Thanks To Life and I Only Ask of God

Cover of "Gracias a la Vida"Cover of Gracias a la Vida  With Thanksgiving Day coming soon in America I have been looking for some songs that express thankfullness and it is never too early to say thanks ....

These fit the bill nicely .... and celebrate the lives of two exceptional women who in different ways refused to give up their fight for social justice.


The music is by Mercedes Sosa : the songs are : Gracias a la Vida: ( Thanks for Life)
and the rousing  I only Ask of God.






Mercedes Sosa was an ambassador of the downtrodden of the world and became known as the voice of the "voiceless ones".

Her singing was a potent attempt to curb injustice, especially the abuses endured by the youth of her native Argentina and those of other countries under military, anti-democratic rule. She died in October 2009. 

Her obituary is here

These songs are also a fitting tribute to the resilience of another strong woman and her committed desire for democracy of Aung San Suu Kyi in Burma who earler this week was released from years of house arrest at the hands of Burma's military regime 

( See a previous post on this here)




Aung San's prolonged period of house arrest came to an end because of the unremitting pressure applied by millions of people around the world who believe that no injustice can last forever. 

But her release from house arrest – where she has spent 15 of the last 21 years – is only a partial victory, because her liberation and that of the Burmese people will not be complete until she is able to take up her position as the rightful leader of her country.

The liberation of Aung San Suu Kyi is one of the great victories of people power
The ex prime minister of the UK, Gordon Brown who was a steadfast supporter for her release recently wrote :

"There are of course grave injustices elsewhere:
the agonies in Darfur, the brutality in Zimbabwe, and the steady silent loss of life that extreme poverty inflicts on thousands of people every day. But that there are many draws on our compassion should never excuse turning our back on such a grotesque abuse of human rights as that inflicted on Burma's democracy leader. 

One fact from Amnesty International is particularly sobering: "No one under 38 – half of Burma's population – has voted before." That an entire population could reach middle age without ever casting a ballot – and then be offered only a voting paper without the country's main opposition party – is a testament to the staying power and brutality of the junta.

The democratisation of Burma will be hard, but it is not impossible. The web is our weapon. Through it people of good conscience can organise and apply precisely the sort of pressure which brought about Aung San's release.
But just as importantly, through it and other forms of new technology activists in Burma can tell the world about what is happening. 
That is nowhere more apparent than in the brilliant film Burma VJ, made by video journalists who smuggled footage out of the country.

In the trailer there is a chilling sequence where somebody on the phone is watching an attack on protesters out of a window and explaining it to his friend: "Who did they shoot?"
"A guy with a camera."
The generals fear scrutiny, evidence, solidarity. In short, they fear you.

The liberation of Aung San Suu Kyi is one of the great victories of people power in our time – let us together ensure that the liberation of her country is the next."

Gracias a la Vida 

The video is the only one I could find with English subtitles - the translation is not perfect and the quality of the video is a bit fuzzy but the singing is excellent. I find it very moving.




I Only Ask of God : the lyrics in English are below video and the strength and passion of Mercedes voice combined with the powerful rhythm of the music are infectious. 
Play it loud and play it twice !!




I only ask of God
That I am not indifferent to the pain,
That the dry death won’t find me
Empty and alone, without having done enough.

I only ask of God
That I won’t be indifferent to the injustice
That they won’t slap my other cheek,
After a claw (or talon) has scratched this destiny (luck) of mine.

I only ask of God
That I am not indifferent to the battle,
It’s a big monster and it walks hard on
All the poor innocence of people.

I only ask of God
That I am not indifferent to deceit,
If a traitor can do more than a bunch of people,
Then let not those people forget him easily.

I only ask of God
That I am not indifferent to the future,
Hopeless is he who has to go away
To live a different culture.

I only ask of God
That I am not indifferent to the battle,
It’s a big monster and it walks hard on
All the poor innocence of people.
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2 comments:

claire said...

Absolutely magnificent, Phil. Gracias a ti por eso :-)))
Un beso, claire

Colin Matthews said...

muy bien - si muy bien ! ! !