Benedicto: Os compañeiros


Benedicto is one of the best songwriters in Galician language on Spain at he last 60’s and swinging 70’s. He was one of the founders of the collective Voces Ceibes (Free Voices), a collective of Galician songwriters, leaded by poet Manuel María Fernández, which objective was the vindication of Galician as language, and the culture and literature of Galicia (North-West of Spain). His style, instead his "French-Catalan" beginnings, has a root in Galician folklore. His 1st work was a EP with four songs at the fall of 60s decade, also recitals and concerts by Galicia and Madrid and other places. At the beginning of the 70s decade, he went to Portugal for meeting the great Portuguese songwriter Jose Afonso; since that moment, Benedicto accompany with guitar to Jose Afonso in his tours around Portugal, Paris, Galicia and some other places. In 1974, Benedicto back to Galicia and records his 1st album with the production of Argentine songwriter Alberto Gambino: Pola unión (For the union) released in 1977. To this, will follows Os nomes das cousas (The things names). But later he won’t record no more albums, although his career  was very intense. He alternates his own writings with the writings of the greater poets of Galicia as Celso Emilio Ferreiro, Manuel Curros Enríquez or Manuel Cabada Vázquez; also he alternates in the 70’s his own music with traditional Galicians ballads.

The Nova Canción Galega
(New Galician Song) was a literary-musical movement of young people who were against Franco’s regime and wanted to rescue culture and language of Galicia. In this movement are the collective Voces Ceibes. In the 70’s decade, the movement get folklorist attitude, instead many of them rejected it in the beginnings.
Voces Ceibes (Free Voices) was the first collective of the Nova Canción Galega. Their objectives were make an opposition to Franco’s regime with music and poems of the great all of times Galician poets and make a vindication of Galician culture, language and literature. But they rejected to use Galician folklore due to the illegitimacy use that Franco’s regime make of it as an instrument of cohesion of all the Spanish lands.  Despite of this, in the 70’s, they adopted finally the Galician folk-music for making art and vindications.

Galician, the language of Galicia. Between the languages spoken in Spain, Galician is one of the elder. As everyone of them (except Basque) is a Latin language. It comes of an antique language called Galaic-Portuguese (Sp. Galaico-portugués), from which descends Galician and Portuguese. In the Middle Age, Galaic-Portuguese was the most evolved language of the Iberic Peninsula: in which was written, by example, the king Alfons X’s (called "The Wise") Cantigas a Santa María (Ballads to Saint Mary) and Martin Codax’s Cantigas de amigo (Lover’s Ballad -here, "amigo", friend, have the meaning of "lover"-). After a time of scorn to Galician language, in the XIX century some poets as Rosalía de Castro and Manuel Curros Enríquez, rescued it of bourgeois scorn, who have relegate to rural world. A second re-birth of the language came too in the 30’s decade, during the 2nd Republic, with Castelao’s Galicianist Party (Partido Galeguista), but, after the Spanish Civil War, as the others no-Castilian Spanish languages, its use was again relegated to private life until poets as Manuel María or Celso Emilio Ferreiro, songwriters as those who formed Voces Ceibes (Benedicto, Xerardo, Miro Casabella) and folk-groups rescued it of bad folklore and regained for it its prestige. Actually is talked in Galicia, west of Asturias and north of León.

Os Compañeiros

Alí estaban os compañeiros
ó redor dunha fogueira
que furaba as mouras tebras
cunha roxa lumieira.

Eran moitos os compañeiros
que cantaban con alegría
a cancion sempre esperada,
a canción xa presentida.

Tiñan mans os compañeiros
duras, fortes i encallecidas
de traballar sen sosego
nunha terra chea de vída.

O seu ollar coma unha gota
de auga pura e cristalina
que na noite de xiada
durme nas follas tranquilas.

No seu peito un cargamento
de mil flores encendidas
non levaban de armamento
máis que palabras amigas.

Non falaban do andado
sementado de feridas
preparaban o camiño
cara a terra prometida.


There were the companions,/ around a bonfire/ that was drilling the black darkness/ with a red flame.// They were a lot of the companions/ who were singing with joy/ the always waited song,/ the already foresaw song.// The companions were having/ hard, strong and harden hands/ of restless working/ in a land full of life.// Their look as a/ pure and crystalline water drop/ that in the nights of  frost/ use to sleep on the quiet leaves.// In his breast a/ thousand enlighten flowers load;/ they were carrying no armaments/ but a friendly words.// They weren’t spoken about the way they walked,/ spreaded of  wounds,/ they were preparing the way to the promised land.

Words and Music:
Benedicto
For reading it in Spanish, click here
For listening this theme click here
For learn more about Benedicto and Voces Ceibes: www.ghastaspista.com

2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by evin on 11 octubre, 2007 at 19:02

    tnahk you for the pages for foreigners…
    nice music and verses
    Evin
    From Turkey

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