Photo: Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Springsteen uploaded a heart-felt version of the Argentine protest song “Solo le pido a Dios” (I Only Ask of God) to his Web site, after opting not to sing it during the concert he and his E Street Band gave Saturday night in this capital.
Playing solo acoustic guitar and harmonica and singing mostly in Spanish, the American singer-songwriter performed his version of the song he said he discovered thanks to the “wonderful” Mercedes Sosa, the late Argentine folk singer who recorded a memorable cover of that same tune.
“Hello Buenos Aires, hello Argentina. In 1988, I went to Buenos Aires for the Amnesty International tour. My memories of that time are very vivid. We came when the country was going through a difficult moment and fighting for its future,” Springsteen said.
He was alluding to violent protests against the austerity measures of then-President Raul Alfonsin, Argentina’s first democratically elected president after seven years of military rule.
“For a foreigner, Argentina was alive and promising. It’s very inspiring to be back. I want to dedicate this song to the people of Argentina,” the Boss said before performing his version of the track composed by Argentine singer-songwriter Leon Gieco.
In a message on Twitter, Gieco thanked the New Jersey native for his “very warm” rendition of the song.
Springsteen said on his Web site that he had initially planned to perform the song at his Buenos Aires show on Saturday, but “wasn’t quite prepared that evening.”