>Little Boxes

>I love the show “Weeds”. I first started watching it a long time ago when it first premiered at a friend’s house. But because I didn’t have Showtime at my house and this was before I knew how to download things from the internet, I didn’t watch more than the first three episodes. Anyway, so I recently started watching again. The opening song for the first three seasons is Little Boxes by Malvina Reynolds. During seasons 2 and 3 a different artist or band sings the song for every episode.

When our family first got a computer circa 1996, in addition to coming in a cow-spotted box (do Gateway computers still exist?), it came with a CD-ROM called “Music 1997” or something like that. It was this program where you could watch music videos and listen to music from the entire century, in addition to read about different artists and bands. I loved it. One of the music videos was this:

Here are the lyrics:

Las casitas del barrio alto (The little houses of the rich neighborhood)
con rejas y antejardín, (With fences and front gardens)
una preciosa entrada de autos (A beautiful driveway)
esperando un Peugeot. (Waiting for a Peugeot)

Hay rosadas, verdecitas, (There are pink ones, little green ones)
blanquitas y celestitas, (little white ones and little light blue ones)
las casitas del barrio alto (the houses of the rich neighborhood)
todas hechas con recipol. (are all made with recipol)

Y las gentes de las casitas (And the people in the houses)
se sonríen y se visitan. (Smile and visit each other)
Van juntitos al supermarket (They go together to the supermarket)
y todos tienen un televisor. (And they all have a TV)

Hay dentistas, comerciantes, (There are dentists, businessmen)
latifundistas y traficantes, (Landowners and traffickers)
abogados y rentistas (lawyers and bondholders)
y todos visten polycron. (and they all dress with polycron)

Juegan bridge, toman martini-dry (They play bridge, drink martinis dry)
y los niños son rubiecitos (And their kids are blond)
y con otros rubiecitos (And with other little blond kids)
van juntitos al colegio high. (Go together to the high school)

Y el hijito de su papi (And daddy’s little boy)
luego va a la universidad (then goes to the university)
comenzando su problemática (starting problems)
y la intríngulis social. (and social trickiness)

Fuma pitillos en Austin mini, (He smokes joints in his Austin mini)
juega con bombas y con política, (Plays with bombs and politics)
asesina generales, (He assassinates generals)
y es un gángster de la sedición. (and is a gangster of the sedition)

The song has to be understood in the context of the mid-late 1960s in Chile, hence the line “everyone has TVs,” which seems silly now because literally EVERYONE does have TV in Chile now, not just the “barrio alto”. I think it would be fun to re-write the lyrics for modern day Chile. I’m no poet, but I did think of a couple of verses (in English, but talking about Chile):

The apartments of Providencia
Las Condes and Vitacura
With conserje 24 hours a day
Sala de eventos and a swimming pool

And the people in the apartments
All went to La Catolica
Or La Chile or Diego Portales
And if stupid to Santo Tomas

There’s a doctor and a lawyer,
commercial engineers,
an industrial engineer, a bio engineer
and a chemical engineer

Haha. I crack myself up.

By the way, I hope no one gets offended! For the record, I live in an apartment in Providencia with a conserje 24 hours a day and studied for a semester at La Catolica, so really I’m making fun of myself.


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