‘I only ask of God,
That I would not be indifferent to pain,
That the dry death would not find me,
Empty, lonely, and without having done what’s enough.
I only ask of God,
That I would not be indifferent to injustice,
That they would not slap my other cheek,
After a claw had cratched my forehead.’ – English translation for part of Sólo le pido a Dios (I only ask of God).
Few singers can evoke the spirit of revolution and the struggle of the masses against political oppression, racial discrimination, and cultural marginalization like Mercedes Sosa, the legendary Argentian singer better known as ‘La Negra’, alluding to her Native American origins.
Being one of the leading figures of the Nueva Canción (a genre of socially-committed, folk-flavored music in Latin America), she struggled against Latin American dictators through her songs and her rebellious spirit, singing verses by some of Latin America’s most emblematic poets, and collaborating with the likes of Pavarotti, Serrat, Caetano Veloso and others.
Finally, here is the link to listen to ‘Sólo le pido a Dios’, one of her greatest songs ever, along with the English subtitles:
…and another masterpiece, titled ‘Razón de vivir’: