Such a Lovely… Suicide Note?!
In my (insert astronomical number) listen to Mercedes Sosa’s cover of ‘Gracias A La Vida,’ I decided to see exactly who created this masterpiece of a song. It’s the creation of Chilean great Violeta Parra whom was a base for the reinvention of folk music in Chile, which then the reach of her ‘Chile’s New Song’ (Nueva Canción Chilena) spread to the world over.
Further reading into Violeta’s history filled with culture, music and political meaning, she ended up commiting suicide (after a previously failed attempt) due to episodes of loneliness, political differences in her country and mostly the separation from her husband Gilbert Favre. Before that happened she made two songs that will forever resonate with her tragic end, both were ‘Run Run Se Fue pal Norte’ where she speaks on her husband leaving and ‘Gracias A La Vida’ a celebration of life and/or suicide note.
They say ‘Gracias A La Vida’ might have been her last thank you note to life before commiting suicide and celebrating what it has given her but at the same time a mirrored twist to what pain she felt and how the new part of her life was playing out. At first listen you think “wow what poetry and beautiful lyrics,” but insert a little real life and it can take a totally different meaning. I still think this song is one of the best life celebratory lyrics given ever regardless of what it might truly be about, thank you Violeta Parra for giving us such beauty amongst the pain.
“Cuando miro el fruto del cerebro humano,
Cuando miro al bueno tan lejos del malo.”
Click here for a full translation of the lyrics.