Alto Songo - words in Spanish
ALTO SONGO - Son in popular culture and history: resistance and liberation
Son music accomplished its duty by ensuring that notable occurrences of interest to the masses of people could never be forgotten. More than anything else, the genre Son Montuno deals with relevant questions for people of African descent and the humble.
"Alto Songo", "Heights of Songo," commemorates an event that humanity should never forget: the 1912 Massacre. That cruel exercise by the then existing political system in Cuba, under President José Miguel Gomez, physically eliminated a countless amount of people of color in La Maya, Guantánamo and all over Cuba.
During the days of May, 1912, La Maya was set on fire, especially by the business people of european descent who aspired to draw benefits from the insurance companies. "Let the fire brigade come down the hill!" So, the firemen had to come down all the way from the Heights of Songo to extinguish the fire in La Maya!
The composer of Alto Songo is Luis "Lilí" Martinez Griñan, a man of "el pueblo abajo,"the people below," and a native of Guantánamo. He well understood the redemptive role son played in Cuban culture. A rare photograph is reproduced below the words to this song.
ALTO SONGO, SE QUEMA LA MAYA(see English translation
Luis Martínez Griñan is forever the
musician of "el pueblo de abajo," "the people below,"
and understood his sonero role as redeemer. Generations of sincere men and
women, lovers of authentic Cuban music, will always follow his
Popular culture & history
See Eugène Godfried's page
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