Canto y Cantera

by Vanessa Lively

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released April 24, 2010

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Vanessa Lively Austin, Texas

Vanessa Lively observes how strongly music connects people. Her music is an expression of that experience, filled with representative themes: “Community, living in solidarity with those around you. Feeling what other people’s struggles and joys are. Her latest album Uncovering Stones truly shows how she feels those connections deeply – and when you listen, you will, too. ... more

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Track Name: Si Somos Americanos
Written by R. Alarcón

Si somos americanos / somos hermanos señores
tenemos las mismas flores / tenemos las mismas manos.

Si somos americanos / seremos buenos vecinos
compartiremos el trigo / seremos buenos hermanos.

Bailaremos marinera / resbalosa, huayno y son
Si somos americanos / seremos una canción.

Si somos americanos / no miraremos fronteras
cuidaremos las semillas / tiraremos las banderas.

Si somos americanos / seremos todos iguales
el blanco, el mestizo, el indio / y el negro son como tales.

>>> Translation: Yes We Are Americans - This song is about being Pan-Americans; North, South, and Central America as a political and economic unit. If we are all Americans then; we won’t limit ourselves by borders, we’ll nurture and take care of each other, and we’ll be equal in our neighbor’s eyes regardless of race or flag.

We will dance the Marinera / resbalosa, Huayno and the Son (types of dances)
if we are Americans / then we will be a song
If we are Americans / then we are Americans indeed
we have the same flowers / we have the same hands

If we are Americans / we will be good neighbors
we will share our wheat / we'll be good brothers and sisters

We will dance the Marinera / Resbalosa, Huayno and the Son
If we are Americans / then we will be a song
If we are Americans / will not see boundaries
we will take care of seeds / we will get rid of our flags

If we are Americans / we are all equal
white, mestizo, Indian / and black alike
Track Name: La Maza
Written by S. Rodríguez

Si no creyera en la locura / de la garganta del cirzonte
si no creyera que en el monte / se esconde el trino y la pavura.

Si no creyera en la balanza / en la razon del equilibrio
si no creyera en el delirio / si no creyera en la esperanza.

Si no creyera en lo que agencio / si no creyera en mi camino
si no creyera en mi sonido / si no creyera en mi silencio.

Que cosa fuera
Que cosa fuera la maza sin cantera
un amacijo hecho de cuerdas y tendones
un revoltijo de carne con madera
un instrumento sin mejores resplandores
que lucecitas montadas para escena
que cosa fuera -corazon- que cosa fuera
que cosa fuera la maza sin cantera
un testaferro del traidor de los aplausos
un servidor de pasado en copa nueva
un eternizador de dioses del ocaso
jubilo hervido con trapo y lentejuela
que cosa fuera -corazon- que cosa fuera
que cosa fuera la maza sin cantera
que cosa fuera -corazon- que cosa fuera
que cosa fuera la maza sin cantera.

Si no creyera en lo mas duro / si no creyera en el deseo
si no creyera en lo que creo / si no ceyera en algo puro.

Si no creyera en cada herida / si no creyera en la que ronde
si no creyera en lo que esconde / hacerse hermano de la vida.

Si no creyera en quien me escucha / si no creeyera en lo que duele
si no creyera en lo que queda / si no creyera en lo que lucha.

Que cosa fuera...

>>> Translation: The Stone Hammer - This song is full of symbolism and open to interpretation thus it is best interpreted within its political/historical context. Que cosa fuera la maza sin cantera? - What would the stone hammer be without the quarry? What change can be had if the hammer doesn’t strike the stone? You have to believe that you make a change and strive/fight to make it happen. If not, then you are simply part of the problem.

If I did not believe in the madness / from the mockingbird’s throat
if I did not believe that in the hills / hides the trill and the dread

If I did not believe in balance / in the reason for equilibrium.
If I did not believe in delirium / If I did not believe in hope

If I did not believe in what I’ve wrought / If I did not believe in my path
If I did not believe in my sound / If I did not believe in my silence

And what can be said?
What can be said of the mallet without quarry?
Naught but a paste made with strings and tendons,
a jumble of flesh with wood.
A tool with no greater splendour
then that of lights mounted for the stage.
What can be said, oh my love, what can be said?
What can be said of the mallet without quarry?
A figurehead of the traitor of the applause,
a servant of the of the past
who is poured in a new cup.
A perpetuator of the gods of the dusk,
a boiled delight served in rags and sequins.
What can be said, oh my love, what can be said?
What can be said of the mallet without quarry?

If I did not believe in that which is hardest / If I did not believe in desire
If I did not hold to my beliefs / If I did not believe in something pure

If I did not believe in every wound / If I did not believe in the one that’s coming
If I did not believe in what is hidden / by making oneself life’s brother

If I did not believe in those who hear me / If I did not believe what hurts
If I did not believe in what is left / If I did not believe in what fights!
Track Name: Los Hermanos
Written by A. Yupanqui

Yo tengo tantos hermanos, que no los puedo contar,
en el valle, la montaña, en la pampa y en el mar.

Cada cual con sus trabajos, con sus sueños cada cual,
con la esperanza delante, con los recuerdos, detrás.

Yo tengo tantos hermanos, que no los puedo contar.

Gente de mano caliente por eso de la amistad,
con un rezo pa’ rezarlo, con un llanto pa’ llorar.

Con un horizonte abierto, que siempre está más allá,
y esa fuerza pa’ buscarlo con tesón y voluntad.

Cuando parece más cerca es cuando se aleja más.
Yo tengo tantos hermanos, que no los puedo contar.

Y así seguimos andando curtidos de soledad,
nos perdemos por el mundo, nos volvemos a encontrar.

Y así nos reconocemos por el lejano mirar,
por las coplas que mordemos, semillas de inmensidad.

Y así seguimos andando curtidos de soledad,
y en nosotros nuestros muertos pa’ que naide quede atrás.

Yo tengo tantos hermanos, que no los puedo contar,
y una novia muy hermosa que se llama libertad.

>>> Translation: Brothers - This is a political statement for all those who strive for liberty; especially those who live in exile while wishing that all their brothers were free.

I have so many brothers I can't count them all
In the jungle, in the mountains, in the highlands and in the sea

each with their own labors and each with their own dreams
with hope for the future and memories of the past
I have so many brothers I can't count them all

People with warm hands from their friendship
With a tear to cry, and a prayer to pray

With a limitless horizon, that always seems a bit farther
And with the drive to explore it with determination and will

When it seems like it's closer, is when it's actually further
I have so many brothers I can't count them all

And so we continue walking, covered in solitude
We get lost in the world and find ourselves again

And so we recognize ourselves by the distant look
By the songs that chew seeds of immensity

And so we continue walking, covered in solitude
And inside of ourselves we carry our dead, so no one is left behind
I have so many brothers I can't count them all
And a beautiful girlfriend named liberty
Track Name: Solo Le Pido A Dios
Written by L. Gieco

Solo le pido a Dios
Que el dolor no me sea indiferente
Que la reseca muerte no me encuentre
Vacio y solo sin haber echo lo suficiente

Solo le pido a Dios
Que lo injusto no me sea indiferente
Que no me abofeteen la otra mejia
Despues que una garra me arane esta frente

Solo le pido a Dios
Que la guerra no me sea indiferente
Es un monstro grande y pisa fuerte
Toda la pobre inocencia de la gente
Es un monstro grande y pisa fuerte
Toda la pobre inocencia de la gente

Solo le pido a Dios
Que el engano no me sea indiferente
Si un traidor puede mas que unos quantos
Que esos quantos no lo olviden facilmente

Solo le pido a Dios
Que el futuro no me sea indiferente
Deshauciado esta el que tiene que marchar
A vivir una cultura diferente

>>> Translation: I Only Ask of God - The lyrics are intended to shake people of their apathy. A summary translation of the sentiment of this song could be: I only ask of God that I not be indifferent to the pain, the injustice, the war, and the deception. I only ask of God that I not be indifferent to the future for hopeless is he who must march to live in a foreign land.

I only ask of God
that I am not indifferent to the pain,
that the dry death won’t find me
empty and alone, without having done anything

I only ask of God
that i won’t be indifferent to the injustice
that they won’t slap my other cheek,
after a claw (or talon) has scratched this destiny (luck) of mine

I only ask of God
that i am not indifferent to the battle,
it’s a big monster with a heavy step
all the poor innocence of the people.

I only ask of God
that i am not indifferent to deceit,
if a traitor can do more than a bunch of people,
then let not those people forget him easily.

I only ask of God
that I am not indifferent to the future,
hopeless is he who has to go away
to live a different culture.

I only ask of God
that i am not indifferent to the battle,
it’s a big monster with a heavy step
all the poor innocence of the people.
Track Name: Todo Cambia
Written by J. Numhauser

Cambia lo superficial / cambia también lo profundo
cambia el modo de pensar / cambia todo en este mundo

Cambia el clima con los años / cambia el pastor su rebaño
y así como todo cambia / que yo cambie no es extraño

Cambia el mas fino brillante / de mano en mano su brillo
cambia el nido el pajarillo / cambia el sentir un amante

Cambia el rumbo el caminante / aunque esto le cause daño
y así como todo cambia / que yo cambie no extraño

Cambia todo cambia
Cambia el sol en su carrera / cuando la noche subsiste
cambia la planta y se viste / de verde en la primavera

Cambia el pelaje la fiera / Cambia el cabello el anciano
y así como todo cambia / que yo cambie no es extraño

Pero no cambia mi amor / por mas lejos que me encuentre
ni el recuerdo ni el dolor / de mi pueblo y de mi gente

Lo que cambió ayer / tendrá que cambiar mañana
así como cambio yo / en esta tierra lejana

Cambia todo cambia

>>> Translation: Everything Changes - The sentiment of this song is best explained by the feeling of sorrow of banishment from one’s country and the frustration of holding on to the memory while everything changes – including oneself.

The superficial things change / and so do things profound
our way of thinking changes / everything in this world changes

Climate changes with the years / a shepherd changes his flock
and since everything must change / that I should change is not strange

The finest brilliant thing / changes its luster from hand to hand
a bird’s nest can change / and so can a lover’s feelings

A walker changes their course / although it could cause harm
and since everything must change / that I should change is not strange

Change, everything changes
The sun changes in its path / when only night remains
a plant changes its garments / from the green it was in spring

Animals’ coats change / And the hair of the elderly
and since everything must change / that I should change is not strange

But my love does not change / no matter how far away I travel
nor the memory nor the pain / of my country and my people

What changed yesterday / will have to change tomorrow
just as I am changing / in this distant country

Change, everything changes
Track Name: Gracias a la Vida
Written by V. Parra

Gracias a la vida que me ha dado tanto
Me dio dos luceros que cuando los abro
Perfecto distingo lo negro del blanco
Y en el alto cielo su fondo estrellado
Y en las multitudes el hombre que yo amo

Gracias a la vida que me ha dado tanto
Me ha dado el oído que en todo su ancho
Graba noche y día grillos y canarios
Martirios, turbinas, ladridos, chubascos
Y la voz tan tierna de mi bien amado

Gracias a la vida que me ha dado tanto
Me ha dado el sonido y el abecedario
Con él, las palabras que pienso y declaro
Madre, amigo, hermano
Y luz alumbrando la ruta del alma del que estoy amando

Gracias a la vida que me ha dado tanto
Me ha dado la marcha de mis pies cansados
Con ellos anduve ciudades y charcos
Playas y desiertos, montañas y llanos
Y la casa tuya, tu calle y tu patio

Gracias a la vida que me ha dado tanto
Me dio el corazón que agita su marco
Cuando miro el fruto del cerebro humano
Cuando miro el bueno tan lejos del malo
Cuando miro el fondo de tus ojos claros

Gracias a la vida que me ha dado tanto

Me ha dado la risa y me ha dado el llanto
Así yo distingo dicha de quebranto
Los dos materiales que forman mi canto
Y el canto de ustedes que es el mismo canto
Y el canto de todos que es mi propio canto

Gracias a la vida, gracias a la vida

>>> Translation: Thanks to Life - The joy of life and all its experiences both good and bad. A journey as only music can express. The sentiment of this song is encapsulated in this verse: Thanks to life that has given me so much / It’s given me both laughter and tears / That’s how I know joy from loss / Both are integral to my song / And all of your songs which is of one song / And the song of all which is my only song

Thanks to the life that has given me so much
it gave me two bright eyes and when I open them
I distinguish perfectly the black from the white
and in the high sky its starred bottom
and in the crowd the man i love

Thanks to the life that has given me so much
it gave me ears open wide
they record night and day, crickets and canaries
hammers, turbines, barks, and rain showers
and my lover's tender voice

Thanks to the life that has given me so much
it gave me sound and a voice
with it the words I'm thinking and declaring
father, friend, brother and a light illuminating
the path of the soul that I am loving

Thanks to the life that has given me so much
it has given me the march of my tired feet
with them I've crossed cities and puddles
beaches and desserts, mountains and planes
and your house, your street and your courtyard

Thanks to the life that has given me so much
it gave me my heart that flutters in its cage
when I see the fruit of the Human brain
when I see the good so far from the bad
when I see inside your clear eyes

Thanks to the life that has given me so much
it gave the laughter and the crying
so I can distinguish happiness from sadness
both materials that form my song
and your song that is mine too

And the song of all which is my own song
thanks to the life that has given me so much