Carlos Mejia Godoy: “These Kids have Given Me Back My Youth”

“There’s not a single word that has to be changed because the person I wrote the song about later betrayed their country,” confesses Singer-songwriter Carlos Mejia Godoy. Foto: Franklin Villavicencio. Niú


By Confidencial / Niu

HAVANA TIMES – Carlos Mejia Godoy never stops writing songs. He says that the students have given him back his youth and that dedicating music to them is his way of contributing to the struggle. Songs like “Nicaragua, Nicaragüita” and “Viveras Monimbo’ [Monimbo, you’ll live on”] have become hymns of the peaceful protests. Their author declares that he’s moved to see that they’re still relevant, although they were composed decades ago.

Three of the compositions that were born in April are: “Jovenes de Abril” [“April’s youth”]; “Soy Alvarito Conrado” [“I’m Alvarito Conrad”]; and “Domitila Nurinda”.

“Mañana antes que me entierren,    
después de la Santa Misa,
coloquen en mi camisa
un puñito de maíz
y cuando caiga la lluvia
y los chilotes revienten,
voy a sumarme sonriente
a la paz de mi país”

Domitila Ñurinda

“Tomorrow before I’m buried
After the Holy Mass
Place in my shirt
A handful of corn
And when the rain falls
And the young corn bursts out
I’ll come smiling to join in
The peace of my country”

From the song: Domitila Ñurinda

“I’m writing songs with a passion these days, in a frenzy I haven’t felt since those long-past years. I wake up creating songs and this is just a tiny gesture compared with what these kids deserve,” he declares.

From a bench in his garden, the composer who’ll be 75 in June, admits that he’s never written a song about a living hero. “Ruben Dario has San Francisco de Asisi saying that ‘man is made with a poor yeast,’ so you may see an admirable or heroic early rise in life but they later lose their way. I can say in all sincerity that there’s not a single word that has to be changed [in my songs] because the person I’m singing about later betrayed his country. I’ve only written songs for heroes that are dead,” he confesses.

Want to know the history of his songs “Nicaragua, Nicaragüita” and “Viviras Monimbo”?  Here, he tells you about them: