Antiwar song banned from Spanish television

By Vicky Short
15 July 2003

Spanish state television TVE has banned a song from being performed in a festival programme that traditionally launches the summer season.

“Ojú,” sung by Las Niñas, criticises US president Bush and Spanish prime minister Aznar’s policies, the war against Iraq and the Gescartera financial scandal involving the government, and refers to the mass antiwar mobilisations. It is expected to become the favourite this summer. In tone rap, the lyrics read in part: “Ojú, Bush takes offence, ojú, and the other one in hiding, ojú, the swines that steal, ojú, the money from my pocket, Gescartera [the company]/Gescartero [postman-a pun]. We say no, no to war, ’cause war is a bitch, and if nobody wants to take note, look out for the people are about to explode, from Madrid to Paris, from Cadiz to Beijing, people in the streets say no, no to war, ’cause war is a bitch.”

TVE asked the group to put forward another song to appear in the programme, and “Ojú” was replaced by “Samba hop,” a song that doesn’t make specific political criticisms. The song was also banned from the youth programme “Música sí” on TV1 once the head of the musical programmes of the public channel, Pilar Tabares, and those responsible for the TV space studied the content of the song.

The group Las Niñas was formed in February 2002 and comprises three young girls from Andalucia, Vicky González Luna, Aurora Power and Alba Molina. Their songs combine humour with a critique of different aspects of the political situation, from the crisis in Argentina to the war on Iraq. They say of themselves, “We are not the typical trio of pretty faces who are content with singing and dancing well. We are committed to the reality that surrounds us, and above all, to our condition as women.”

Their manager, Ramón Martín, expressed his surprise at the attitude of the TV station, stating that the demonstrations against the war “are in everyone’s mouth, millions of citizens and politicians of all tendencies.” Their record company, Virgin, declined to make any comment.