"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 throughout 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.
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). 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. Marie Bergmann also recorded a Swedish version of "Jag vill tacka livet" on her album Hjärtats Lust in 1981.
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.
BBC Radio 4's program, "Soul Music," devoted an episdoe to the song, first aired on November 25, 2014, consisting of conversations with individuals for whom the song had a particularly meaningful place in their lives.