Bruce Springsteen Posts Bilingual Tribute Song to Argentina
On Tuesday (Sept. 17), days after playing his first show in Argentina in 25 years, Bruce Springsteen posted video of a bilingual tribute to the people of that country. (Watch it below.) The song, ‘Solo le Pido a Dios,’ or ‘I Only Ask of God,’ was penned in 1978 by native folk-rocker Leon Gieco, and it became a protest anthem for the Argentine people, who suffered through a military dictatorship from 1976 to 1983.
The Boss’ last visit to Argentina came during Amnesty International’s 1988 ‘Human Rights Now!’ tour, and before performing ‘I Only Ask of God,’ he discusses in Spanish how the trip has stuck with him, even a quarter-century later.
“My memories of that time are still very much alive,” Springsteen says, according to an AP translation. “We came to Argentina when the country was going through a difficult time, and fighting for its future. For a foreigner, Argentina was very much alive, promising.”
“So it’s a huge inspiration for me to return here, and I want to leave this song to the people of Argentina,” he adds.
Curiously, Springsteen — the hardest-working man in rock ‘n’ roll, bar none — opted to post the song online rather than perform it live at the end of his marathon three-plus-hour Saturday night show in Buenos Aires. Apparently, he thought himself too tuckered out to play it properly, so he told fans to watch for it on his website.
In the cilp, Springsteen strums an acoustic guitar and blows on a harmonica, following in the grand tradition of protest singers from all over the world. As the AP reports, Gieco isn’t the only muckraking South American troubadour Bruce has honored on his current tour, and in Santiago, he covered ‘Manifesto’ by Victor Jara, a rebel Chilean songwriter killed in 1973 and immortalized in the Clash tune ‘Washington Bullets.’
Watch Bruce Springsteen’s Video for ‘Solo le Pido a Dios’