A Song with Everyone – Canción con todos

As I begin my third week in South America, currently in Rio de Janeiro, I wanted to share the lyrics to this regional anthem. I don’t remember a time when I did not know these words. Even while on the plane from the United States to Santiago de Chile, our first stop, this song was the most persistent of my thoughts.

“Canción con todos” was written by Armando Tejada Gómez (lyrics) and César Isella (music), both Argentinean. Arguably the most famous version is the one by Mercedes Sosa, another Argentinean, who was a worldwide ambassador of the region’s New Song and folk music during her 50-year career.

link to Mercedes Sosa singing “Canción con todos” on tour (1980 – skip intro to :29) and another live recording when she was able to sing again in Argentina after its dictatorship (1983 – skip intro to :58)

(rough translation by me to the right)

Salgo a caminar

Por la cintura cósmica del sur

Piso en la región

Más vegetal del tiempo y de la luz

Siento al caminar

Toda la piel de América en mi piel

Y anda en mi sangre un río

Que libera en mi voz su caudal

 

Sol de alto Perú

Rostro Bolivia, estaño y soledad

Un verde Brasil besa a mi Chile, cobre y mineral

Subo desde el sur

Hacia la entraña América y total

Pura raíz de un grito

Destinado a crecer

Y a estallar.

 

Todas las voces, todas

Todas las manos, todas

Toda la sangre puede

Ser canción en el viento.

 

¡Canta conmigo, canta

Hermano americano

Libera tu esperanza

Con un grito en la voz!

I go for a walk

Down the southern cosmic waist

I step on the region’s

Vegetation of time and light

I feel while walking

All of America’s skin on my skin

And a river that flows through my blood

Liberates its flow in my voice

 

Sun from the heights of Peru,

Bolivia’s face, tin and loneliness

A green Brazil kisses my Chile, copper and mineral

I rise from the south

Towards the full bowels of America

Pure roots from a scream

Destined to grow

And erupt

 

All voices, all

All hands, all

All the blood can

Be a song in the wind

 

Sing with me, sing

American brother

Free your hope

With a scream in your voice!

 

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