He was born into a family of very poor peasants but through a lot of hard work and effort was able to enter the University of Chile - something very unusual in a poor country like Chile. In this manner he was able to escape the poverty of his parents.
At University he studied dramatic arts or acting; he taught and directed theatre productions. During this time he met and married Joan Turner, a British ballet dancer and choreographer who worked in Chile.
Later Víctor Jara started to write and sing songs. He began to sing songs about the life of humble and poor people in his country: peasants, factory workers, miners, abandoned children, poor women. He also dedicated music albums to people who live in the shanty towns.
Víctor Jara tried to use his music to bring awareness about the inequality between the richest and the poorest people in society. How poor folk have a hard time acquiring the most basic things, such as food, health care, education, and housing. He also supported politicians who called for a fairer distribution of wealth to end poverty.
In 1973 Víctor Jara was killed by a military dictatorship led by General Augusto Pinochet for singing songs about social problems and social injustice. The U.S. government of Richard Nixon supported the military regime.
Popular Songs[change | edit source]
- El Derecho de Vivir en Paz (The right to live in peace)
- Plegaria a un Labrador (Prayer to a laborer)
- Duerme, duerme negrito (Sleep little black child)
- Vientos del Pueblo (Winds of the people)
- El Amor es un camino que derrepente aparece (Love is a road that suddenly appears)
- Cuando voy al trabajo (On my way to work)
- Te Recuerdo Amanda (I remember you Amanda)