Patria y Vida (Homeland and Life)

Listen to the Song in Spanish

See the video below

Listen to the Lyrics in English

Patria y Vida – Read by Jill Robbins

Descemer Bueno, Gente De Zona, and Yotuel – Original Text (2021)

[Intro: Randy (Gente de Zona)]

Y eres tú mi canto de sirena

Porque con tu voz se van mis penas

Y este sentimiento ya está añejo

Tú me dueles tanto aunque estés lejos

[Yotuel]

Hoy yo te invito a caminar por mis solares

Pa’ demostrarte de que sirven tus ideales

Somos humanos aunque no pensemos iguales

No nos tratemos ni dañemos como animales

Esta es mi forma de decírtelo

Llora mi pueblo y siento yo su voz

Tú cinco nuevе, yo doble dos

Sesenta años trancado еl dominó

Bombo’ y platillo a los quinientos de La Habana

Mientras en casa en las cazuelas ya no tienen jama

¿Qué celebramos si la gente anda deprisa?

Cambiando al Che Guevara y a Martí por la divisa

Todo ha cambiado, ya no es lo mismo

Entre tú y yo, hay un abismo

Publicidad de un paraíso en Varadero

Mientras las madres lloran por sus hijos que se fueron

[Chorus: Gente de Zona and Yotuel]

Se acabó, tú cinco nueve, yo doble dos

Ya se acabó, sesenta años trancado el dominó, mira

Se acabó, tú cinco nueve, yo doble dos

Ya se acabó, sesenta años trancado el dominó

[Descemer Bueno]

Somos artistas, somos sensibilidad

La historia verdadera, no la mal contada

Somos la dignidad de un pueblo entero pisoteada

A punta de pistola y de palabras que aún son nada

[Alexander (Gente de Zona)]

No más mentiras, mi pueblo pide libertad, no más doctrinas

Ya no gritemos “Patria y Muerte” sino “Patria y Vida”


Y empezar a construir lo que soñamos, lo que destruyeron con sus manos…

[Randy (Gente de Zona)]

Que no siga corriendo la sangre, por querer pensar diferente

¿Quién le dijo que Cuba es de ustedes, si mi Cuba es de toda mi gente?

[Chorus: Gente de Zona and Descemer Bueno]

Se acabó, ya se venció tu tiempo, se rompió el silencio

Ya se acabó, ya se acabó la risa y el llanto ya está corriendo

Se acabó, y no tenemos miedo, se acabó el engaño

Ya se acabó, son sesenta y dos haciendo daño

[Maykel Osorbo]

Allí vivimos con la incertidumbre del pasado, plantado

Quince amigos puestos, listos pa’ morirnos

Izamos la bandera todavía la represión del régimen al día

Anamely Ramos firme con su poesía

Omara Ruiz Urquiola dándonos aliento, de vida

Rompieron nuestra puerta, violaron nuestro templo

Y el mundo ‘tá consciente de que el movimiento San Isidro continúa puesto

[El Funky]

Seguimos en las mismas, la seguridad metiendo prisma

Esas cosas a mi como me indignan, se acabó el enigma

Ya ‘sa tu revolución maligna, soy funky style aquí tienes mi firma

Ya ustedes están sobrando ya no le queda, ya se van bajando

El pueblo se cansó de estar aguantando, un nuevo amanecer estamos esperando

[Chorus: Gente de Zona and Yotuel]

Se acabó, tú cinco nueve, yo doble dos

Ya se acabó, sesenta años trancado el dominó, mira

Se acabó, tú cinco nueve, yo doble dos

Ya se acabó, sesenta años trancado el dominó

[Outro: All]

Patria y Vida

Patria y Vida

Patria y Vida

(Sesenta años trancado el dominó)

English Translation by Gabriela Jatene

[Intro: Randy (Gente de Zona)]

And you are my siren song

Because your voice takes away my sorrows

And this feeling is already old

You hurt so much even though you are far away

[Yotuel]

Today I invite you to walk my streets

To show you what your ideals are good for 

We are human even if we do not think alike 

Let’s not treat or harm each other like animals

This is my way of telling you

My people cry and I hear their voice

You’re five nine, I am double two*

"You’re five nine, I am do-uble two"


A reference to the year 1959 and the year 2020.

Sixty years with the domino stuck*

"Sixty years with the dom-ino stuck"


This sentence is a reference to the Cold War notion that countries would turn Communist one after the other - like dominos. Cuba was the first domino, but it got stuck - no one else followed through into communism.

Great fanfare for Havana’s five hundred

While at home pots no longer have food in them 

What are we celebrating if people walk fast

Exchanging Che Guevara and Martí for “the currency*”?

"The Currency"


Meaning US dollars - this is drawing attention to the fact that Cuba is effectively dollarized.

Everything has changed, nothing is the same

Between you and me, there is an abyss 

Advertising a paradise in Varadero

While mothers cry for their children who have gone

[Chorus: Gente de Zona and Yotuel]

It’s over, you’re five nine, I’m double two

It’s already over, sixty years with the domino stuck, see

It’s over, you’re five nine, I’m double two

It’s already over, 60 years with the domino stuck

[Descemer Bueno]

We are artists, we are sensitivity 

The true story, not lies 

We are the trampled dignity of an entire people 

Under the barrel of a gun and words that mean nothing yet

[Alexander (Gente de Zona)]

No more lies, my people demand freedom, no more doctrines

Let’s no longer shout “Homeland and Death”, but rather “Homeland and Life”

And start building what we dream of, what they destroyed with their hands 

[Randy (Gente de Zona)]

Let no more blood be shed, for wanting to think differently

Who told you that Cuba is yours, when my Cuba belongs to all my people?

[Chorus: Gente de Zona and Descemer Bueno]

It’s over, your time is up, the silence is broken

It is over, laughter is over and the cries are running

It’s over, and we are not afraid, the deceit is over

It is over now, its sixty two causing harm

[Maykel Osorbo]

There we lived with the uncertainty of the past, waiting

Fifteen assigned friends, ready to see us die

We hoist the flag, the regime’s repression still in course

Anamely Ramos, steadfast with her poetry

Omara Ruiz Urquiola encouraging us, giving us life

They broke down our door, they violated our temple

And the world is aware that the San Isidro Movement continues to be resolved

[El Funky]

Things continue the same, security attacking us

Oh how these things outrage me, the enigma is over

Enough with your evil revolution, I am funky style, here’s my signature

You are now redundant, you don’t fit in, you’re on your way down

The people are tired of taking it, we are awaiting a new dawn

[Chorus: Gente de Zona and Yotuel]

It’s over, you’re five nine, I’m double two 

It is over now, sixty years with the domino stuck, see

It’s over, you’re five nine, I’m double two 

It’s over, sixty years with the domino stuck 

[Outro: All]

Homeland and Life

Homeland and Life

Homeland and Life

(Sixty years with the domino stuck)

 

Patria y Vida as sung by Yotuel, Gente De Zona, Descemer Bueno, Maykel Osorbo and El Funky

Translation Notes

*”You’re five nine, I am double two”: A reference to the year 1959 and the year 2020.

*”Sixty years with the domino stuck”: This sentence is a reference to the Cold War notion that countries would turn Communist one after the other – like dominos. Cuba was the first domino, but it got stuck – no one else followed through into communism.

*”The currency”: Meaning US dollars – this is drawing attention to the fact that Cuba is effectively dollarized.

Author Notes

Yotuel Omar Manzanares Romero was born on October 6th 1976 in Havana. He is an Afro-Cuban singer and actor, and is currently the lead singer of the 2003 Latin Grammy Award-winning rap group Orishas. 

Context

In February 2021, the song “Patria y Vida” was released by Yotuel, Descemer Bueno, Gente de Zona, Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara, Maykel Osorbo and DJ El Funky. The slogan “Patria y Vida” (“Homeland and Life”) is an inversion of the Cuban Revolution slogan Patria o Muerte (“Homeland or Death”).

The song was widely successful, and “Patria y Vida” was used as a rallying cry during the July 2021 Cuban protests, where a shortage of food and medicine and the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic triggered a series of protests against the Cuban government. These were the largest anti-government demonstrations in Cuba since 1994.

Sources

Arego, Alberto, and Lien Carrazana. “’Patria y Vida’ the Making-of of the Song That Told the Cuban Regime: ‘It’s over!’.” DIARIO DE CUBA, Síguenos En Twitter, Facebook o Instagram. Si Resides En Cuba, Suscríbete a Nuestro Boletín Con Una Selección De Los Contenidos Más Destacados Del Día. Si Vives En Cualquier Otro Punto Del Planeta, Recibe En Tu Buzón De Correos Enlaces a Lo Más Relevante Del Día., 18 Mar. 2021, https://diariodecuba.com/cultura/1616086673_29671.html.

Fanni is Radnóti's wife
Located near the Tang capital city of Chang’an, site of the modern city of Xi’an in Shaanxi province, in central China.
Soldiers of that time commonly wore a white head cloth, similar to what is still worn by some peasants in China today.  The implication is that the conscripts were so young that they didn’t know how to wrap their head cloths, and needed help from elders.
Before China’s unification under the Qin dynasty in 221 B.C. there were several competing smaller kingdoms.  Han and Qin were two of these kingdoms. Han was located east of famous mountain passes that separated that area from the power base of the Qin dynasty, with its capital in Chang’an. The Qin dynasty itself only lasted about 15 years after unification due to its draconian rule, but soldiers under Qin rule retained a reputation as strong fighters.
The area of Guanxi, meaning “west of the passes”, refers to the area around the capital city of Chang’an.
This is an alternative name for a province in western China, now known as Qinghai, which literally means “blue sea”.  Kokonor Lake, located in Qinghai, is the largest saline lake in China.  
Before China’s unification under the Qin dynasty in 221 B.C. there were several competing smaller kingdoms.  Han and Qin were two of these kingdoms. Han was located east of famous mountain passes that separated that area from the power base of the Qin dynasty, with its capital in Chang’an. The Qin dynasty itself only lasted about 15 years after unification due to its draconian rule, but soldiers under Qin rule retained a reputation as strong fighters.
Oulart Hollow was the site of a famous victory of the Irish rebels over British troops, which took place on May 27, 1798. The rebels killed nearly all the British attackers in this battle. (Source: Maxwell, W. H. History of the Irish Rebellion in 1798. H. H. Bohn, London 1854, pp 92-93, at archive.org)
The phrase "United Men" is elaborated upon in the Notes section below.

Ghetto


An Italian word meaning “foundry.” It originally referred to a part of the city of Venice where the Jews of that city were forced to live; the area was called “the ghetto” because there was a foundry nearby. The term eventually came to refer to any part of a city in which a minority group is forced to live as a result of social, legal, or economic pressure. Because of the restrictions placed upon them, ghetto residents are often impoverished.

رحلنا


رحلنا, or "rahalna," means "we have left."

Habibi


Habibi means "my love."

Ra7eel


Ra7eel, or "raheel," means "departure."

3awda


3awda, or "awda," means "returning."

أهلاً


أهلاً, or "ahalan," means "welcome."

a5 ya baba


a5 ya baba, pronounced "akh ya baba," means "Oh my father."

golpe


Treece translates "golpe" as "beating", which is correct, however misses the secondary meaning of the word: "coup".

Carlos


The “Carlos” referred to in the poem is most likely Carlos Bolsonaro, a politician from Rio de Janeiro and the second son of Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil’s current president. His and his father’s involvement in Marielle’s murder has been questioned and investigated.