Bruce Springsteen Cover Chilean and Argentinean Folk Songs In Spanish
On September 12, he kicked off his South American tour in Santiago, Chile. It was his first concert in the continent in 25 years, since the 1988 Amnesty International Human Rights Now! tour, and just as those shows were politically charged, so was this one.
Springsteen covered Victor Jara's "Manifesto" at that concert. Jara was a folk singer who was so threatening to the military leaders who staged a 1973 coup that they murdered him later that year.
Bruce's introduction (translated courtesy Springsteen fan site Backstreets): "In 1988 we played for Amnesty International in Mendoza, Argentina, but Chile was in our hearts. We met many families of Desaparecidos, which had pictures of their loved ones. It was a moment that stays with me forever. A political musician, Victor Jara, remains a great inspiration. It's a gift to be here and I take it with humbleness."
A few days later, on September 14, he returned to Argentina, to perform in Buenos Aires. He'd planned to cover "Solo le pido a Dios" ("I Only Ask of God"), a song by the Argentine folk-rocker León Gieco that Springsteen learned from the late folk singer Mercedes Sosa, but didn't get to it. The following day he posted a note to his official website saying, "There is a song I planned to sing at our Buenos Aires concert that I learned from the wonderful Argentine singer, Mercedes Sosa. I wasn't quite prepared that evening so I'm glad to send this out now to all of our friends and fans in Argentina." Check out video here.