El Spanglish National Anthem

El Spanglish National Anthem performed
by Rev. Pedro Pietri
Unfilmed by ADÁL, 2002

“To be free means to be proud of yourself.
To be proud of yourself means to be creative.
To be creative means to defend your dreams.
T defend your dreams means to have the courage
To make your dreams come true in your lifetime
And once your dreams come true you will never
Have to worry about dying as long as you live!

Rev. Pedro Pietri Co-Directo, El Puerto Rican Embassy

El Spanglish National Anthem

En my Viejo San Juan

They raise the price of pan

So I fly to Manhattan.

It was there that I swear

Everyone took welfare

Especially the Latins!

To El Barrio I went

In pursuit of low rent

In a five room apartment

Where by neighbors will be

Puerto Ricans like me

Dressed in tropical garments.

I know

I know, I know

I’ll miss Puerto Rico

(Land of de Palm trees)

And so,

And so and so

I’ll live in El Barrio’s

(Latin Community)

And whennnnn

I hit the numbers

I’ll return to San Juan

Afford the price of pan

Until my life is done

(Island blessed by the sun

Here I come Here I come

Donde my roots are from)

Many years came and went

Fell behind on my rent

Cursed Christopher Columbus.

Worked as hard as I could

But my luck was no good

Never once hit the numbers

Now every day I pray

Before passing away

And going six foot under

That again I will see

People who look like me

In my island of wonders.

Asi es how it must be

For the whole family

Dice our destineeeee!

De weather wasn’t nice

Comfort cost a high price

Unlike in Puerto Rico

We kept cooking the rice

And re-heating the beans

And making cuchifrito.
De hard times were plenty

De pockets stayed empty

But the soul nunca dyyyyyed

And junto we survived

And danced after we cried

Defending nuestro pride.
I know

I know I know

Next stop’s Puerto Rico

(So help me OTB

And so

And so And so

I won’t be called Chico

By the Statue of Liberty)Y
Con familia and friends

Good times will never end

Learn how to laugh again

And stop sheeteen on ten

(Once in my country

I will be I will be

Who has always been me)

In Spanish there were bills

In English there were bills

That just kept getting bigger.

Categorized as hicks

We were called dirty spicks

Blanco trash and black niggers

Las botanicas saved

Us from an early grave

All aspirin did wass kill joo!

In Borinquen we’ll be

Enjoying our history

For mucho centuries

We registered to vote

Thinking that there was hope

In elected officials.

Pero as soon as they win

For a moment they grin

Then they drop all the issues.
Many dropped out of school

Others went to college

Trying hard to get somewhere.

In the land of da free

Where without a degree

You cannot collect welfare.
I know
know I know

I’ll always play dominoes

(Wherever I may be)

And go

And go And go

To local bodegas

(For Bustelo coffee)Be-
I’m still in Puerto Rico

Only my body came

My strong spirit remains

Everything’s still de same

(I truly do believe

You can leave and still be

Where Mami met Papi)

Some did assimilate

In de United States

They got rid of de accent

Tho whenever they spoke

That will always unmask them!
But de majority

Kept their identity

Never did lose their accent!

They were proud not ashamed

Of their Boricua names

If you don’t believe ask them.
I know

I know I know

I am being followed

(By my destiny)B

And so

And so And so

I will never be swallowed

(By inferiority)

And whennnnn

De plane takes off again

I know that there will be

No return trips for me

Back to New York City

(Island blessed by the sun

Here I come Here I come

Donde my roots are from)
And with my family

We’ll struggle and believe

That one day we’ll be free.

Reverendo Pedro Pietri, 1994
Poet in Residence/Co-Director

El Puerto Rican Embassy