Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Civil Rights Sing-A-Long

Last night’s César Chávez Interfaith Service at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church ended, as always, with a rousing sing-a-long of “De Colores,” the anthem of the United Farm Workers of America. The first time someone attends a César Chávez (or Hispanic History Month) event can be awkward, as everyone but YOU seems to know the tune and the words. The same happens at Martin Luther King (or Black History Month) celebrations, when hundreds of voices join confidently in “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing.” Everyone but YOU. . . or at least it seems that way.

Here are YouTube videos of both songs. Practice in the privacy of your home or classroom. “De Colores” is sung by Raffi and is a little sappy, but the music and lyrics are clear and easy to follow. A more authentic version is available as a RealAudio file from Labor Notes, with glorious music by Los Lobos. If you need the words to either song, download the San Antonio peaceCENTER's PDF-format song sheet.


  1. thank you for being so considerate of potential ignoramuses like me; thank you for being my teacher: I have already learned so so much from this blog! it is so rich and diverse and leads ever further to more interesting research and readings.

  2. I learned "De Colores" in Spanish Class in 7th grade, and can even play it on the accordion! I'm finding that writing this blog is helpful for me, too. Not only is it giving me a place to archive the new resources that I come across, but it is also prodding me to keep exploring for new stuff.