Thursday, December 2, 2010

Songs for Advent and Christmas 2: Villancico - Ska-P

As we said in the previous post on this theme, these songs are not for those who want warm and fuzzy, feel good Christmas music. They are songs that make us think about Christmas in the context of a mature Christian faith and understanding of the social implications of the gospel.

Ska-P are a ska punk band out of Vallecas (Madrid), Spain. Common themes throughout Ska-P's songs are human rights - including abolishment of the death penalty, social injustice, women's rights, anti-fascism, anti-zionism, anti-capitalism and the support of legalization of cannabis, and animal rights (particularly the abolishment of bullfighting). In "Villancico" they take on the commercialism of Christmas that forgets about the poor and the starving. They also take on the institutional Church which they see as distorting the original message of Jesus and making money off the faithful. The song was recorded on their 1998 album Eurosis. Is this anti-capitalist carol just mindless militant secularism, or do these guys have a point?

Well, some will say, the Church does speak out for the poor and the hungry. Could it be that this message is being obscured by the much louder discourse on personal morality issues? Archbishop Tim Dolan, the new president of the USCCB, recently pondered the disturbing question raised by the Pew Forum survey which found that Catholics accept Christ, but not necessarily the Church. Why the disconnect? Maybe we can start with asking why, when 9.8% of Americans are unemployed, are the USCCB and the Knights of Columbus spending millions of dollars to disseminate a second video to counteract the trend towards gay marriages? In many Catholic families there will be no Christmas this year because there's no money for it...and the Church is worried about "Adam and Steve". What would Christ's priorities be?

25, ya es Navidad. Todos juntos vamos a brindar
por Ruanda, Etiopía. En Venezuela o en la India
hoy mueren niños, ¡FELIZ NAVIDAD!
Navidades de hambre y dolor. Ha nacido el hijo de Dios.
El Mesías que nos guía, ofrece su filosofía.
Nadie entiende al hijo de Dios.
Mi familia comienza a cantar. En el ambiente hay felicidad.
En compañía vamos a olvidar la agonía de los pueblos
donde no hay Navidad.
Cantemos, hermanos, todos juntos hacia el Vaticano.
Suelta prenda, ¡COÑO!, que mueren niños de inanición.
Un negocio millonario con la fe de los cristianos
que utilizan a Jesús como el perpetuo salvador.
Jesucristo era un tío normal, pacifista, intelectual,
siempre al lado de los pobres, defendiendo sus valores,
siempre en contra del capital.
Crucificado como un animal, defendiendo un ideal.
El abuso de riqueza se convierte en la miseria más injusta
de la humanidad.
Mi familia comienza...
Cantemos, hermanos, todos juntos...
Fue la Iglesia la que se lo montó
y de su muerte un negocio creó.
El Vaticano es un imperio que devora con ingenio
predicando por la caridad.
25, ya es navidad. Todos juntos vamos a brindar
por un revolucionario que intentó cambiar el mundo,
el primer hippie de la humanidad.
Mi familia comienza...
Cantemos, hermanos, todos juntos...
La Navidad, la Navidad, ES LA SOCIEDAD DE CONSUMO.
MENTIRA, MENTIRA, la Navidad es mentira, MENTIRA...

(Rebel Girl's translation)

The 25th, now it's Christmas. We're all going to drink a toast
to Rwanda, Ethiopia. In Venezuela and in India
Children are dying today. Merry Christmas!
Christmases of hunger and pain. The Son of God is born.
The Messiah who guides us, offers His philosophy.
Nobody understands the Son of God.
My family starts to sing. There's happiness in the air.
In others' company we'll forget the agony of the places
where there's no Christmas.
Sing, brothers and sisters, all together to the Vatican.
Speak up, m-f, because there are children dying of starvation!
A million-dollar business with the faith of Christians
who use Jesus as a perpetual savior.
Jesus was a regular fellow, a pacifist, intellectual,
always on the side of the poor, defending their values,
always against capitalism.
He was crucified like an animal, while defending an ideal.
The abuse of wealth becomes the most unjust misery
of humankind.
My family starts...
Sing, brothers and sisters, all together...
It was the Church that organized it
and made a business out of His death.
The Vatican is an empire that devours ingeniously
while preaching charity.
The 25th, now it's Christmas. We're all going to drink a toast
to a revolutionary who tried to change the world,
the first hippie of the human race.
My family starts...
Sing, brothers and sisters, all together...
Christmas, Christmas, it's the consumer society.
A lie, a lie, Christmas is a lie, a lie...

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