Quilapayún and Sergio Ortega’s «The people united will never be defeated»

quila2 Quilapayún is the great songwriter and folk group from Chile. The group was founded in 1965 by Julio Numhauser, Eduardo and Julio Carrasco: for that the name of the group: Quilapayún, that means "three beards" ("quila"= three; "payún"= beard) on mapuche’s language. The group was one of the standards of the Nueva Canción Chilena, under the direction of great Víctor Jara. On the group there were many members, as Patricio Castillo (another great songwriter from Chile). Some of their records are Quilapayún (1965), Por Vietnam -For Vietnam- (1968), Cantata de Santa María de Iquique -Ballad of Saint Mary of Iquique- (1970, one of their best), Basta -Enough! (1969) or El pueblo unido jamás será vencido (The people united will never be defeated) (1975) and many others, because the group is still in active. In 1973, standing in Paris, Pinochet’s bloody coup d’etat happens, so they, members and suporters of Salvador Allende’s Unidad Popular (People Union), were forced to a large exile. Precisely, on the first years of the exile, they recorded, with Segio Ortega’s music, this song.


ortega70 Sergio Ortega (Antofagasta, 1938-París, 2003) was an important Chilean musician and composer. Ortega was member of the Chilean Communist Party, and compossed the anthem of Allende’s party. He was an important figure in Chilean New Song, making songs to singer and groups as Quilapayún or Inti-Illimani. Since 1973, after Pinochet’s coup d’etat, he lived in France till his dead.

"El pueblo unido jamás será vencido" is a song compossed by Ortega and with Quilapayún’s word, based on the famous shout of struggle from all the Spanish-speaking world. Was compossed during the most intense years of Allende’s chairmanship, 1973, when Chilean rich men and church was making a boycot to gobernment, and groups of extreme-right wing were bombing. After Pinochet’s coup d’etat and during the cruel dictatorship, the song became in an anthem of the resistance. The song was recorded by many Chilean songwriters and groups, as Inti-Illimani (1974), Isabel Parra and Patricio Castillo, and, of course, by Quilapayún, that also took the title as the name of their record of 1975. Since then, the song became in an anthem there where are opression: so, in Spain was versioned by the folk group Nuestro Pequeño Mundo -Our Little World-, under the name of Coro Popular Jabalón (Jabalón People Chorus), and in Portugal, was Luis Cilia who translated the song to Portuguese.


El pueblo unido jamás será vencido

El pueblo unido, jamás será vencido,Quilapayun.ElPueblo...
El pueblo unido jamás será vencido…
De pie, cantar
Que vamos a triunfar.
Avanzan ya
Banderas de unidad.
Y tú vendrás
Marchando junto a mí
Y así verás
Tu canto y tu bandera florecer,
La luz
De un rojo amanecer
Anuncia ya
La vida que vendrá.
De pie, luchar
El pueblo va a triunfar.
Será mejor
La vida que vendrá
A conquistar
Nuestra felicidad
Y en un clamor
Mil voces de combate se alzarán
Canción de libertad
Con decisión
La patria vencerá.
Y ahora el pueblo
Que se alza en la lucha
Con voz de gigante
Gritando: ¡adelante!
El pueblo unido, jamás será vencido,
El pueblo unido jamás será vencido…
La patria está
Forjando la unidad
De norte a sur
Se movilizará
Desde el salar
Ardiente y mineral
Al bosque austral
Unidos en la lucha y el trabajo
La patria cubrirán,
Su paso ya
Anuncia el porvenir.
De pie, cantar
El pueblo va a triunfar
Millones ya,
Imponen la verdad,
De acero son
Ardiente batallón
Sus manos van
Llevando la justicia y la razón
Con fuego y con valor
Ya estás aquí
Junto al trabajador.

 The people united will never be defeated

The people united will never be defeated,/ The people united will never be defeated…// Arise, sing/ We are going to win./ Flags of unity/ are now advancing./ And you will come/ marching together with me,/ and so you’ll see/ your song and your flag blossom./ The light/ of a red dawn/ already announces/ the life to come.// Arise, fight/ the people are going to win./ The life to come/ will be better./ To conquer/ our happiness./ and a clamor/ of a thousand fighting voices will rise,/ speaking/ a song of freedom./ With determination/ the fatherland will win.// And now the people,/ who are rising in struggle/ with a giant voice/ crying out: Forward!// The people united will never be defeated,/ The people united will never be defeated…// The fatherland is/ forging unity,/ from north to south/ they’re mobilizing./ From the salt mines/ burning and mineral/ to the southern forests./ united in struggle and labor/ They go/ covering the fatherland./ Their steps already/ Announce the future.// Arise, sing/ the people are going to win/ millions now/ are imposing the truth/ Their steel battalions/ are on fire,/ taking in their hands/ justice and reason./ Woman/ with fire and courage/ is already here/ Along side the worker.

Music by Sergio Ortega

Words by Quilapayún

Translation from marxists.org

Quilapayún’s web page: http://www.quilapayun.com/

About Sergio Ortega

5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by etel on 28 diciembre, 2008 at 17:08

    Bravo …..bravísimooooooooo, besos para tiiiii…!!!!! Los he visto en persona y me emocionan cada vez que los escucho. Estos compatriotas míos, son lo máximo, gracias por este hermoso regalo. Feliz año nuevo querido amigo.

  2. Posted by Gustavo on 28 diciembre, 2008 at 23:26

    Igualmente Etel

  3. Posted by evin on 1 enero, 2009 at 1:42

    El pueblo unido, jamás será vencido, this is known and used at rallies in turkeywe have turkish version of the song

  4. Posted by Gustavo on 1 enero, 2009 at 16:03

    Really? I’d like to read and hear it!

  5. Posted by evin on 2 enero, 2009 at 16:17

    I’ll send you both by email

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