I didn't intend to write this song, or to have any kind of strong reaction at all when I visited Archbishop Oscar Romero's former home (now a museum) in San Salvador last January. Perhaps that was naive of me. I didn't really know much about Romero besides the fact that he was a Catholic, an activist, and an academic. People said that he was 'with the people' in their struggles during the civil war.
When we arrived at his house that morning, it was like he took my hand and led me around the place showing me everything there was to see about his life that he lived with his community, about his assasination, and about the people who cared for him and loved him as he lay bleeding and dying on the floor. Look! look! look at this and this and this! This is what happened. He probably does this to a lot of people who visit. He seemed like a guy who cared a lot about people.
This song is literally a written word and musical account of my tour and subsequent discovery of Romero's life and assasination. Although the chapel was the location of a horrific event, I had never been to a more beautiful place. An unbelievably sad and tragic thing had happened there, but I felt so joyful and so happy. Happy that Romero had lived and had really understood a lot of things about living, about relationship, about love, about human rights.
If the words seem babyish, immature, overly familiar, disrespectful, or sentimental this was not my intent. It's just that I felt like a little kid being shown something horrific and tragic in a place that had somehow become really, really beautiful...
You pencilled in your day
You didn't know it would be your last mass
I saw the floor on which you fell
And the pictures of your friends, who held you
It was beautiful there
There were clusters of lights, trees, flowers and air
I saw your little car
And your 1950s style rock n' roll glasses
I was confronted with your bloody clothes
On the collar across your chest the blood of your heart flowed
There were pictures of your friends
Carrying you off into their Toyota
Oscar, you took one for the team
You said, why do they kill one of their own people
I said, that's familiar to me
It was truely an honor to meet you
Oh my heart
released January 10, 2013
Mike Wood - drums
Shawn Jurek - bass, keyboards, vocals
Brendon Terry - trumpet
Leah Hunter - acoustic and electric guitars
Recorded by Myke Mazzei at Shawn and Lara's house in December, 2012.
Mixed and mastered by Shawn Jurek at Shawn Jurek Mastering.
Original artwork by Trent Hunter.
All words and music written by Leah Hunter.
Generously funded by Jerry McCullough