Music for May Day: La Santa Cecilia and Las Cafeteras

La Santa Cecilia, "El Hielo"

LA-based band La Santa Cecilia has shared this beautiful, haunting song (and video - I admit I was surprised by that twist) as part of the #Not1More campaign.

Our National Campaigner, Rhina Ramos, told us how moving it was to hear this song being sung by the thousands who marched in Washington, D.C. on April 10th, part of a National Day of Action calling for transformation of our nation's broken immigration system and an end to unjust arrests and detentions.

Here's an English translation of the lyrics:

"ICE"

Eva using a rag to wipe clean the table
Cautiously making everything shine like a pearl
When the boss gets home, she hopes there’ll be no complaints
Accusing her of being illegal
Jose tends to the grounds, they look like Disneyland
He drives an old truck without a license
It doesn’t matter if he was a taxi driver in his home country
That doesn’t count for Uncle Sam

Chorus:
ICE is on the loose out on the streets
You never know when your number’s up
Cry, children cry when they get out
They cry when mom’s not coming to pick them up
Some of us stay here
Others stay there
That happens for going out to find work.

Martha arrived as a child and dreams of studying
But it’s hard for her without papers
Those who were born here get the laurels
But she never gives up her fight

Chorus:
ICE is on the loose out on the streets
You never know when your number’s up
Cry, children cry when they get out
They cry when mom’s not coming to pick them up
Some of us stay here
Others stay there
That happens for going out to find work.

Las Cafeteras, "La Bamba Rebelde"

And from Las Cafeteras, another LA-based band adding to the soundtrack of a growing movement, "La Bamba Rebelde," a joyful declaration that "yo no creo en fronteras/yo cruzaré" ("I don't believe in borders, I will cross"):

Bonus Tracks: Los Tigres del Norte

As the granddaughter of migrant farmworkers from Mexico, Los Tigres del Norte was the first band I heard creating music that isn't afraid to take on big issues of economic justice, immigration, and human rights, while getting you up out of your chair to dance. If you're not familiar with them, this list of 10 of Los Tigres' favorite tracks is a great intro.

What are your favorite songs that get you inspired to take to the streets, to make your voice heard, to create change? Share in the comments below!

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