Karla Lara

Below are links to songs by Karla Lara, a singer-songwriter and activist in Honduras. Lyrics, with English translation, are printed below.

The translation might contain errors or need improvements. If anybody would like to suggest changes, please post them in the comments below. Thank you!

POR SER MUJERES
FOR BEING WOMEN

(The lyrics below correspond to the somewhat longer version found on Karla Lara’s album “Recordarles.” This song, and many others, can be listened to and downloaded from the artist’s web site.)

Letra y Música: Yeco Hernández.
Interpreta: Karla Lara

Nos matan por ser mujeres
They kill us for being women
nos matan queriendo atarnos
They kill us because they want to tie us up
nos matan porque no pueden
They kill us because they can’t
doblarnos, ni amarrarnos
bend us, nor tie us down

Nos matan por ser mujeres
They kill us for being women
nos matan queriendo atarnos
They kill us wanting to tie us up
Nos matan porque no pueden callarnos
They kill us because they can’t make us shut up

Yo la vi, iba cantando una canción
I saw her, she was singing a song
cuando un hombre la mató
when a man killed her
porque decía que la amaba
because he said he loved her

Yo la vi, tenía cielo y perdón
I saw her, she had the sky and forgiveness
cuando su padre la mató
when her father killed her
porque esperaba ilusionada
because she hoped and dreamed

Yo la vi multiplicando la ración
I saw her multiplying the share
curando y era con pasión
healing, and it was with passion
cuando una bala le hizo trampa
when a bullet cheated her

Yo la vi, no quiso dar más corazón
I saw her, she didn’t want to give any more heart
ni testamento, ni canción
nor testament, nor song
por eso cuelga de una rama
That’s why she hangs from a branch

Y allí donde la sangre se detiene y se congela la razón
And there where the blood stops and reason freezes
levanto ojos de furia que no miran más que odio sin perdón
I raise my furious eyes that see nothing more than hatred without pardon
y al filo de un tragante un sucio corazón se ahoga con horror
And at the edge of a sewer a dirty heart drowns with horror

La casa llena esta de niños solos
The house is full of children who are alone
de palabras sin alientos
Of words without breath
de vestidos sin domingos
Of dresses without Sundays

La sangre se secó en el pavimento
The blood dried up on the pavement
y el que olvida también mata
And the one who forgets also kills
nuevamente su recuerdo
her memory once again

Nos matan por ser mujeres
They kill us for being women
nos matan queriendo atarnos
They kill us because they want to tie us up
nos matan porque no pueden
They kill us because they can’t
doblarnos, ni amarrarnos
bend us, nor tie us down

Nos matan por ser mujeres
They kill us for being women
nos matan queriendo atarnos
They kill us wanting to tie us up
Nos matan porque no pueden callarnos
They kill us because they can’t make us shut up
Pasarnos
Pass us
Atarnos
Tie us up
Doblarnos
Bend us
Callarnos
Make us shut up

QUE CORRA EL RÍO
MAY THE RIVER RUN

Letra y música: Karla Lara

This is a tribute to the indigenous Lenca people of western Honduras, their struggle to defend their rivers and territories, their cosmovision, and those who have given their lives in the struggle. Below are links to two versions.

1. https://vimeo.com/118658277

Que corra el río que corra
May the river run, may it run
Paula en su camino
Paula in its path
Tomás en el torrente de sus aguas
Tomás in the torrent of its waters

Que corra el río Gualcarque
May the Gualcarque river run
Tomás en su corriente
Tomás in its current
Paula en la alegría que nos baña
Paula in the joy that bathes us

Una se pregunta
One asks
¿De dónde tanta fuerza?
Where does such strength come from?
¿De dónde Marcelinas?
Where do the Marcelinas come from?
¿De dónde tantas Bertas?
Where do so many Bertas come from? (referring to Berta Cáceres, at the time alive, and leading many struggles)

Me contaron un secreto
They told me a secret
Son espíritus tan viejos
They’re spirits so old
Son espíritus ancestros
They’re ancestral spirits
Que les dan vida a los cuerpos
That give life to the bodies
Que les dan fuerza a los lencas
That give strength to the Lencas

At 1:13 in this version, the video shows a photo of three generations of Bertas – Doña Bertha, the grandmother, Berta Cáceres who was killed in her mid-40s about a year ago, and the granddaughter Berta Zúñiga who, with other family members, continues in struggles despite threats and attempts to intimidate.

2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fdorgre9CSA

This version begins similarly to the first one, and adds more lyrics, which I’m not sure I heard exactly right, but here they are as best as I can reproduce them…

Me contaron que en la arena
They told me that in the sand
En las venas de esta tierra
In the veins of this earth
Son las niñas las que sueñan
Are the little girls who dream
Y les dan fuerza a las Lencas
And they give strength to the Lencas

At the end Karla Lara shouts to the crowd:

¡Que vivamos las mujeres que defendemos las venas de la tierra
que son los ríos!
Long live us women who defend the veins of the earth that are the rivers!

LA CASA DE LA JUSTICIA

Letra: Roberto Sosa
Canta: Karla Lara

Entré
en la Casa de la Justicia
de mi país
y comprobé
que es un templo
de encantadores de serpientes.

I entered the Court of Justice of my country, and I found that it’s a temple of snake charmers.

Dentro
se está
como en espera
de algo
que no existe.

Inside one keeps waiting for something that doesn’t exist.

Temibles
abogados
perfeccionan el día y su azul dentellada.

Frightening lawyers perfect the day and their blue bite.

Jueces sombríos
hablan de pureza
con palabras
que han adquirido
el brillo
de un arma blanca.

Gloomy judges talk of purity, with words that have acquired the shine of a white weapon.

Las víctimas -en contenido espacio –
miden el terror de un solo golpe.

The victims – in a confined space – measure the terror of a single beating.

Y todo
se consuma
bajo esa sensación de ternura que produce el dinero.

And all gets resolved by that tender feeling that money produces.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>