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His Hands Were Gentle. Selected Lyrics of Victor Jara

His Hands Were Gentle brings together, for the first time in both Spanish and English, the best of Víctor Jara’s lyrics, from early songs like ‘El arado’ to ‘Estadio Chile’ written in the hours before his execution there.

They reveal Jara as an ardent political poet, an eloquent advocate for the peasantry from which he arose, a socialist visionary and a poetic balladeer of the highest order.

Translations by Martín Espada, Eduardo Embry, John Green, Joan Jara and Adrian Mitchell.

Foreword by Joan Jara, Preface by Emma Thompson, Introduction by Martín Espada.

Víctor Jara (1932–73) was a legendary Chilean singer, songwriter, guitarist and theatre director. Between 1966 and 1973 he released eight albums, such as Canto libre and El derecho de vivir en paz. He was a member of the Communist Party of Chile, a prominent supporter of Salvador Allende’s Popular Unity government, and a leader of the New Song Movement during the cultural renaissance of the Allende years. In the days following the US–backed military coup of September 11, 1973, Jara was arrested, imprisoned and murdered. His recordings were banned for many years in Chile.

On my way to work
I think of you,
through the streets of the town
I think of you,
when I look at the faces
through steamy windows
not knowing who they are, where they go…
I think of you
my love, I think of you
of you, compañera of my life
and of the future
of the bitter hours and the happiness
of being able to live
working at the beginning of a story
without knowing the end.

(…)

When I come home
you are there
and we weave our dreams together…
Working at the beginning of a story
without knowing the end.

(From: On My Way to Work/ Cuando voy al trabajo.
Translated by Joan Jara)

His Hands Were Gentle brings together, for the first time in both Spanish and English, the best of V¡ctor Jara’s lyrics, from early songs like ‘El arado’ to ‘Estadio Chile’ written in the hours before his execution there. They reveal Jara as an ardent political poet, an eloquent advocate for the peasantry from which he arose, a socialist visionary and a poetic balladeer of the highest order. Translations by Martin Espada, Eduardo Embry, John Green, Joan Jara and Adrian Mitchell.

His Hands Were Gentle
Selected Lyrics of Victor Jara
Martin Espada (Editor)
Translations by Martín Espada, Eduardo Embry, John Green, Joan Jara and Adrian Mitchell.
Foreword by Joan Jara,
Preface by Emma Thompson,
Introduction by Martín Espada.
Paperback
84 pages
Publisher: Smokestack Books
Bilingual edition
2014
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0956814417
ISBN-13: 978-0956814418
Price: £8.95

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His Hands Were Gentle
Selected Lyrics of Victor Jara

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