El Carbonero

“El Carbonero” a song considered by many Salvadorans as the second national anthem, was the brainchild of Don Pancho Lara, born in 1900 in the Hacienda La Presa in Santa Ana, poet and musician attributed some 400 compositions, many children and the most famous folk and popular profile.

The song, written in 1934, is worthy of hermeneutical analysis. The birth of “El Carbonero” matches in their temporal-historical level with the dictatorship of General. Maximiliano Hernández Martínez, famous for committing ethnocide over 25 thousand Indians in January 1932 and whose government, illuminated caricature adaptation Theosophy, continued until 1944.

But what the letter says El Carbonero ?, in synthesis is a character from humble beginnings coming down from the summits wooden loading coal sold in the streets of towns and market. And while coming down “entangling horizons and crossing fences where moans torogoz” mythical bird, adopted as national since 1999.

The story and the lyrics are simple but pregnant with a huge symbolism, which leads to various interpretations: the first refers to the extinct craft of coal inherited from colonial times, in other places like Spain, Mexico and Argentina strenuous work but well paid carboneroera. Old Spanish popular songs describe their wandering the streets: “Coal oak, oak cisco trust is not in men. It is not in men or women, which is in the trunk of laurels “.

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The second, pollock touts proud that his “black of charcoal poured fire of love and is nacascol, chaperno and copinol” is related to trade in a natural resource: the indiscriminate use of firewood as cooking method and artisanal generation charcoal, fueled by poverty custom that prevails in 92% of rural households and has been one of the causes for which El Salvador is the most deforested country in Central America.

The third, the question chorus “yes, sir” denoting submission peasant-coal to a production system imposed by the curved and rifle, El Salvador from 1931-1979 was ruled by military and its economy was based on the coffee monoculture. But what otherwise would be expressed anyone under the company stores and living conditions or death akin to slavery ?.

The fourth, the exaltation of the bucolic as one of the wires and conductors rhythmic letter, contemplation of the landscape by encouraging the spirit of trajinar lone coal.

Impress lyrical ability and power of realization of Don Pancho Lara, who died on May 12, 1989 and was declared the Son of El Salvador Meritísimo a month later.

“El Carbonero” is a legacy that should not be overlooked, despite the appalling paraphrase perpetrated by a political party in the making, a crime against culture, when blood spitting hatred and civil war began.

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El Carbonero

Music and lyrics by Pancho Lara

Soy carbonero que vengo
de las cumbres, si señor,
con mi carboncito negro
que vierte lumbre de amor.

De las cumbres del Rosario,
de otros pueblos y el volcán,
bajo siempre solitario
a venderles mi carbón.

Si mi señor,
es buen carbón.
Cómprelo usted,
de nacascol.

Y de chaperno
y de copinol.
Todo señor
es buen carbón.

Cuando vengo por los montes
con mi carga de carbón,
vengo enredando horizontes
en mi largo trajinar..

Me cruzo por los vallados
donde gime el torogoz
y cuando llego al mercado
les pregono con mi voz.

Si, mi señor,
es buen carbón.
Cómprelo usted
de nacascol.

Y de chaperno
y de copinol.
Todo señor
es buen carbón.

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