Monday, May 30, 2011

Los Versos del Veterano - With Respect to Eligio Escobar

For those Mexican Americans who served in the military, in particular World War II, one of the most popular songs was one sung by Tejano artist Eligio Escobar. It was titled simply, "El Veterano" - The Veteran.

The song has had staying power and those who served in Korea, Vietnam and now in the Middle East conflicts can relate to its message. The message is simple, a Mexicano will not shy away from anything in the battlefield. A Mexicano will fight with honor, valor and persistence to defend his country. If you go to YouTube, click on this link: and you should hear the song. If not, just put down El Veterano Eligio Escobar and you will get the link. Good luck. It is inspiring.

On this Memorial Day, I would like to offer the lyrics, the song and the message with all those who had a military veteran in their family. "Que dios los bendiga a todos" (May God bless all of you). Eligio Escobar is in the center, my step-dad Amando Saenz at the top, and my father, Manuel Flores, is on the right with the Mexican and American flags in the background. This, too, is for them.

Los Versos del Veterano
Canción de Eligio Escobar

Veterano, soy señores (Gentlemen, I am a veteran)
De la guerra más terrible, fui guerrero
(of the most terrible war, I was a soldier)

Soy Mexicano de raza,(I am a Mexican)
Por la mano del destino,(Because of destiny)
Nacido en el extranjero (I was born outside of my land of Mexico)

Me llamaron al servicio, (They called to serve in the military)
Como macho es mi deber decir “¡presente!” (Like an honorable man that I am, it is my duty to say "present").
Me toco la infantería, (I was assigned to the infantry)
Esos que van en el frente (Those who go toward the front in battle)

Después del entrenamiento, (After my training)
Me mandaron en un barco, (They send me in a boat)
A ir a jugarme la vida al otro lado del charco (to go an gamble my life on the other side of big puddle - ocean)

Yo en mi vida avía rezado, (In my life I have prayed)
Pero allí aprendí a rezar mil oraciones.(But over there I learned to pray a thousand prayers).

Bajo la lluvia de acero, (under the rain of steel)
Balas de martilladoras (bullets from machine guns)
Y bombas de mil aviones (and bombs from a thousand airplanes)

No he podido comprender,(I cannot comprehend)
Como pude yo volver, (How it is I was able to return)
¿Quizás la suerte? (Maybe it was luck?)

Pues, es que mi dios es muy grande,(Well, it's because my God is so powerful)
Mi Virgen Guadalupana (And my Virgen de Guadalupe)
Me protegió de la muerte (Protected me from death)

Y hay que vida tan amarga, (What hard life)
La que un soldado se pasa (A solider has to endure)
sin ninguna esperanza de regresar a su casa (Without any hope of ever returning home)

En los campos de batalla (In the battlefields)
Se mostro su valentía, ser Mexicano (The valor of what it means to be Mexicano was shown and proven).

Para que el mundo lo sepa, (So that the world will know)
Que no se afrenta de nada el que tiene sangre Azteca (Don't one with Aztec blood will not back down to anything).

Ya me despido señores con mi Máuser en las manos (I say farewell now gentle, with my Mauser in my hands).

Y, aquí, se acaban los versos del veterano (This is the end of the lyrics of the song El Veterano).


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