Friday, February 7, 2014

The Spirit of Pete Seeger Lives On.... in Stephen Longfellow Fiske and ICUJP

When Pete Seeger sang his popular hit Guantanamera, he often shared the story of Jose Martí, one of great poets and revolutionaries of Cuba, who died fighting for the liberation of his country. The best known version of Guantanamera consists of lines from Marti's poetry set to the music of a popular song; they are printed below in English and Spanish. You can hear Seeger sing this song at:

According to Wikipedia, this song was used by Seeger as the basis of his reworked version, which he based on a performance of the song by Héctor Angulo. Seeger combined Martí's verse with the tune, with the intention that it be used by the peace movement at the time of the Cuban missile crisis. He urged that people sing the song as a symbol of unity between the American and Cuban peoples, and called for it to be sung in Spanish to "hasten the day [that] the USA... is some sort of bilingual country."

In the spirit of Jose  Martí, and Pete Seeger, ICUJP's resident bard, Stephen Longfellow Fiske, reworked the lyrics of Guantamera, calling for the closure of the Guantanamo Detention Center, where men are detained without due process of law under conditions
tantamount to torture.

ICUJP and the National Religious Campaign Against Torture have launched a nation-wide campaign calling for the closure of Guantanamo, and a fair trial for its prisoners. If you'd like Stephen Fiske, or ICUJP, to come to your congregation or organization to sing this song and talk about the closure of Guantanamo, go to .

I am a sincere man
From where the palm tree grows,
And before I die I want to
Pour out my soul in verses.

My verse is light green
And flaming crimson:
My verse is a wounded deer
Seeking refuge in the mountain.

A white rose
In June and January,
For the sincere friend
Who gives me his hand.

With the poor of the earth
I want to share my fate:
The streams of the mountains
Please me more than the sea.

Yo soy un hombre sincero
De donde crece la palma,
Y antes de morirme quiero
Echar mis versos del alma.

Mi verso es de un verde claro
Y de un carmín encendido:
Mi verso es un ciervo herido
Que busca en el monte amparo.

Cultivo una rosa blanca
En junio como enero,
Para el amigo sincero
Que me da su mano franca.

Con los pobres de la tierra
Quiero yo mi suerte echar:
El arroyo de la sierra
Me complace más que el mar.

No comments:

Post a Comment