Hear Manu Chao's First New Song in 12 Years, “Bloody Bloody Border” - Rolling Stone
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Manu Chao Previews ‘Clandestino’ Reissue With New Song ‘Bloody Bloody Border’

Song is one of three new ones on the upcoming reissue of Clandestino

"Bloody Bloody Border" is one of three new songs on Manu Chao's upcoming 'Clandestino' reissue.

Klelia Renesi*

It’s been over 20 years since the French-Spanish luminary, Manu Chao, first released his multilingual, landmark debut, Clandestino. A prescient meditation on the neither-here-nor-there, limbo state of “clandestinos” — the Spanish equivalent of a derogatory term for undocumented migrants — Clandestino saw Chao traverse a multitude of languages and genres through field recordings sourced from various parts of the world. On Friday, Chao bounces back from a long hiatus with “Bloody Bloody Border,” one of three new songs on an upcoming reissue of his debut, titled Clandestino/Bloody Border, slated for release August 30th via Because Music.

The son of two refugees from Franco-era Spain, Chao connects the dots between dire circumstances that once forced his family — and today, countless families south of the U.S.-Mexico border — to seek refuge in the north. The singer-songwriter conjured the lyrics to “Bloody Bloody Border” while passing through Arizona on tour in 2011, reflecting on the inhumane conditions reported from migrant camps along the U.S.-Mexico border. Chao offsets the sobering context with a deceptively peppy ukelele strum, dousing his protest slogans with rays of sunshine. “We want freedom to cross,” he sings with a dusky, cowboy affect: “Cross the border line/Freedom is not crime/Let’s peaceful river flow/Let the people come and go.”

Chao recently gave “Clandestino” a rework with the legendary Trinidadian vocalist, Calypso Rose. Fellow polyglot Lila Downs also put her own spin on the song, highlighting the plight of migrant mothers and their children.

Clandestino / Bloody Border Track List

1. “Clandestino”
2. “Desaparecido”
3. “Bongo Bong”
4. “Je Ne T’aime Plus”
5. “Mentira…”
6. “Lagrimas De Oro”
7. “Mama Call”
8. “Luna Y Sol”
9. “Por El Suelo”
10. “Welcome To Tijuana”
11. “Dia Luna… Dia Pena”
12. “Malegria”
13. “La Vie A 2”
14. “Minha Galera”
15. “La Despedida”
16. “El Viento”
17. “Clandestino” (feat. Calypso Rose)
18. “Bloody Bloody Border”
19. “Roadies Rules”

In This Article: Immigration, Manu Chao, Spain


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