Grammy Award Winning East Los Angeles band La Santa Cecilia's "ICE el Hielo" is a beautiful, anguished lament and call to arms.
El hielo handa 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
Uno se queda aquí
Otro se queda alla
Eso pasa por salir a tabajar
The LA Times wrote -
As La Santa Cecilia's identity evolved from L.A. hometown sweethearts into the musical face of the country's fast-growing under-35 Latino population, the band found new friends across the country. Band members also turned into melodic cultural emissaries in the debate over immigration reform, performing at rallies nationwide.
The kitchen crew at Pat's restaurant in Philadelphia showered the group with free cheese steaks in gratitude for its hit single "El Hielo (ICE)." The song, despite its chilled-out bossa nova tempo, is a fiery cri de coeur about three immigrant workers living in a fearful twilight zone of the American dream.
La Santa Cecilia fans know that one worker is modeled on La Marisoul's mother, and that the band's accordion player Jose "Pepe" Carlos was 6 when his Oaxacan parents crossed the border illegally. He's been fighting for U.S. citizenship ever since.
"...we've been able to go to places like Charlotte, N.C., Washington, D.C., Chicago, throughout Texas, and everywhere we go the people that come out are people like Pepe that are going through all that same stuff."