Peter, Paul And Mary - El Salvador Lyrics

There's a sunny little country south of Mexico
Where the winds are gentle and the waters flow
But breezes aren't the only things that blow
in El Salvador

If you took the little lady for a moonlight drive
Odds are still good you'd come back alive
But everyone is innocent until they arrive
in El Salvador

If the rebels take a bus on the grand highway
The government destroys a village miles away
The man on the radio says 'now we'll play South of the Border'
And in the morning the natives say,
We're happy you have lived another day
Last night a thousand more passed away
in El Salvador

There's a television crew here from ABC
Filming Rio Lempe and the refugees
Calling murdered children the 'tragedy'
of El Salvador

Before the government cameras 20 feet away
Another man is asking for continued aid
Food and medicine and hand grenades
for El Salvador

There's a thump, a rumble, and the buildings sway
A soldier fires the acid spray
The public address system starts to play South of the Border
You run for cover and hide your eyes
You hear the screams from paradise
They've fallen further than you realize
in El Salvador

Just like Poland is 'protected' by her Russian friends
The junta is 'assisted' by Americans
And if 60 million dollars seems too much to spend
in El Salvador

They say for half a billion they could do it right
Bomb all day, burn all night
Until there's not a living thing upright
in El Salvador

They'll continue training troops in the USA
And watch the nuns that got away
And teach the military bands to play South of the Border
And kill the people to set them free
Who put this price on their liberty?
Don't you think it's time to leave
El Salvador?

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Peter, Paul And Mary El Salvador Comments
  1. Jennifer Justen

    My husband escaped torturous 1980.. beautiful people in
    El Salvador !

  2. Wendy C.


  3. DallasCowboyTouchdown

    Hearing this song, I was thinking about what was happening in Venezuela today.

  4. Andrew Pryce

    Bald Bald and fat !

  5. Colette Nasielski

    this song is true history

  6. Colette Nasielski

    this song makes me cry a whole lot

  7. Will Ramirez

    I am a Salvadoran who left the country as a child during the war. I am telling my story in a documentary and I would like to license this song. Anyone know who I can contact.

    CryptoZoo Mauler down at the bottom where it says Contact Us. Good luck with your documentary and let us know when it is finished and how we might get to see it. Btw, I am not associated with them, just being helpful.

  8. Brizeyda Montano Flores

    can someone tell me the lyrics?

  9. Amanda Catherine

    I hate how applicable this is not only to El Salvador now, but to other US funded wars, like Nicaragua with the dictator Ortega, and Brazil right now as well.

  10. Assistant to the Regional Manager

    Thank you for this beautiful song Noel Stookey!

  11. Moudie Blues

    That was a wonderful courageous protest song against one of the US Imperialist intervention. Bravo Paul Stookey for writing this great song and PPM for performing it! Admirable job indeed.

  12. lee webby

    world the us is wants a wall bull

  13. James Hendin

    I saw them perform this song at Ravinia right around this time (1986) and the response was the same... a standing ovation. After the concert I hung around with friends who work as security guards for the concert. Once the audience left Mary and Peter came out and we chatted with then for a while. Upon leaving I shook Peter's hand and gave Mary a hug (she was a wonderful person). There will always be a special place in my heart for these three.

    Diana Znavor

    We were there.

  14. Will Sully

    brilliant performance by Paul wat a great voice.

  15. Yzzy Fuentes

    Wow this is beautiful thanks peter paul and mary n viva el salvador

  16. criticalhard

    OMG i didn't know about this, i'm salvadoran and i really thank PP&M for what kind of humans they were/are, thanks for this thank you very much. :) this was when people were humble now idiots want to build walls between humans, such a shame times change for the bad. :(

    Now were better than back then, PP&M quality artists thanks again.

    Mark J. Beukema

    criticalhard Make America Great Again!

    CryptoZoo Mauler

    It's the gangs and their drugs that have made things so bad now. Along with a justice system that is crooked. It used to be that El Salvador was a beacon for hope, like when they stood up to China and said Tibet wanted to be free again, so they should be. But the U.N. ignored them, and while India harbored the Tibetan Dalai Lama and government, they didn't stand up for Tibet like El Salvador did. Nowadays, though, El Salvador has become what it fought against back then - it has become a place of murder. I hope and pray that El Salvador can bounce back and not let evil prevail.

  17. Tina Farrar

    Their music always had something to listen & learn from. I will miss them & all of their music. I felt so fortunate to be at a concert when I first heard this song. It really grabbed me. We were very fortunate to have them with us for their time!

  18. Steve Denoo

    Change the name and play it today.

    Melanie Ortiz

    sa ce pinche gavacho si. 😝

  19. Armando Gonzalez

    Thanks to Peter, and Mary for your sensibility and concern in justice.

  20. Aaron Chavez

    great song, but salvador is a shit hole, their people are illiterate, uneducated and run by corrupt politicians and gang members.their women are meh too

    carlos lopez

    Ignorant.!!!!!   to Proud of being a lucky one feel privileged by being born somewhere else .. .know this're not far away from where my people came from. your parents must have endure some sort of   suffering to get here.....  illiterate  people ???  show me your profession and your success ....

    Manny Boy

    @Aaron Chavez If the song isnt about salvador im pretty sure you were describing the place where i am from . the Philippines , your description is pretty close , but im not losing hope , and im sure the Salvadorians arent giving up either.If and when our time comes to shine , ill remember how you described El Salvador.have an awesome day.

    George Coutts

    @Aaron Chavez Can't believe the ignorance you have displayed.  Have been to Santa Anna in the north of the country many times on mission trips. The people can't be more appreciative and loving.  I will go back anytime, have made many great and true friends.

    Luis D

    +Aaron Chavez I have no idea where you were born, but know this, you're lucky.
    You probably are a daddy's and mommy's boy so you don't know the hardships our people had to got through during that time.
    If you knew our people well, you would see their are the most friendly, kindest people you'll ever meet.
    It doesn't pay to be ignorant my friend, so if you don't know anything about something, just don't open your mouth, 'cause if you do, flies could get in.
    Have a nice day.


    Try saying that to my fathers face and to my fave you Ignorant little shit

  21. KeepingAn EyeOut

    @Scott Amundsen   Its SOOO true! What a fantastic beauty and unbelievable fierce voice!!!!  When I was younger, My parents used to take me to yearly?  Bi-Yearly concerts of PPM at Valley Forge convention center...  I am sure I saw 20 of their concerts....  We just happened to get sold out orchestra pit tickets after it was sold out, and we were closer than first row... any way long story short... I decided (much to my parents irritation, but also to their approval of my strong spirit...)  I decided I was going to wait to meet them out back after the show - we had always left and driven out and driven past this crowd of people - Even as an 8 yr old I knew they were waiting to meet them....  Turns out - sparing too many details, we got to meet Dick, and Paul had to leave, but then met Peter and Mary - I was 18....  Blond haired - same haircut as Mary always had....  Happened to accidentally get front row at the concert and knew every word of every song (and all the harmonies of course)....  And they came up to me in....1997??  1996???  and peter and mary came up to me and said, "there's that girl who has been singing the whole time."  And then Peter said.... "It is SO AMAZING for us to know that the YOUNGER generation is still hearing the message... We are so happy you are here."  And he kissed me on the cheek and so did Mary, and I thought I died and went to heaven.  Can you imagine?  These soldiers for human and civil rights, (For G_Ds Sake they sang at the Washington Monument with MLK!???And they thanked ME for paying attention and knowing the words???  I was beyond blown away.  

    Anyhoo - THIS particular song...  So deep  - S0 relevant for 2014.  not cute little folky songs...  Meaningful and beautiful, and not easy to listen to .... Bravo.

    Thanks for letting me tell my little stupid story - its all about the music - but- there arent many people in the world who could appreciate a PP&M +D (Dick Kniss) meeting, so I thought I would share it here. ;) 

    You should totally google MARY with PP&M  KILLING it in and being FIERCE at the washington monument along side the civil rights march... they were so young!!!  Can you imagine how overwhelmed they must have been!???  But they held it together and inspired people.  God bless america :)

  22. Martin Andelman

    This song brings tears to my eyes every time I hear it. We need more PPMs today, our world is not what it was when we had them around.

    Crose Lilly

    i am from El Salvador and every time i hear it i cry so much

    Jay Bird-d

    Home of M S 13!


    They were singing in Washington DC in 1971 during the Vietnam War protest march!

    Little Orphan Annie

    Jay Bird-d

    In every comment section there’s an idiot who completely missed the point.

    Congratulations, tw*t.


    @Jay Bird-d MS 13?

  23. Scott Amundsen

    RIP Mary.  Your voice will never be stilled.

  24. JorgeNSindy Cortez

    I fought during the last yrs of the war..and i lot people now on this days tells me how hard they have it and its hell for them...even my wife dont believe this long lost forgot warr...but thank you to those that realy know about this and did something thank you..."viva el FMLN. leave free or die trying"

    Melanie Ortiz

    JorgeNSindy Cortez my fiance was born in San Salvador. Grew up in La Paz during the civil war. 😪 Stories he tells me at times.

  25. zarcangel

    I pray my friend Salvador and his wife and another couple are still alive in El Salvador. Although I went by a different name in the eighties these people were the most decent and nicest friends I have ever met from a South American country. They walked to get to work and stores. They were over charged by some jerk to live in the garage with no upgrades and something he couldn't say was sending them back to El Salvador. I offered them my home and to stand up for them in court and immigration and money for lawyers but Salvador refused. I think he wanted to go back and check on what family was left living, if any. I believe he got word from a relative it was clear to go back.

    sa ce

    zarcangel Is Centralamerica, not Southamerica

  26. hidex sasaki

    I've been listening to PPM's songs for fifty years.Though the times have certainly changed,PPM's conscience, belief, and the attitude of anti-war and anti US government's evil are still alive!! (I miss Mary) "El Salvador" is the song for all the people of suffering under the intolerable situation.

  27. frenchfilmbug2

    It means so much to me, as a young Salvadoran that they sang this song in the eighties...the bad years of the war. Thank you Peter, Paul, and Mary (RIP).

  28. Driftwood Scarecrow

    peter paul and mary brought an energy to each concert that I have never experienced with any other artist or group. I wish they could still be touring today

    Driftwood Scarecrow

    And I'm going to see them next month!

  29. Daniel Wong

    Good song

  30. pm flynn

    Great is all i can say!. people cared beyond themselves.