World Music Advent Calendar - December 23rd
Updated: Jan 21
CHILE: Doña María Le Ruego - Victor Jara
This Christmas song by Victor Jara is, unusually for a communist, very religious in its tone. Yet, there are parallels between his communist ideology and his lapsed Catholicism that can be drawn from the lyrics of this track. His aspiration for a better world is here symbolised by the return of Jesus in a second coming to Chile. Perhaps Jesus could even be a metaphor for the long-awaited arrival of communist revolutionaries that he wished might arrive to the land that suffered the hardships under colonialism and poverty. The song is stripped back and simplistic, which is in keeping with Jara’s style that emphasise powerful lyrics ahead of flashy instrumentation. That said, Jara’s gentle voice and immaculate finger picking in between verses is incredibly beautiful to listen to. When it all comes together, the combination of lyrics, voice, and guitar are irresistible in this alternative Christmas classic. Jara’s story unfortunately has a tragic ending, and whilst we don’t wish to crush your Christmas spirit, it is certain worth reading about his life, commitment to social justice and his brutal death at the hands of General Augusto Pinochet's forces.