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Enough to bring a tear to your eye

There's a programme on the telly here called "Cuéntame Como Pasó."

It's the story of the last few years of the Franco dictatorship and the transformation to democracy told from the point of view of an ordinary Spanish family. The scenery wobbles a bit but I like the programme; part of my cultural and linguistic education.

They've got to 1976 now. Franco is dead, there's pornography on the streets. The World is turned upside down. The reactionaries are scandalised, the liberals are still on their guard. The period that Spaniards call "The Transition"

As always, last night, a couple of bits of music were featured throughout the programme - Dawn's "Tie a Yellow Ribbon" and a song by Jarcha called "Libertad sin Ira", something like Liberty without Rage or maybe Liberty without Vengeance.

I've heard this song a few times, it's one the news programmes trot out whenever they talk about the Transition. All I've ever noticed before is the chorus which basically goes Freedom, Freedom, Freedom in a sort of plinkety plonk way.

Anyway, for some reason I decided to check the words and I was a bit shocked, a bit surprised and quite taken with them. Though you should bear in mind that I think the story of "Tie a Yellow Ribbon" is cute too!

The old folk say there was a war in this country
And that there are still two Spains nursing the hurt of old debts,
The old folk say that this country needs a big stick and a strong hand if we're to avoid the worst

But I've only seen people who suffer and stay quiet
People who just want enough to eat, to know their daughters are safe and that they can party in peace.

Freedom, freedom; freedom without rage
Keep your fear and your anger to yourself
Because we have freedom, freedom without rage
Or if it isn't quite here yet it soon will be.

It's a bit of a travesty of a translation, it reads much better in Spanish but, even then, it's hardly Cervantes. Nonetheless it wasn't quite the wording I expected from a throw away pop song.

And they pulled it off.


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