Tuesday, October 6, 2009

R.I.P. Mercedes Sosa

Some people in Miami believed that the Peace without Borders concert failed because the very next day Cubans weren't protesting in the streets as a result. That was an absurd argument. Musicians only have the power to present different views and feelings about life, and therefore can only create gradual changes within a larger culture.

The famous Argentinian folk singer Mercedes Sosa [photo above] died this past Sunday, and while she alone was an influential figure, she was only one part of a larger movement in Latin America: music for peace. As a result, this larger movement was able to generate real social and political change which we see today throughout the Latin region. Sosa's life is being remembered by governments throughout Central and South America, even in Europe.

In my youth I recall my parents listening to Mercedes Sosa. My parents are not interested in politics, but they listened because it was good music and had a good (religious) message. It was only a few years ago that I myself gained a small interest in Sosa, and I found her voice and lyrics to be very powerful too.

Sosa was a very religious person whose concern was for the poor and helpless, and gave her voice to them and the world. May she rest in peace.

Below is one of her best known songs (written by Leon Gieco) , and one of my favorites: "Solo le Pido a Dios (I Only Ask of God)."

This song was also covered in English by the famous Danish band Outlandish, and with a music video filmed in Cuba.

I only ask of god
not to make me indifferent to the future.
Helpless are the ones who are forced to leave
and live in a foreign land

[Photo by AP/file]

No comments: