Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Sweaty God: Another translation from the Misa Campesina

Here is my translation of the Canto de Entrada from the Nicaraguan liberation theology misa campesina. You can listen to the song at

You are the God of the worker,
God of the poor and the humble,
The God who sweats as he labors,
Your face the color of leather.

And that’s why I talk to you
The way I talk to my people.
With words that are plain and simple,
Because you’re a worker, too.

You walk hand in hand beside my people,
Struggling in the field at hot midday.
Then you line up with the farm hands,
Waiting until you collect your daily pay.
You snack on raspado on the park bench,
With Eusebio, Pancho ‘n’ Arnulfo,
And you even protest over syrup
When you think they should have poured you more.

I have seen you sitting in the market,
Selling watermelon from your stall.
And I’ve even seen you on the highway,
Patrolling in gloves and overalls.
I have seen you in the gasolinera
Checking out the tire pressure gauge.
And I’ve seen you selling lott’ry tickets,
But the job does not make you ashamed.

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