How Hard It Is To Sing

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We pause today to commemorate the “other” 9/11: the 1973 overthrow of the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende in Chile by a brutal military junta led by General Augusto Pinochet, and supported by Henry Kissinger.

Among those detained in the National Stadium on the first day of the golpe: folksinger and activist Victor Jara. Before he was carried away to be tortured and murdered — his wrists broken, and his body riddled by forty two bullets — Jara was able to write the lyrics for one final song on a scrap of paper. As his widow Joan records in her detailed memoir, An Unfinished Song:

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In Joan Jara’s own translation into English, here are the lyrics for Victor Jara’s final song:

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THE NATIONAL STADIUM ON THE DAY OF THE COUP

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A NATIONAL STADIUM EXIT PASSAGE AS IT READS TODAY

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This past July, nearly forty two years after the coup, a judge finally brought charges against ten former officers in the Chilean military, for the murder of Victor Jara. Henry Kissinger remains at large.


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