Who taught me what I sing,
who taught me? I don’t know.
Why don’t ask the earth
and she will answer you.
What the earth doesn’t teach
no one can learn.
Ay, sister, such questions!
If only someone had taught you to see!
And as they make men rot
behind bars and under stones
the beautyful face of the prairie
is imprisoned by the cities.
But the earth quickly
shakes off whatever crowds it.
Ay, imprisoned brother,
if you only could become an earthquake!
Like this, the hills are also cut by plows,
but they don’t bleed to death;
dreams and voices fill the throat,
and from the wound made by the iron
the fruit comes forth singing:
Ay, sister if you only learned
to harvest what you plant!
Learn what you don’t know
from the waters that surround you,
as clouds race across the sky,
rivers circle around the earth.
But the sea gathers them in her bosom
and gives them her strength.
Ay, brother open yourself up
the next time that you drink!
Humbled for centuries,
we live without understanding,
and we go through life
separated from each other by fear.
Meanwhile the enemy’s forces
nourish themselves from our soil.
Ay, brother, if you’d only learn
that alone we are nothing!
In the American Homeland only one wall stands:
in the North a happy people,
and in the South 30 sad peoples.
What were you looking at in this life,
my brother, that you didn’t see?
Learn to seize that which
you have never defended!