Gracias a la vida

I am very homesick today, but also very thankful for so many things. Since I can’t think of anything more profound to write, here are the lyrics of my favorite songs, written by Violeta Parra. (Which, coincidentally, I had to memorize in 10th grade Spanish class). I’ll translate the first stanza so you have an idea…

Gracias a la vida que me ha dado tanto.
Me dio dos luceros que, cuando los abro,
perfecto distingo lo negro del blanco,
y en el alto cielo su fondo estrellado,
y en las multitudes el hombre que yo amo.

Thanks to the life that has given me so much
It gave me two stars (eyes), that when I open them
I can perfectly distinguish black from white,
And in the high heavens, its starry background
And in the multitudes, the man that I love.

Gracias a la vida que me ha dado tanto.
Me ha dado el oído que, en todo su ancho,
graba noche y día grillos y canarios,
martillos, turbinas, ladridos, chubascos,
y la voz tan tierna de mi bien amado.

Gracias a la vida que me ha dado tanto.
Me ha dado el sonido y el abecedario,
con él las palabras que pienso y declaro:
madre, amigo, hermano, y luz alumbrando
la ruta del alma del que estoy amando.

Gracias a la vida que me ha dado tanto.
Me ha dado la marcha de mis pies cansados;
con ellos anduve ciudades y charcos,
playas y desiertos, montañas y llanos,
y la casa tuya, tu calle y tu patio.

Gracias a la vida que me ha dado tanto.
Me dio el corazón que agita su marco
cuando miro el fruto del cerebro humano,
cuando miro el bueno tan lejos del malo,
cuando miro el fondo de tus ojos claros.

Gracias a la vida que me ha dado tanto.
Me ha dado la risa y me ha dado el llanto.
Así yo distingo dicha de quebranto,
los dos materiales que forman mi canto
y el canto de ustedes que es el mismo canto,
y el canto de todos, que es mi propio canto.

Gracias a la vida que me ha dado tanto.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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10 thoughts on “Gracias a la vida

  1. There’s a latin american film festival in my town in Spain right now and I just saw the Chilean film, Violeta se fue para Los Cielos. Have you seen it? They played this song at the end & it made me super nostalgic!

    • I NEED to see that movie. I was in the States when it premiered and then I just never got around to it. I’ve only heard great things though, so as soon as it’s out on DVD (or who am I kidding, available to be downloaded…ha) I’m all over that.

  2. There’s a latin american film festival in my town in Spain right now and I just saw the Chilean film, Violeta se fue para Los Cielos. Have you seen it? They played this song at the end & it made me super nostalgic!

    • I NEED to see that movie. I was in the States when it premiered and then I just never got around to it. I’ve only heard great things though, so as soon as it’s out on DVD (or who am I kidding, available to be downloaded…ha) I’m all over that.

  3. Pingback: El Cementerio General in Chile: A Tour of Historical Figures « Abby's Line

  4. Pingback: El Cementerio General in Chile: A Tour of Historical Figures « Abby's Line

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