Folk and Traditional Song Lyrics:
Blood Upon the Grass

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Blood Upon the Grass

Blood Upon the Grass
(Adam McNaughtan)

 September the eleventh
 In Nineteen seventy-three
 Scores of people perished
 In a vile machine-gun spree
 Santiago stadium
 Became a place to kill
 But a Scottish football team
 Will grace it with their skill
 And there's blood upon the grass
 And there's blood upon the grass

 Will you go there, Alan Rough
 Will you play there, Tom Forsyth
 Where so many folk met early
 The Grim Reaper with his scythe
 These people weren't terrorists
 They weren't Party hacks
 But some were maybe goalkeepers
 And some were centre backs
 And there's blood upon the grass
 And there's blood upon the grass

 Victor Jara played guitar
 As he was led into the ground
 Then they broke all of his fingers
 So his strings no more could sound
 Still he kept on singing
 Songs of freedom, songs of peace
 And though they gunned him down
 His message doesn't cease
 And there's blood upon the grass
 And there's blood upon the grass

 Will you go there, Archie Gemmill
 Will you play there, Andy Gray
 Will it trouble you to hear the voice
 Of Victor Jara say
 Somos cinquo mille -
 We are five thousand in this place
 And Scottish football helps to hide
 The Junta's dark disgrace
 And there's blood upon the grass
 And there's blood upon the grass

 Do you stand upon the terracing
 At Ibrox or Parkhead
 Do you cheer the Saints in black and white
 The Dons in flaming red
 All those who died in Chile
 Were people of your kind
 Let's tell the football bosses
 That it's time they changed their mind
 Before there's blood upon their hands

 This is what it was all about:

[1977:] A Labour MP yesterday slammed the SFA [Scottish Football Association]
for insisting that the proposed international in Chile this summer should go ahe
A new row broke out several days ago after SFA secretary Willie Allan stated tha
any player who refused to play in the match would face disciplinary action.
Mr. Norman Buchan, MP for West Renfrewshire, said that the SFA didn't appear
to comprehend what happened in the Santiago stadium where the game is to take
place. It had been used as a concentration camp and was the scene of mass
murder and torture. (Sunday Mail, 9 January)

[1977:] About 70 per cent of Scottish professional footballers voted in favour
of the national team playing Chile in June. Only ten per cent were opposed.
(Glasgow Herald, 22 January) Officials of the SFA today refused to meet a
delegation of three former prisoners of the Chilean military regime who called
at their headquarters in Glasgow. All three were held prisoner in the Santiago
stadium, where the match is scheduled to be played. Mr. Willie Allan was unable
to meet them because he was attending
football team undertook to play Chile in the Santiago Stadium. During the
military coup of 1973 the stadium had been used for the internment of five
thousand people. It had seen, in particular, the mutilation and murder of the
singer and songwriter, Victor Jara. It was with that in mind, rather than any
developed theory about politics and sport, that I joined in opposing the match
with this song. (Notes Adam McNaughtan, 'WordsWordsWords')

[1989:] Salvador Allende was a popular, democratic socialist, and the mood
of the people who supported him was reflected in the flourishing New Chilean
Song Movement. The movement had been growing throughout the sixties,
and was a modern version of all that Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger had tried
to achieve decades earlier. The singers would meet at a peņa, an artists' co-op
[...]. The best-known Chilean singer was Victor Jara, who had gradually switched
his style in the sixties from personal to political songs [...] and he had becom
a regular performer at Allende's rall
arrested, tortured, and held with thousands of others in the Santiago Stadium,
and [sang] Popular Unity's hymn Venceremos before he died. (Denselow,
When the Music's Over 117ff)

[1993:] [In September, 1973,] General Pinochet, with the assistance of the CIA
and the ITT Corporation, took over the government of Chile, bombing the
presidential palace of elected socialist Salvador Allende, and murdering him.
Victor was singing for students at the university when the whole area was
surrounded. All within were taken prisoner and marched to a large indoor
soccer stadium, Estadio Chile. For three days it was a scene of horror. Torture,
executions. An officer thought he recognized Victor, pointed at him with a
questioning look and motioning as if strumming a guitar. Victor nodded.
He was seized, taken to the center of the stadium and told to put his hands
on a table. While his friends watched in horror, rifle butts beat his hands to
bloody pulp. "All right, sing for us now, you ---," shouted the officer. Victor

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