“thanks to life”

The other day I read a post of my friend, Lori@Lori’s Lane and she wrote about being thankful for what we have and what we are, Dynamic Gratitude. She asked us what we are thankful for and I remember a song that I met many years ago and that I have so very strong memories from.olof palme - sverigesradio se

Because it was preformed on the funeral of one of the greatest politicians of the world that ever lived, at least what I think, the Swedish Prime Minister Olof Plame. That was brutally assassinated while walk home from the cinema with his wife Lisbeth, February 28 – 1986.  He shot on open street in Stockholm city centre and the killer never caught. And I think that most Swedes connect this the Swedish version “Jag Vill Tacka Livet” with Olof’s funeral, there it was preformed by the Finish female singer, Arja Saijonmaa.

Then I though I would do a post about this very special song – the lyrics are so beautiful and it’s really what we all should be so thankful for … but often forget about. This is what Lori wrote about in her post – the dynamic gratitude, but  still we take it all for granted. Because after all we only have life as loan and we never know for how long.

“Gracias a la vida” is a song composed and first performed by Chilean musician Violeta Parra. It was released in Las Últimas Composiciones (1966), the last album Parra published before committing suicide in 1967.  Around 40 artist has recorded this song: Joan Baez, Yasmin Levy, Plácido Domingo, Nana Mouskouri, Mercedes Sosa, Richard Clayderman, Michael Bublé, Pasión Vega and Alberto Cortez.

Gracias a la Vida” was also a charity single recorded by the a supergroup of world famous artists –  Artists for Chile, called too Voces Unidas por Chile in 2010. The song was released on March 29, 2010. for raise money and support to Chile earthquake victims.

“Gracia a la Vida”/”Thanks for life”

Thanks to life, which has given me so much.
It gave me two stars, which when I open them,
Perfectly distinguish black from white
And in the tall sky its starry backdrop,
And within the multitudes the one that I love.

Thanks to life, which has given me so much.
It gave me hearing that, in all of its reach
Records night and day crickets and canaries,
Hammers and turbines, bricks and storms,
And the tender voice of my beloved.

Thanks to life, which has given me so much.
It gave me sound and the alphabet.
With them the words I think and declare:
“Mother,” “Friend,” “Brother” and light shining down on
The road of the soul of the one I’m loving.

Thanks to life, which has given me so much.
It gave me the steps of my tired feet.
With them I have traversed cities and puddles
Valleys and deserts, mountains and plains.
And your house, your street and your garden.

Thanks to life, which has given me so much.
It gave me this heart that shakes its frame,
When I see the fruit of the human brain,
When I see good so far from evil,
When I look into the depth of your light eyes…

Thanks to life, which has given me so much.
It gave me laughter and it gave me tears.
With them I distinguish happiness from pain
The two elements that make up my song,
And your song, as well, which is the same song.
And everyone’s song, which is my very song.

violeta Parra - last fm

“Gratitude is the most exquisite form of courtesy”
Jacques Maritain

Photos provided by and thanks to: sverigesradio.se/last.fm/en.wikipedia.org


47 thoughts on ““thanks to life”

  1. I remember dear Viveka, Olof Plame…. Oh dear I remember the song too… When I listened again, I noticed that time, as if didn’t pass…. It was a tragic death… In here, with my tears I remembered also some of our journalists, politicians, academicians who were all killed. I love this song… Thank you dear Viveka, I prayed to all of them tonight. Love, nia

    • Nia, you’re so right .. that there is many great men and women that has lost their lives through others brutal hands .. and all the innocent people that have been killed in wars – the song should be for all of them.
      Palme was a very special man – he wasn’t afraid of anyone … he stood for his believes and he talked his mind to US and Russia. He was the voice of the small that didn’t have a strong enough voice. What a lost for Sweden and the world.

    • Yes, it’s a great song .. so glad you have downloaded it.
      We should all listen to it more often – I haven’t listen to it for years. It was my friends post that brought it back to me.

  2. The song you selected is moving. From the sadness at the beginning to the joys of not forgetting at the end … a great composition … and your words captured the essence so well!

  3. Despite all the destruction and madness in the world, there is still so much to be grateful for. I certainly remember that sad day when your Prime Minister was killed, and I agree with you, Olof Palme was a great statesman. ”Thanks for life” says it all.

    • Thanks, Otto …. yes, Palme was a fantastic man – and he stood up against all the big guys and he talked loud for them that nobody wanted to listen to.

  4. Music can indeed stir the soul. When something tragic happens it does help us all remember how wonderful life truly is, a gift and so very sad when it’s taken away.

    • Colleen, yes … this is truly beautiful music and the lyrics are so fantastic too. We should only … think about them more often. I don’t think I heard this song for nearly 20 years. It was Lori’s post that made me go back to it.

    • Madhu, yes … it’s a wonderful song and who ever has done the translation has made a fantastic job.
      Haven’t heard it for years … and strangely enough I don’t have the song on my Itune neither, so that is now changed.

  5. That was beautiful, Viveka, just beautiful. I love the quote at the end, too. So very true.

    Hope you are well, Viveka. Sounds like you are 🙂

    • Yes, the lyrics are so beautiful … I had a really rough week with my “sorry ass” – that’s why I haven’t been around, but a bit better today.
      Yes, gratitude is so important in everything in life – so thank you so much for your lovely comments and support, Noeleen.

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