La Patria de Dios: My note to WNYC 

Dear Travelers,

I'm entering "La Patria de Dios" into WNYC radio's Battle of the Boroughs 2013. Stay tuned for news on the contest. Here's a little of what I told WNYC about the song:

"¡El Sur del Bronx es la Patria de Dios! (The South Bronx is God's Country!)

For years, this was a dicho my grandmother would often repeat to me. A dicho is an expression which may be repeated at "teachable moments" to pass on and internalize cultural wisdom. But, unlike most dichos de mi abuelita, this is not a common expression. "¡El Sur del Bronx es la Patria de Dios!" is a kernel of uncommon wisdom which, as far I know, my grandmother coined all by herself. In coining this new expression she syncretized influences as diverse as Liberation Theology and Country/Western music, into a simple phrase.

I think I'm doing something similar in my song "La Patria de Dios". It's a 21st century latino folk song. It's not complicated. It's meant to be a dicho you can dance to. But, it does bring together diverse influences. In "La Patria de Dios" the rhythm of Puerto Rican Plena, is subtly seasoned with influences of acapela styles such as vocal jazz, gospel, and barbershop.

What did Abuelita mean by saying:" The South Bronx is God's Country."?

I could say more about it, but I'd rather sing about it. So please give "La Patria de Dios" a listen. Feel free to dance along. Below you may follow the lyrics and an English translation.

Peace, Blessings, and Thanks for Listening,

Marcos

La Patria de Dios
Por Marcos Emanuel de Jesús
para mi Abuelita, Rev Marie Aviles de Jesús
Coro
Yo me fui a pasear por la Patria de Dios      (I went walking through God's country
Por la Patria de Dios(2x)

Yo me fui a pasear por la Patria de Dios      (I went walking through God's country
el Sur del Bronx-¡La Patria de Dios!              the South Bronx: God's Country)

Verso 1

Si queires hermano, yo te puedo llevar         (If you'd like, brother, I could take you
a ver los signos de Cristo Vivo                         to see the signs of Christ Alive
Renacimiento,                                                    Resureción Rebirth, Resurrection
El camino de la Cruz y la Patria de Dios      The Way of the Cross, and God's Country.)

Coro
Yo me fui a pasear por la Patria de Dios       (I went walking through God's country
Por la Patria de Dios(2x)

Yo me fui a pasear por la Patria de Dios       (I went walking through God's country
el Sur del Bronx-¡La Patria de Dios!                the South Bronx: God's Country!)

etc.

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