Song for Hugo Chavez

For the moment the horizon is on fire
Democracy rising balanced on a wire
Liberation, you can smell it in the air
Things are moving and the rich are all aware
Some will talk along the sidelines, others they will do
Me, I’ll sing a song for Chavez before the coup

For the moment the airwaves are alive
On the radio the barrios have arrived
Cuban doctors in their thousands on the street
In the shanty towns they’re pouring the concrete
The opposition whines that Venezuela is all through
Sing a song for Chavez before the coup

For the moment folks are learning how to read
The Constitution is the people’s creed
From their back pocket they’ll take it out for all to see
And their motto is death or liberty
There are those who will complain, mostly the privileged few
Sing a song for Chavez before the coup

For the moment the oil wells are flowing
And Citgo’s profits know exactly where they’re going
Feed the hungry, house those without a home
Give the tractors to those who dig sod and loam
Maybe he will meet the fate that Allende knew
Sing a song for Chavez before the coup

For the moment the movement’s on the rise
It’s all happening right before our eyes
But turn on the TV and there’s nothing they will say
If he’s gone and we don’t hear it did it happen anyway
If the future’s to be ours I ask what are you gonna do
Sing a song for Chavez before the coup

“Song for Hugo Chavez” appears on the 2005 CD, For the Moment.

Hugo Chavez was a revolutionary leader.  At the time that I wrote the song, there had been a coup attempt (in 2002) against him, and there were lots of rumors of more such attempts, along with potential assassination attempts.  The “before the coup” line is as much a reference to the 2002 coup attempt as it was to future possible coup attempts, and my point was not to be pessimistic and figure there was inevitably going to be another coup, but more to warn against that possibility, and to encourage people around the world to actively support the Bolivarian Revolution.

Certainly one of my coolest gigs ever was being one of several performers in Copenhagen in 2009 at Valby Hall who opened for Hugo Chavez, Evo Morales and other Latin American leaders who were speaking at this gala event organized by the Danish Friends of Cuba group and others.  Savage Rose also played.  I heard from folks in Venezuela that on TV they just played me singing “Song for Hugo Chavez,” and then Chavez’s speech, and cut out the rest.

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