good news from la guagua

This is Mychal’s Prayer  

Guaguer@s Estimad@s,

At a screening of the film, Saint of 9/11, Brendan Fay, one of the film's producers, gave me a prayer card with a picture of Father Mychal Judge on the front, and this text on the back: 

Lord, 
Take me where you want me to go, 
Let me meet who you want me to meet, 
Tell me what you want me to say, 
And keep me out of your way. 

That was Mychal’s Prayer, his personal mantra. 

I taped it to the outside of my apartment door. 

For years, I would utilize the card as a reminder as I rushed out the door. The card taught me the discipline to pray in the midst of busyness and tumult. I would pause, touch the card, look at Father Mychal, say his prayer and then head out onto the streets of New York City with that intention in my heart. I would head out with Mychal’s intention to be available for God to work through me. 

One day, as I paused at the door, I heard the prayer with this melody:

https://youtu.be/1lQmvjjRW30

The first version, in my head, was an old school R&B treatment, inspired by Mychal’s charisma. Horace Beasley, my mentor, voice coach and accompanist, brought it more clearly to a Gospel treatment. I think that was the right approach, ‘cause if Mychal’s life wasn’t Gospel, I don’t know what the Gospel is.

For a lot of New Yorker's, September is a time to remember. Pastor Heidi Nuemark invited me to perform the song at TLCofNYC.org on a recent sunday as an expression of Marcos and la Guagua's residency at Trinity. Gracias pastora. I'm remembering Mychal. Ruega por nosotros antes el Señor San Miguel. We need it...right now.

¡Yo soy Guaguer@!

Peace, Blessings and Thanks for Listening, 

Marcos

¡Soy Bernista! 

I am so inspired by the integrity, life work, and candidacy of Bernie Sanders for president, I felt the need to sing about it.

"¡Soy Bernista!" is an original Plena-Cha, based on rhythms of the African heritage of Puerto Rico and Cuba. "¡Soy Bernista!" is a Spanish language anthem for everyone who's ready for a political revolution...and you can dance to it. 

It is made out of love for the beautiful diversity of these United States of America and mi gente latina. I offer this song to the Bernie 2016 movement for not for profit usage. I do reserve a protective copyright against other usage. 

But, if you support Bernie and you like the song please share it, post it, sing it, play it, make videos, add parts, remix it, and dance to it to your hearts content. Lyrics and English translation below

Please include an artist/composer credit and a link to my website when you share. 

In Hopes of Building a Future We Can All Believe in, 

Marcos de Jesús

¡Soy Bernista!
                                    por Marcos de Jesús 
Letra 

Soy Bernista         

Soy Bernista porque quiero a mi pueblo     
Y quiero que mi pueblo no sufra mas. 
Soy Bernista y si unes conmigo      
Nuestro mundo podemos cambiar. 
Soy Bernista y si unes conmigo     
Un mundo mas lindo podemos crear. 

Un futuro con sufficient para todos 
Un futuro con paz y Libertad                                                                            
Con milliones participando 
en una revolución demócrata.     

Soy Bernista     

Los poderos tiene todo el dinero,                 
Pero nosotros toda la solidaridad.                 

Soy Bernista     

                             
soneo      
Lego la hora de decir: 
    Soy Bernista     
(para etc) Los taxistas y los Artistas, 
    Soy Bernista etc 
Mi gente anti-racista, 
Y la vanguardia feminista 
En el este y el oeste 
El candidato de la gente 
Un chamaco de Brooklyn 
Que ha hecho muy bien 
Sin olividar de nostoros     
Digo, gracias a Dios                         

Soy Bernista             

Bernie Está         

Bernie Sanders está con nosotros familia 
¡Pa’ planate!                                     

¡Soy Bernista!
                                    by Marcos de Jesús
lyrics

I’m for Bernie 

I’m for Bernie because I love my people 
And I don’t want my people to suffer anymore. 
I’m for Bernie and if we unite 
We can change the world. 
I’m for Bernie and if we unite 
We can create a more beautiful world. 

A future with enough for all 
 future with peace and liberty                                                                              
With millions participating In a democratic revolution. 

I’m for Bernie 

The powerful have all the money, 
But we have all the solidarity. 
I’m for Bernie 

                             
call and response section 
The time has come to say: 
I’m for Bernie- 
(For etc) taxi drivers and artists 
I’m for Bernie etc 
My anti-racism folk. 
and the Feminist vanguard. 
In the East and the West 
he people’s candidate 
A kid from Brooklyn 
Who has done good 
without forgetting about us 
I say thank God 

I’m for Bernie     

Bernie is here. 

Bernie Sanders is with us, family. 
Forward!                               

Changed is here, The Mindgame Aspect is coming 

"Changed" is the outro from my new EP The Mindgame Aspect, coming soon. Join my email list to download this track today. Then later this year, I'll offer you a free download of the new album before it's available anywhere else.

I'm always eager to hear your thoughts and feelings about my work.

Thanks for Listening,

Marcos

Let's Make Christmas! 

A couple of lines from my new Christmas song sum it up:

"Maybe Gabriel was right
And there's nothing to fear.
All I want for Christmas
Is Christmas this year."

and later

"But, I can't do it alone.
Jesus was homeless
Let's make him a home."

See a video of a performance at MarcosandlaGuagua.com/video

Thanks to Natatia who sings, Horace who plays, and Chris who made the video.

Full lyrics below.

Thanks for Listening,

Marcos
----------

Let’s Make Christmas 
                                                                                    by Marcos de Jesús, copyright 2014 
  
M-A lot of us gotta work 
  
N-            And there’s’a lotta work to get done. 
  
M-Schleping all over town 
  
                        TUTTI-            Sometimes, it’s not even fun. 
  
N-But, it’s Christmas- 
  
M-            And it’s Kwanzaa- 
  
N-And it’s Solstice- 
  
M-            And it’s Chanukah! 
  
TUTTI!                        And if we can believe enough 
                                    These holidays might not be so tough. 
  
  
N-You’re mad at me about something 
  
M-            I’m mad at you ‘bout…I don’t know what! 
  
N-We don’t all get together enough to get stuck in this same old rut. 
  
M-            I’m probably wrong, alright? I’ll admit it. 
  
TUTTI-                       I can confess if you can forgive it. 
  
N-Maybe Gabriel was right, 
  
TUTTI-                                   and there’s nothing to fear… 
                                    All I want for Christmas is Christmas this year. 
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
working section TUTTI-            Let’s make Christmas! 
  
1a) N- Everything is  perfect at Church each ChrIstmas.            
                                    
                                                Let’s make Christmas! etc 

1b) M- Yeah, no matter HOW many things go wrong. 

2a) N- By the grace of God it's up to you  and me. 

2b) M- Might not be a silent night, in the Bronx, but if that's alright. 

3a) M- Imanuel is coming for dinner 

3b) N- Alright dear, as long as YOU cook. 

4a)M- I don't care if we just tell all the same stories again. 

4b)N- Your Abuelita's stories get better every time. 

5a)M- I'm gon' Feliz Navidad all the way to Reyes, if you’re down for that say yes. 

5b)N-Yes, my love! And we shall light candles for eight sacred nights! 

  
6a)M-And gather to study 7 profound African insights 

6b)M-But, I can't do it alone. 
tutti Jesus was homeless, let's make him a home. 
            
        coda        All I want for Christmas is Christmas rep ad lib 
                        
                        All I want for Christmas is Christmas this year 
  
                        Let’s make Christmas. 
  
                        fine
                       SDG

 



 

The Harvest is Great (In Detroit) with Love for My ELCA Family and Detroit 

My new song, The Harvest is Great (In Detroit), is streaming sitewide at MarcosandlaGuagua.com in celebration of the 2015 Youth Gathering, Multicultural Youth Leadership Event (MYLE), and Definitely-abled Youth Leadership Event (DAYLE) of our Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). I came to a faith of conviction in God's surprising, gracious love in Christ at a MYLE gathering years ago. I believe God is doing something new in the hearts of thousands of youth and adults as our church gathers in Detroit this week as well.

My mom taught in Detroit in the 1970's and I feel a strong affinity for the Motor City, as someone who grew up in the Mid-west and was born into the Bronx. God is already at work in places the dominant powers of this world have cast aside, even before churches can schedule time to discuss it.

I pray that this and every week in Detroit may be a foretaste of the feast to come for visitors and locals alike.

The current Harvest is Great demo was recorded in the acoustically gracious sanctuary of Trinity Lutheran Church in Manhattan using the talents of four mid-westerners gathered together in NYC. Thanks to Horace Beasley, piano and backing vocals. Leanna Hieber, vocals. Dash Lea, sound engineering. I wrote the song and sing lead vocals. Thanks to Abe Cáceres for his mentorship, and my mom, Carolyn Wille-Rivera for sharing her Detroit memories with me.

We believe that Detroit is:

"Like a Garden
Planted by a Great Lake..."

and that there is

"So much soul food at God's table,
Everyone can fill their plate!"

This is what love does, God's work our hands.

For me, I say, this is most certainly true. Amen.

Thanks for listening,

Marcos

The Harvest is Great (In Detroit) copyright Marcos de Jesús 2015
SDG

Actuality and Live Organ for Summer Day Camp at TLC of NYC 

This Sunday at 4pm I'll be contributing to a couple of songs, including a live version of Actuality. The concert featuring the organ playing of Vicar Barbara "the Funky Organist" Otto as a fundraiser for Trinity's Summer Day Camp which provides meaningful fun for kids and summer jobs for youth, in a constructive Christian setting. Familia, let's fight darkness with light.

Trinity Lutheran Church in Manhattan
164 W 100th Street
Sunday June 21st 4pm

Donations to benefit Trinity's Summer Day Camp

Old Holidays and the Latest News 

Dearest Freedom Riders,

Kujichagulia my peoples! I had to blog today, because it's my favorite day of Kwanzaa. The day dedicated to the principle of Kujichagulia, Swahili for self determination.

For me, it is also the third day of Christmas (yes, the twelve days start on December 25th). This coming Sunday many churches remember the darkest part of the Christmas stories in the Bible, the Massacre of the Holy Innocents .

Expressing our love for all the holy innocents and affirming the universal right of self determination might help us resolve some of our major conflicts in NYC today. May I suggest that: Black lives matter. Cop's lives matter. All lives matter, and all people should have the right to self determination, as individuals and communities.
Amen?

Mayor Di Blasio suggested that non-violent anti-police brutality protests stop after the horrible, senseless assassination of two NYPD officers last Saturday. Calling for a brief pause from protest seemed reasonable to me at first. Then after a lot of prayerful listening I decided that I disagreed with the Mayor on that issue. My thought is that disciplined non-violent protest is an alternative to violence, rather than a cause of violence. And people should have the right to determine for themselves when they want to protest. Telling the people when not to protest is not one of the jobs we elected Bill de Blasio to do. Kujichagulia.

But, I've also felt very disturbed by uniformed and/or armed police officers turning their backs on Mayor de Blasio as a protest this past week. I am in favor of the right to protest, but when cops in uniform and/or with guns protest their civilian boss, it begs the question: Who is in charge, the leader who was elected by the people, or the guys with the guns? 

I'd like to share this series of tweets by Andrew Exum, former Army officer and scholar on the middle east, to better express my concerns:
"1.Thought exercise: Imagine thousands of US Army officers turning their backs  on President Bush at the funeral of soldiers killed in Iraq. 2. I know the service and social contract differ, but as a former Army officer, I'm made really uneasy by the behavior of the NYPD today. 3. (Chief of Police) Bratton's remarks at the funeral, by contrast, struck the precise opposite tone: humble, mournful, the words of a public servant. 4. Shame on those--politicians retired PD--who would encourage the insubordination of armed peace officers. 5. On a day we should've mourned selfless sacrifice of police, we also witnessed disrespect of public servants toward elected leaders. 6. How can you call yourself a public servant when you turn your back on the democratically elected representation of the public weal?"

Wondering about the term "Public Weal"? I had to look it up. Wikipedia says: "Public weal may refer to: Commonwealth, a form of government without a monarch in which people have governmental influence."

Hmmn…that's a new word for me, but I like it…almost as much as I like Kujichagulia.

God bless the NYPD.
God bless the Public Weal.
And like Tiny Tim says: "God bless us, every one!"

Amen?

Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa, and Thanks for Listening,

Marcos

212 679 6018 Memorize this Song Before Your Next Protest  

Esteemed Freedom Riders de la Guagua,

212 679 6018 is a phone number to call if you are arrested while protesting in NYC to ask for free legal advice and support from the National Lawyer's Guild NYC. The song is a few years old, originally made for Occupy.

I don't have an artistic response to today's police violence, at least not yet. But, I hope this song may be useful to folks who are standing up for our rights.

Black Lives Matter.

Keep the Faith,

Marcos
 
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  1. 212-679-6018

Marcos & la Guagua

Marcos de Jesús is inspired by going new places with genres he loves, such as Hiphop, Boricua Roots Music, and Gospel. Code Switching, the debut album of Marcos & la Guagua is on CDbaby and iTunes. Marcos & la Guagua is on a musical mission of reconciliation, to boldly go beyond the limitations of genre ghettos. Marcos will be your guide and la Guagua will be our clean-air-hybrid-electric vehicle. La Guagua means to move you. 

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