La Carta

Violeta Parra

They sent me a letter
by the morning mail
in this letter they told me
that my brother was imprisoned
and without compassion, with shackles,
they dragged him through the street, oh yeah.
The letter said the reason
that Robert was arrested
was that he supported the strike
that had already been settled
If this is really the reason
I'm going to prison too, Sergeant.
I find myself so far away
Awaiting news
The letter comes to me and says
that in my country there is no justice
The hungry ask for bread
the militia gives them bullets
In this arrogant manner
They want to preserve their position
Those who have fans and frocks
Without deserving them
They come and go from church
and forget the commandments
We've seen insolence,
barbarity and treachery
Bringing out shotguns
And killing in cold blood
Those who have no defense
With their two hands empty
The letter I've received
Asks me for a reply
I ask that it be told
to all the population
That the Lion is bloodthirsty
in every generation
By luck I have a guitar
To weep my sorrow
I also have nine brothers
Besides the one in prison
The nine are Communists
By the grace of God
Translation by David Anderson with help from Hernán Sottolichio

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