death (bless....), and even more so by the very New Labour comment from Margaret Beckett (the Foreign Secretary) which stressed the great strides which Chile had made since Pinochet had ceased to be President. Nicely put.

Ah, let's have a poem to show that some Brits always had their hearts in the right place; and of course that some didn't. The title of this post should remind you that not all Americans backed democracy against dictatorship either. That Arlo Guthrie set a version of the poem to music and recorded it, should remind you that - despite the best efforts of their President - some still do.

Victor Jara of Chile

Victor Jara of Chile
Lived like a shooting star
He fought for the people of Chile
With his songs and his guitar

And his hands were gentle
And his hands were strong

Victor Jara was a peasant
He worked from a few years old
He sat upon his father's plough
And watched the earth unfold

And his hands were gentle
And his hands were strong

Now when the neighbors had a wedding
Or one of their children died
His mother sang all night for them
With Victor by her side

And his hands were gentle
And his hands were strong

He grew up to be a fighter
Against the people's wrongs
He listened to their grief and joy
And turned them into songs

And his hands were gentle
And his hands were strong

He sang about the copper miners
And those who worked the land
He sang about the factory workers
And they knew he was their man

And his hands were gentle
And his hands were strong

He campaigned for Allende
Working night and day
He sang "Take hold of your brothers hand
You know the future begins today"

And his hands were gentle
And his hands were strong

Then the generals seized Chile
They arrested Victor then
They caged him in a stadium
With five thousand frightened men

And his hands were gentle
And his hands were strong

Victor stood in the stadium
His voice was brave and strong
And he sang for his fellow prisoners
Till the guards cut short his song

And his hands were gentle
And his hands were strong

They broke the bones in both his hands
They beat him on the head
They tore him with electric shocks
And then they shot him dead

And his hands were gentle
And his hands were strong

And now the generals rule Chile
And the British have their thanks
For they rule with Hawker Hunters
And they rule with Chieftain tanks

And his hands were gentle
And his hands were strong

Victor Jara of Chile
Lived like a shooting star
He fought for the people of Chile
With his songs and his guitar

And his hands were gentle
And his hands were strong

©1977 by Adrian Mitchell
All Rights Reserved.


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