Gracias a la Vida

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For the Joan Baez album, see Gracias a la Vida (album). For the charity song, see Gracias a la Vida (charity song).

"Gracias a la vida" (English: Thanks to life) is a song composed and first performed by Chilean musician Violeta Parra, one of the artists who set the basis for the movement known as Nueva Canción. It was released in Las Últimas Composiciones (1966), the last album Parra published before committing suicide in 1967.

The song is one of Parra's most renowned and is performed through the world, and remains as one of the most covered Latin American songs in history. The song was inducted into the Latin Grammy Hall of Fame in 2013.[1]

Legendary folk singer Joan Baez brought the song to the American audiences in 1974 when she included a cover of the song on her Spanish language album of the same name. It remains a concert staple of Baez' to this day.

Finnish singer Arja Saijonmaa recorded this song in both Finnish (Miten voin kyllin kiittää) and Swedish (Jag vill tacka livet).[2] Her Swedish interpretation is one of the most well-known of her Swedish-language oeuvres, and she sung it during Olof Palme's funeral in March 1986.[3]

Canadian singer/songwriter Nancy White recorded her English translation (with permission of Warner Chappell Music Argentina (SADAIC))on her 1998 Borealis cd "Gaelic Envy".

One of the artists most associated with "Gracias a la vida" is the Argentine singer Mercedes Sosa. "Gracias a la vida" became something of a personal anthem for Sosa and was a constant in all of her performances up until her death.

Cover versions[edit]


  1. ^ "Latin GRAMMY Hall Of Fame". Latin Grammy Award. Latin Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences. 2013. Retrieved August 19, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Jag vill tacka livet" (in Swedish). Svensk mediedatabas. 1979. Retrieved 13 September 2014. 
  3. ^ "Arja Saijonmaa på Visfestival Holmön" (in Swedish). Finnish Embassy in Stockholm. 28 July 2012. Retrieved 13 September 2014. 
  4. ^ On Youtube
  5. ^ Official website of the campaign.

External links[edit]