I mentioned Chilean band Los Tres in the post I did last week of the Soda Stereo translation.  I enjoy completing translations of songs.  Often I learn a new Spanish word or two or three.  

So this week we will head west from Argentina to the elongated narrow limb that is Chile.  The version of La espada y la pared I have included is also from an MTV Unplugged session.  In spanish ‘entre la espada y la pared’ (literally between the sword and the wall) is the English equivalent of  ‘between the devil and the deep blue sea’ or ‘between a rock and a hard place’.  

I saw Los Tres in Coyhaique, Chile at the start of 1997 when I spoke barely a lick of Spanish.  I enjoyed the concert without understanding a word.  It’s nice to reminisce by listening to the band again now.  As I did with the last post (photo of La Boca, Buenos Aires) I have included one of my photos from the artists’ home country as the home page image for the entry.  This one features some Santiago street art.  Here’s the clip and the translation.  Spanish lyrics here


Speak without thinking

Think without speaking

Military service

Cerebral death

Close without opening

One thousand springtimes

A happy deaf girl

boasted of our demise


Throw without launching

Pain doesn’t arrive

and if worse comes to worst

I’m better off living dead


Love triangle

Bermuda Pain

I shoot to the heart

Bubble of terror

Fall without release

Unsurpassed turmoil

Words pass by

No way of stopping


Sex without looking

My pillow can take more

May all your love

live in my pouch


Saliva goes

The exit is coming behind

Cerebral cut

The beginning is the end


Mushroom consommé

Sweet spider honey


Sweet honey

doesn’t sweeten without burning


The sword and the wall

go through me and not the other way round 



Peter W Davies

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