Sunday, October 04, 2009

Shakira Mebarak on Mercedes Sosa

Mercedes Sosa and Shakira

The Colombian superstar Shakira Mebarak posted this note on her Facebook page paying tribute to the Argentine singer and pro-democracy human rights activist Mercedes Sosa, who passed away Sunday (today) at age 74. I notice that she signed the note "Shakira Mebarak" and not just Shakira; in most of her publicity she uses the single name. The text of her note:

Mercedes fue la voz más grande y tuvo el más grande corazón para el que sufre. Fue la voz de sus hermanos de la tierra que elevó el canto del dolor y la justicia.

Artista conmovedora y admirada primera en la lucha solidaria.

Sufrió el exilio dando ejemplo de coraje y volvió con naturalidad a su sitio de elegida.

Nos deja la sencillez de su gesto y de su danza y la luz de su palabra y de su afecto.

Su canto era la idea: no repetía estrofas sino que transmitía el pensamiento hondo del verso y de la música.

Cantó a su gente y su tierra americana, pero su canto universal fue oído en todo el mundo.

La voz de Mercedes resonaba en el corazón como un abrazo.

Fue un honor cantar con ella. Lo hizo tan fácil, como una hermana mayor en el canto y en la causa de los niños.

"¿Nada quedará de mi paso aquí en la tierra? Al menos versos, al menos cantos", decía el ancestro mexicano. Mercedes deja el mundo lleno de sus cantos, poblado de sus versos.

Somos más buenos después de haberla conocido.
Nos mostró que la canción puede ser una enseñanza.

Shakira Mebarak
Mercedes Sosa 1973

My translation (I tend to go for the literal meaning and can't pretend to capture the grace of Shakira's Spanish prose):

Mercedes was the greatest voice and had the biggest heart for those who suffer. She was the voice of her brothers and sister of the earth, who raised the song of pain and justice.

A moving artist and admired above all in the solidarity of struggle.

She suffered exile, giving an example of courage, and returned naturally to her chosen place. [She was exiled during the brutal military dictatorship of 1976-83 but returned to Argentina in 1982.]

She left us the simplicity of her gesture and of her dance and the light of her word and of her feelings.

Her song was the idea: don't repeat strophes without transmitting the inner thought of the verse and of the music.

She sang to her people and to her American land, but her universal song was heard in all the world.

Mercedes' voice resonates in the heart like an embrace.

It was an honor to sing with her. She made it so easy, like an older sister in the song and in the cause of the children.

"Will nothing remain of my through through here on the earth. At least verses, at least songs", said the Mexican ancestor. Mercedes left the world full of her song, populated by her verses.

We are better after having known her.
She showed us that a song can be an education.
Additional articles on Mercedes Sosa:

Mercedes Sosa My Space page

Emotivo adiós a "La Negra" Sosa en el Congreso Clarín (Argentina) 04.10.2009

Mucho más que una cantante extraordinaria Clarín (Argentina) 04.10.2009

Argentine singer Mercedes Sosa, 'voice of Latin America,' dies at 74 CNN 10/04/09

Argentine folk legend Mercedes Sosa dead at 74 Dawn (Pakistan) 04.10.2009

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