I was late to María Elena Walsh’s work but friends of mine that grew up in Buenos Aires told me about her, so the move she made to anti-dictatorial poems and songs from her children’s stories background made for an interesting window on Argentina’s past. Today she died after a long illness.
This Walsh song, “El Pais De Nomeacuerdo” (the country of “i don’t remember”) was the theme for the 1985 (had to check the date) movie ‘The Official Story” on Argentina’s Dirty War that won that year’s Best Foreign Film Oscar (which is, by the way, an excellent film and must see material for anyone interested in the modern history of South America). A song that bridges the gap between her own works and is also an insightful comment on how a Dictatorship manages to flourish. As befits an excellent poet such as Walsh, its lyrics are both simple and deep.
María Elena Walsh 1930-2011 QEPD.