Whenever I read stories about Guantanamo Bay in Cuba - the hell-hole military prison run by the United States - the tune to the '60s song Guantanamera plays in my mind. For some reason I've always loved the chorus and used to sing along whenever I heard it. I had no idea what the words were - seeing as how they were all in Spanish - so I substituted my own:

Gwun ton a mara
well he's a gwun ton a mara
gwun ton a mara
well he's a gwun ton a mara

I've since learned that I'm not the only one who had problems with the words. Apparently there have been many misheard lyrics. Here's a few examples:

one ton banana
can't eat a one ton banana

one side of mirror
I need a one side of mirror

one ton of metal
I need a one ton of metal

One time a meadow

One ton tomato
I grew a one ton tomato
One ton tomato
And a two ton potato

The actual lyrics are:

Guajira Guantanamera
Guajira Guantanamera

But now, since the horror stories of Guantanamo Bay are coming to light, I sing tbe chorus to new words:

Guan TAN a bay go
oh he's to Guan TAN a bay go
Guan TAN a BAY go
oh he's to Guan tan a baaaay go

It's not as happy a song as it used to be. Who could ever imagine that such an innocent memory from a person's past would come back to haunt them in a new, perverted form?

Pete Seeger singing Guantanamera (teaching words), You Tube

Guantanamera ~ Original lyrics and music by Jose Fernandez Diaz (Joseito Fernandez)
Music arranged and adapted by Julian Orbon, Hector Angulo and Pete Seeger (1963)

~ Guantanamera memories by Jackie Jura ~

Canada boy tortured 4-yrs by USA (Guantanamo prison for aiding Afghans). CTV, Mar 9, 2006

My hell in Camp X-ray (psychological torture & mind games to confess acts never committed). Daily Mirror, Mar 12, 2004. Go to 39.Interrogation & Torture & 34.Ministry of Love (Hate)

Oz father caged in protest (for son in Camp-X-Ray held 18-mos without charge). News24, Jun 8, 2003. Go to 34.Ministry of Love (Torture)

What's the difference Mr Bush? (USA tortured innocent Afghanis, now USA troops facing backlash). Mirror, Mar 25, 2003. Go to 39.Interrogation & Torture

Inhumane treatment of prisoners (in transit to Guantanamo prison). Houston Chron, Nov 8, 2002. Photo worth thousand words. Art Bell, Nov 8, 2002. Go to 34.Ministry of Love & 7.Systems of Thought

Guantanamo for "worst of the worst" (101-yr old Afghani man). London Independent, Nov 5, 2002 and (16-yr old Canadian boy). Aussie News, Nov 5, 2002. Go to 39.Interrogation & Torture & 34.Ministry of Love

Canada teen to Guantanamo (denies links to terrorism). WorldNetDaily, Oct 27, 2002. Go to 34.Ministry of Love

Canadian teen headed for Guantanamo (accused of murdering American soldier). WorldNetDaily, Oct 26, 2002

Canada's 15yr old Johnny Lindh (fights off USA Special Forces). National Post, Sep 21, 2002. Go to 16.Ministry of Truth (Lies)

Inside the new Camp X-Ray (metal cells -lights 24/7 -isolation). UK Mirror, Sep 15, 2002

Guantanamo prison "legal black hole" (captives' families wait for word). Las Vegas Sun, Sep 13, 2002

Father begins hunger strike (innocent son in Guantanamo cage). Yahoo!Reuters, Sep 4, 2002

Prisoners attempting suicide (USA calls it "showing remorse"). BBC, Aug 15, 2002

Media access denied in Guantanamo (new prison will have 2,000+ cells). Newsday, Apr 28, 2002

Jackie Jura
~ an independent researcher monitoring local, national and international events ~