Archive for 28 de noviembre de 2007

Raimon: Like a hand/ To Joan Miró

For many people, Raimon is the best songwriter in Spain, as of Catalan as the of the others Spanish songwriters. Anyway, one thing that is true, it’s that Raimon was and is a symbol of many dimensions of the anti-francoist resistance. With Paco Ibáñez and Chicho Sánchez Ferlosio, and with the precedent of Teresa Rebull, Raimon was the first in singing author’s songs in Catalan and in whole Spain, and also the first in making songs over the great Catalan poets’ poems. Raimon came from Jativa (Cat. Xátiva; Sp. Játiva), province of Valencia, to Barcelona for singing. His first songs, as "Al vent" (To the wind) or "Diguem no" (Let’s say no) maybe are still, with 18 years old, a very simple songs, but really vehement, with his peculiar powerful tone of voice. After some performances in tv, recitals and festivals, and also some great adventures, as to give an illegal recital in the Complutense University’s Economic Science faculty, regime’s censure machinery look down on him, at the same time that people from all Spain take his songs as battle anthems, and he became a symbol, while also get international fame, specially in France, but also in USA, Japan, Italy… Although he was no a former, he collaborated with the songwriters Catalan collective Setze Jutges (Sixteen Judges). Despite all this, Raimon is more than a political singer: he sang songs about fear, about man, about peace, love, friendship, and return to Catalan people (and to the rest of Spain) the great Catalan poetry: from XVI’s, as Joan Timoneda or Ausiàs March, to contemporary as Pere Quart or, his favourite, Salvador Espriu.

Com una má

Com una mà,
la vida estesa
al teu davant.
A tu es lliurava
sense malícia.
Tot aquell temps
t’havia fet
com una mà
la vida estesa.
Et capbussaves
de ple, turgent
enmig dels altres,
i xop de món
et veies viu.
Vint anys de temps,
que són no res
-diuen els savis-,
i aquella mà
anà tancant-se
molt lentament
però obstinada.
Retruny ben fort
allò que abans
en deien ànima,
creure no vol
el que el teu cos
avui constata,
i aïrada
no es resigna;
espera encara
l’esclat potent
d’aquesta vida.
Segura està.

Like a hand

Like a hand/ life spreads out/ before you./ It surrendered to you/ without malice./ All that time/ had made your/ life spread out/ like a hand./ You dived into it/ head first, turgid/ among the others,/ and soaked with the world/ you saw yourself alive./ Twenty years of time/ which are nothing/ -so the wise men say-/ and that hand/ went on closing/ very slowly/ but obstinately./ That which before/ was called the soul/ thunders loudly;/ it doesn’t want to believe/ what your body/ today realises;/ exasperated/ and angry/ it doesn’t give up;/ it still waits for/ the powerful explosion/ of this life./ It is sure of it.

A Joan Miró

D’un roig encès
voldria les cançons.

D’un roig encès
voldria la vida.

D’un roig encès
tots els amors.

D’un roig encès
aquest racó tan perillós;
la gent d’ací i la de fora
que fossen tots
d’un roig encès.

D’un roig encès
voldria el món,
i dir les coses

tal com són.

To Joan Miró

In a burning red/ I’d want the songs.// In a burning red/ I’d want life.// In a burning red/ all the loves.// In a burning red/ this so dangerous corner;/ people from here and from out,/ may they’d be/  in a burning red.// In a burning red/ I’d want the world,/ and to say the things/ just as they are.

Joan Miró: Catalan painter: He made the 1st Raimon’s LP cover:

words in Catalan, Spanish and English, taken from

La Nova Cançó Catalana (New Catalan Song) was a very important songwriter movement that pretended, making of Catalan their expression way, preserve and vindicate the language of Catalonia. Teresa Rebull, a Civil War exhiled, was the forerunner, but singer Raimon was the real beginner. The movement, principally, had two differents tendences: Els Setze Jutges (Sixteen Judges), inspired by French songwriters, and El Grup de Folk (Folk Group), North-American folk-singers inspiration. Jutges were more worried about Catalan poetry and refused to use Catalonia’s folklore due to the populist use that the dictatorship was making with every Spanish folklore; but Grup de Folk like to combine old Catalans songs with North-American folk-songs. But in the beginnings of 70s, both were disolved, but the movement stood. New Catalan Song was imitated by others regional songwriters movement, borning in this way the New Songs from Basque Country, Castilia, Galicia, Andalucia… Some of the names of this movements are songwriters as Raimon, Lluís Llach, María del Mar Bonet, Pau Riba, Marina Rossell, Joan Manuel Serrat, Albert Batiste, Pi de la Serra, Ovidi Montllor; folk-groups as Al Tall and UC; folk-rock groups as Falsterbo 3 and Esquirols; and progresive and psychedelic rock bands as Companya Elèctrica Dharma or Maquina!… among others. 
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