Santiago

As I looked out my window
At the clear blue sky
At the planes that flew so low
At the smoke that rose so high
The air filled up with dust
That blackened out the sun
And the politicians went on
About the new day that had begun
And when I looked at my calendar
Somehow I knew it would be so
It was on this day in Santiago

Less than thirty years had passed
And how clearly I remember
What the city had been like
Before that day in September
There were doctors on the sidewalks
Helping those in need
Students in the barrios
Teaching children how to read
There were milk trucks in the shanties
Driving to and fro
It was on this day in Santiago

I could tell you about the rallies
The whole city in the street
The President was speaking
And we all were on our feet
Allende was the future
Destitution was the past
The city was in motion
And things were changing fast
Just how fast they were changing
Only Kissinger could know
It was on this day in Santiago

Anaconda Copper
And Nixon got their dream
A country torn apart
Ruptured at the seam
A fascist coup was what they wanted
And that’s just what they’d get
When they sent down from Fort Benning
General Pinochet
Lady Liberty
Hung her head down low
It was on this day in Santiago

They dropped bombs on La Moneda
With jet planes from DC
They killed five thousand people
In our city by the sea
A reign of terror started
When they cut off Victor’s hands
The rivers clogged with bodies
And our blood drenched the sands
And I remember wondering
Which way future winds might blow
It was on this day in Santiago

“Santiago” appears on the 2009 CD, Ten Thousand Miles Away, the 2010 CD, Troubadour:  People’s History in Song, and elsewhere.

It was one of those historical things that the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001 happened on the same date as the CIA-sponsored military coup in 1973 that overthrew the popularly-elected democratic socialist government of Salvador Allende.

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