Ali Primera…Presente!!!

 Today is Ali Primera’s birthday. He would have been 68 years old. Ali Primera died on February 16, 1985 in a car crash. Many people feel that Ali Primera was assassinated by government officials who wanted to silence his voice.  Ali Primera was one of Latin America’s greatest singers. He was an artist who was politically involved in the struggles of his native Venezuela. He was part of the “Nueva Cancion” movement that swept through his country in the 1970s. He was Simon Bolivar reincarnated as a singer. Many people may not know this but he wrote the famous song, Casas de Carton, that has been interpreted by Los Guaraguaos and Marco Antonio Solis aka El Buki, along with many other artist. His song, No Basta Rezar, is an anti war song against the invasion of Vietnam. Ali Primera blended his Marxist, liberation theology and Bolivarian ideology into his music. He was one of the greatest poets and composers of Latin America. His music along with music from Victor Jara, Violeta Parra, Atahualpa Yupanqui, Mercedes Sosa and Victor Heredia, continues to inspire me. Here is one of my favorite lyrics from his song, Hay que aligerar la carga. Ali Primera sings:

Look for the parish priest (Busca al cura de parroquia)
don’t look for the Cardinal (no busques al cardenal)
tell him that the struggle is long (dile que la lucha es larga)
that we need to lighten to load, (que hay que aligerar la carga)
tell him that Sunday Mass (dile que la misa de Domingo)
is better with free people (con pueblo libre es mejor)

Tell him that in the sacristy (Dile que en la sacristia)
we will have our meeting, (haremos la reunion)
tell him that God is not mad (Dile que Dios no se arrecha)
that He is happy (que El esta contento)
with Revolution (con Revolucion).

I am including some of my favorite songs below. Enjoy.

Casas de Carton.

Mama Pancha.

Cuando las aguilas se arrastren.

Yo no se filosofar.

No Basta Rezar.

Companero Ali Primera…..PRESENTE!!!
AHORA…Y…SIEMPRE!!!

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