Anyone who has had a mother, a father (or both) whose early youth was spent in the 1960s and 1970s (or lived their own youth during that time) will notice that their eyes fill with tears when listening to a flower to chew , whose letter begins like this:
The watch has been damaged
But the hunger wakes
It’s six o’clock and at the door
I hear a man scream
“I sell milk without water
I sell honey, I sell bread”
And there is no money
That’s why I always go for a walk
In search of a flower to chew
Thinking that at the end of the afternoon
The job I dream of is already true.
Santanderean composer Gonzalo Navas Cadena, better known as Pablus Gallinazo, released this song in 1971 and it was quite an odyssey: they did not accept that Pablus sing it at the Bogotá International Song Festival, since he was a composer and not a singer, and almost without hopes, finally Carlos Contreras, the representative of Peru who had not liked his own song, decided to interpret it that same closing night. The triumph was tremendous: the song was the winner of that year.
And it is that his letter represents everything for which he fights: the hope of a decent job, the good food that only money can buy: and there is no money.
Half a century has passed since then. Pablus Gallinazo lives today in his house in Bucaramanga, from where he receives journalists (few), friends and those interested in knowing the philosophical and spiritual current of full consciousness.
The first thing you do when you get home is take off your shoes. Pablus and Tita Pulido, artist, painter, musician and wife of Pablus, take great care of their energies. His house smells of soft incense and the number of spiritual elements from various religions that can be seen in the room is impressive. He feels calm.
Pablus appears with his leisurely walk and his very white beard trimmed. His face resembles the image we have of a Don Quixote. And it makes sense.
Pablus Gallinazo was born in 1942 and in 1971 he was 29 years old. That year in Colombia, the Student Movement protested strongly, beginning in January with the demonstration by students from the University of Cauca. That was the time when Pablus created this hymn of the dispossessed, of the yearning, of the hopeful.
Pablus in La Tigra
The life of Pablus Gallinazo that has meant and whose inspiration continues to be present in many young people and his voice will roar again at the Festival de la Tigra, which has already begun and runs until August 14 in different stages of the Metropolitan Area.
This year, Pablus is one of the special guests: today a documentary about his life is being presented, written and directed by Alberto Gómez Peña, which has been very well received both at the Cartagena Film Festival and at the New York Latino Film Last year’s Festival and that will arrive next month in the country’s movie theaters. The documentary will be shown at 7:00 pm at the Daniel Mantilla Orbegozo Cultural Center in Piedecuesta.
“Pablus is someone very interesting. When I started making the documentary I knew him in a very superficial way because Pablus is from another era. It’s no excuse, because I like, for example, the Beatles and they weren’t from my time either, but Pablus was a bit hidden from me, I couldn’t hear “A flower to chew”. Later, as I enter that world, I realize that he is impressive, he is a poet of dimensions that can be used, in fact, without music. I usually read the lyrics from time to time and for me, precisely, “A chewing flower” is poetry. If you start reading it without the music, you feel that there is a very interesting complete narrative there and with which many people can feel empathy: it is the story of a person without a job who wants to walk to see if his luck changes soon, “says Gómez Peña .
Also, on Sunday, August 14 at 8:00 pm, Pablus Gallinazo and Tita Pulido will perform at the Plaza de la Libertad.
Pablus Gallinazo roars again.