Buscando America

Published by Wreybies in the blog Ponderings of a Pachyderm. Views: 123

Yesterday I was listening to the brilliant album Buscando America (Looking for America) by the genius musician, lawyer, actor, scholar, poet Ruben Blades. The title song to the album, Buscando America, is a painfully beautiful declaration of what the American dream should be, and what it often is not. It is also about the responsibility of each person looking for that dream to make, through hard work, the dream a reality.

Te estoy buscando America y temo no encontrarla.
Tus huellas se han perdido entre la oscuridad.
Te estoy llamando America pero ne me respondes.
Te han desaparecido los que temen la verdad.

I’m looking for you, America, and I fear I will not find you.
Your prints have dissapeard in the darkness.
I am calling to you America, but you do not respond to me.
They have hidden you away, those who fear the truth.

Ruben Blades, Buscando America

I think many people in America today understand this sentiment only too well. I take calls every day from people who have lost their jobs and are about to lose their homes. Not the people who tried to make a quick buck during the housing boom, but the people who have been living in their homes for 10 - 15 years and are the unfortunate victims of the fallout of this economic crisis in which we still find ourselves.

Envueltos entre sombras, negamos lo que es cierto.
Mientras no haya justicia, jamas tendremos paz.
Viviendo dictaduras, te busco y no te encuentro.
Tu torturado cuerpo, no saben donde esta.

Hidden in the shadows, we deny what is true.
While there is no justice, there will never be peace.
Living under dictatorships, I look for you but do not find you.
Your tortured body, no one knows where it is.

Ruben Blades, Buscando America

The banks are dragging their feet to get the president’s plan into action. People with three jobs, renting out rooms in their homes, are still finding no help from the banks. These are solid, hardworking, decent people. The true and most real backbone of this country, and they cannot find help. What justice is that? These people are doing everything the banks tell them to do and still nothing. They literally work their fingers to the bone and no help. That is wrong. Every kind of wrong.

Si es sueno de uno, es sueno de todos.
Rompe la cadena y echarnos a andar.
Tengamos confianza, para adelante mi raza.
A salvar el tiempo por lo que vendra.

If the dream is for one, then the dream is for all.
Break the chains and march forth.
We must have confidence, go forward my people.
To save these times for what is to come.

Ruben Blades, Buscando America

The American dream is crumbling for so many people. The very people who make the dream a reality are being disenfranchised and marginalized. When we try to get back on our feet, whose feet will be under us? Who will be the new backbone of America if the vey best of us have fallen to the wayside?

Te han secuestrado America y amordazado to boca.
Y a nosotros nos toca ponerte en libertad.
Te estoy llmando America, nuestro futuro espera.
Y antes que se nos muera, te vamos a encrontrar.

They have kidnapped you, America, and gagged your mouth.
It now falls to us to set you free.
I am calling you, America, our future awaits.
And before it dies we will find you.

Ruben Blades, Buscando America

I can’t listen to that last part without tearing up. It is a one of the most beautiful and painful things I have ever read or heard. The responsibility falls to us to make the dream true. America is exactly what we make of it. It can be crap, or it can be the promised land. We cannot shrug our responsibility and point fingers. We have to take that kind of power back into our own hands and make this country the republic it is supposed to be.

Of the people, by the people, for the people.
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