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Gringa chaqueña (English translation)

  • Artist: Mercedes Sosa Featuring artist: Ariel Ramírez
  • Song: Gringa chaqueña Album: Mujeres Argentinas (1969)
  • Translations: English, French
English translationEnglish

Gringa Chaqueña

Now you are
the cradle of peace
and work
When I found you
you were just termite mounds
Hill without flowers
Indians and their tents
fields of thorns
bitterness, crosses
Blood of my people
your ripe horizon
Gringos fertilized
with the sweat of their skin
Let me say
what I gave you
Let me tell you about
this Chaco that I created
I worked on you
I turned your skin
a new shade
I gave you cotton
I offered you children
faces of the harvest
Wild, untamed Chaco
half tamed Toba
I was a strong woman
Your empty land
was a big cradle
rough and maternal
Your barrenness
I fertilized it
every new moon
And by giving you life
I felt myself
to be a gringa and also Chaqueñan
Submitted by marcos.sullivanmarcos.sullivan on 2020-04-23
Last edited by marcos.sullivanmarcos.sullivan on 2022-09-26
Author's comments:

El Chaco or Gran Chaco is a region, part of which is in northern Argentina: The related adjective is Chaqueñan.

Gringo (or gringa, feminine) meaning foreigner often carries a derogatory connotation. However, gringo in Argentina was also used to refer to the non-Spanish European immigrants who first established agricultural colonies in the country.

The Toba are one of the largest indigenous groups in Argentina.

Here is my translation of the sleevenotes from the original LP:

Gringa chaqueña: This is a character without a name, or with many names, who is remembered with respect and affection in that Chaco that they helped to found. They are the ‘gringas’ (women settlers) who arrived when it was "pure tacurúes" (barren land full of termite mounds), Indians and desolation. They went with their men to found a new life, and through their stubbornness and their faith the landscape was transformed. What was desert and hills became a place of work and prosperity. Immigrants yet also Chaqueñans. When they created the reality of today with their own hands and wombs, they stopped being foreigners and become the founders of the province, pride of the country.


Gringa chaqueña

Translations of "Gringa chaqueña"
Mercedes Sosa: Top 3
La IsabelLa Isabel    Sun, 25/09/2022 - 21:56

Hola Marcos,

Si permite, en su traducción:

Traduce " tacurúes" por "swamp" Pero, encontré en el Diccionario de americanismos, que son montículos de tierra sólidos y resistentes, que construyen los tacurús, una hormiga de color negro y tórax en forma de arco convexo.

También para el verso « toba redomón » escribe: Half tamed horse
Si la palabra « redomón », referida a caballos, significa « que no está domado por completo », a mi parecer, no pienso que haya aquí algo evocando un caballo.
Hay delante de esta, la palabra « toba » y si no me equivoco, se trata de los Indios « Toba », un pueblo autóctono viviendo en la región del Gran Chaco que no fue sometido por completo antes los últimos años del siglo XIX.
¿Qué le parece?

La IsabelLa Isabel    Mon, 26/09/2022 - 12:22

Gracias por estos cambios.

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