ICE, El Hielo: La Santa Cecilia


A heartbreaking song about undocumented immigrants, sung by the great La Santa Cecilia. Video directed by Alex Rivera. Stay through the closing credits…

Hielo is the Spanish word for ICE; ICE also stands for the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement.

More La Santa Cecilia at La Santa Cecilia


Blogger cairaguas has translated the Spanish into English. Visit the excellent blog page to find out more about the video and the political and historical context of ICE.

Eva pasando el trapo sobre la mesa, ahí está,
Cuidando que todo brille como una perla
Cuando llegue la patrona que no se vuelva a quejar.
No sea cosa que la acuse de ilegal.

Eva passing the rag over the table, there she is,
Taking care that everything shines like a pearl
(So) when the boss comes, she does not complain again.
Don’t let it be that she accuses her of being illegal.

José atiende los jardines; parecen de Disneyland.
Maneja una troca vieja sin la licencia.
No importa si fue taxista allá en su tierra natal;
Eso no cuenta para el Tío Sam.

Jose tends to the gardens; they look like they’re from Disneyland.
He drives an old truck without a license.
It does not matter if he was a taxi driver over in his home country;
That does not count for Uncle Sam.

El hielo anda suelto por esas calles.
Nunca se sabe cuando nos va a tocar.
Lloran, los niños lloran a la salida,
Lloran al ver que no llegará mamá.

ICE is loose over those streets.
We never know when we will be hit. [*alt. We never know when it will be our turn.]
They cry, the children cry at the doorway,
They cry when they see that their mother will not come back.

Uno se queda aquí.
Otro se queda allá.
Eso pasa por salir a trabajar.

One is left here.
Another is left there.
That’s what happens when you go out to work.

Martha llegó de niña y sueña con estudiar,
Pero se le hace difícil sin los papeles.
Se quedan con los laureles los que nacieron acá,
Pero ella nunca dejar de luchar.

Martha arrived as a girl and she dreams of studying,
But it is difficult for her without documents.
They keep all the prizes, the ones who were born over here,
But she never stops fighting. [*alt. But she never stops trying.]

[Chorus: “El hielo anda suelto por esas calles…”]