El espíritu revolucionario a través de la música

Artist Reccomendation: Silvio Rodríguez

60s/70s Cuban singer-songwriter Silvio Rodríguez was a household name while I was growing up. My parents used to tell me stories about the one time they went to his concert, and one of their friends kept requesting “Ojalá!” (one of his most popular songs) by yelling the title constantly from the audience. It wasn’t until my junior year of high school that I actually listened to his music and fell in love with it. 

His songs feature intricate classical guitar riffs and even more intricate lyrics, which in my opinion are more similar to poetry than any other genre of music. I could genuinely spend hours listening to any song of his over and over. Though love is the major theme in most of his music, his work is also ingrained in a Cuban political context which he brings forward in anti-capitalism, anti-colonization, and anti-war sentiments.

Silvio Rodríguez is a perfect example of how Latin American art rarely exists outside of political context, so if you’re a Spanish learner, I urge you to check him out for a dose of Latin American culture and new Spanish vocabulary. Overall, just check him out if you are in need of incredibly good music to listen to. 

Here are some of my favorite songs by Silvio, as well as my favorite lyrics from each one:

Ojalá pase algo que te borre de pronto
Una luz cegadora, un disparo de nieve
Ojalá por lo menos que me lleve la muerte
Para no verte tanto, para no verte siempre
En todos los segundos, en todas las visiones
Ojalá que no pueda tocarte ni en canciones

La cobardía es asunto
De los hombres, no de los amantes
Los amores cobardes no llegan a amores
Ni a historias, se quedan allí
Ni el recuerdo los puede salvar
Ni el mejor orador conjugar

Te doy una canción y hago un discurso
Sobre mi derecho a hablar
Te doy una canción con mis dos manos
Con las mismas de matar

Te doy una canción y digo: “patria!
Y sigo hablando para ti