Bruce Springsteen was too sapped to do justice to the song he had intended to sing at the end of his first concert in Argentina in 25 years, so he told fans to look for it on his website instead. He delivered yesterday, posting a solo-acoustic, bilingual version of himself performing “Solo le pido a Dios” (“I Only Ask of God”), a song by the Argentine folk-rocker León Gieco that Springsteen learned from the late folk singer Mercedes Sosa.
Springsteen introduced the song in Spanish as he described his visit to Buenos Aires in 1988 as part of Amnesty International’s Human Rights Now! benefit concerts. “My memories of that time are still very much alive,” he said, according a translation posted by The Associated Press. “We came to Argentina when the country was going through a difficult time, and fighting for its future. For a foreigner, Argentina was very much alive, promising. So it’s a huge inspiration for me to return here, and I want to leave this song to the people of Argentina.”
After singing first in Spanish, he switched to English on a song that Gieco wrote in 1978 in protest of the military dictatorship that ruled Argentina from 1976-83.
It’s the latest tribute Springsteen has paid to local musicians and activists on the E Street Band’s South American tour. Last week, he sang “Manifesto” by the Chilean poet and songwriter Victor Jara during a concert in Santiago, Chile. His next performances are scheduled for today in São Paulo, Brazil, and Saturday at Rock in Rio.