Curros Enríquez: For the union

Manuel Curros Enríquez, a great poet in Galician language. Born in 1851 and dead in 1908, he contribuited to the rebirth of Galician language and to the nationalist feeling of Galicians people. In 1808, was acussed by his recent book, Aires da miña terra (Winds from my land), for heretic contents. After a time in La Habana, he returned to his land, after to have worked on some newspaper. Republican and Galicianist, his efort and poetry was an example for his people. A lot of Galicians (and no Galicians) poets learned from him, and the most of the Galician songwriters made songs on his poems.

Pola Unión

Non é en honor do Patrón

que esta noite cantar veño.

Anque a teña ó Santo,

teño á Patria rnáis devoción.

Eu, polo sí ou polo non,
cos santos quero estar ben;
mais quero estálo tamén
coa terra en que fun nacido:
sólo unha Patria hai na vida
e santos hai máis de cen.

Canso de evanxelizar
e facer no mouro estrago,
hai tempo que está Santiago
da santa gloria a gozar.
Con non menos batallar
contra todo mal goberno,
Galicia a un suplicio eterno
decote está condenada,
e pídenos, desolada,
que a libremos dese inferno.

É tan grande o seu penar,
máncana tantos abrollos,
que coas bágoas dos seus ollos
coido que foi feito o mar.
Diante o trono e diante o altar
contra o seu mal pide acordo;
mais sin piedá nin remordo
do seu dolor, nunca escaso,
os homes non lle fan caso,
e Dios permanece xordo…

¡Tí sólo, Galicia Santa!
¡Tí, que no antigo señora,
escrava ximes agora
dos caciques baixo a pranta!
Véndote entre pena tanta,
os teus bravos fillos ¿qué fan? …
¿En qué pensan?, ¿Onde están,
que non collen os fouciños
e botándose ós camiños
a redimirte non van?

Arregañados os dentes,
us cos outros agarrados,
revoltos i enfurruñados,
semellan a cans doentes.
Nas propias carnes os dentes
engarran, sin compasión,
e despreceando a razón
que toda xenreira borre,
iesquecen súa Nai, que morre
chea de infamia e de baldón!,

Todo pra ser grande e forte
se une, xunta e reconchega:
quen á discordia se entrega
vai direito cara á morte.
Non agarde millor sorte
quen fomente divisiós;
que a unión de tódolos bós
é lei de tan alto alento
que pra estar no Sacramento
hastra a ten que cumplir Dios!

Galegos que me escoitades,
galegos que a verme vides
hoxe de eiquí non saídes
sin face-las amistades!.
Das nosas debilidades
o diaño non se ha de rir.
Vámonos todos a unir,
matando rencores cegos;
que na unión dos bos galegos
está da patria o porvir!

For the union

It’s not in honour of our patron saint/ I come to sing tonight./ Although to the saint I take devotion,/ I take to fatherland more devotion.// I, by yes or by no,/ want to be alright with saints;/ but I also want to be so/ with the land in what I was born:/ there’s only one fatherland in life/ and there are more than hundreds saints.// I get tired of Evangelizing/ and of making havoc to the Morish,/ St. James (1) is still in time/ to enjoy the Heavenly Glory./ With no less battle/ against every bad government/ to a eternal torment Galicia/ is doomed since always,/ and she’s asking us, desolated,/ we’d release her of that hell.// Is so great her sorrow,/ the reefs are harming her so,/ that with the tears from her eyes/ I think was made the sea./ In front of the throne and in front of the altar/ against her wrong asks for agreement; but without mercy or remour/ of her sorrow, never short,/ men doesn’t take notice/ and God keeps deaf…// Only you, Holly Galicia!/ You, that in the past was a Lady,/ as slave are moaning now/ down the landowners’ plant!/ Seeing you among so much sorrow,/ your braves children,/ what are doing?…/ What are they thinking?, where they are/ that don’t take the sickles/ and setting out to the roads/ they don’t go to redeem you?// The teeth tighten,/ grasped one against other ,/ rough and angry,/ they seem injured dogs./ In the same flesh the teeths/ thrusted, without mercy,/ and scorning the reason,/ that all dislike would erase,/ they forget their mother, who dies,/ full of infamy and insult!// Everything for being big and strong,/ it’s joining together and gets reconcentrated itself:/ who surrender himself to discord/ goes straight to death./ May not wait better luck/ that who’d foments divisions,/ because the union of all the kind ones/ is as a law of so high breath/ that for being in the Sacraments/ until God has to enforce it!// Galicians who are listenig me,/ Galicians who come for see me,/ today you won’t ge out of here/ without making peace!/ Of our weaknesses/ Devil shall not laugh about./ Let’s everybody of us to join ourself,/ killing blind resentments;/ that in the good Galicians union/ is the fatherland future!

Manuel Curros Enríquez

(1) Saint James is the Patron Saint of Galicia. Some legends tells that he fought against the invaders from North Africa, the Moorish;
but got demonstrated that was only a tale. It’s believed that he’s buried under Santiago of Compostela’s cathedral.

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.

 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
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.

Listen this poem sung by Benedicto clicking here
Also you can listen it on stage here
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