Archive for 11/03/08

Patxi Andión: “The teacher


Patxi Andión is one of the most singular Spanish songwriter. Having a Basque origins, he grows in Madrid, where he makes all his career. Beloved of the French songwriters music, he went to France to perform; there he mets great songwriter and integral artist Jacques Brel. In Madrid, he began to record EPs in 1968: "Rogelio", "Manuela", "A quien corresponda" (to whom it may concern)… All of them in a French style. With his LPs he get closer to a kind of pop music, but still with a tremendous poetry by his own. If we could define Patxi in a word, this should be individualist. Patxi’s poetry, influenced by Lorca, Miguel Hernández, Machado, etc., is one of the most originals and powerful in the Castilian songwriter movement. Some of their LPs are Joxe Maria Iparragirre (his unique LP in Basque), based upon the poems of Basque poet Joxe Maria Iparragirre; Once canciones entre paréntesis (Eleven songs between parenthesis) and A donde el agua (where the water), from which is this song.
Patxi Andión’s "El maestro" speaks us about a kind of character: during the 2nd Spanish Republic, thanks to institutions as the Free Teaching Institution (Institución Libre de Enseñanza), a new kind of teachers came to replace priests in teaching: they were worried about the number of illiterate people in rural world, and he were decide to teach to read, science, literature… all this with a humanist and lay spirit. But civil war and dictatorship, due to the sympathy by them to Republic, dash all of his project. With Franco’s dictatorship, priests came back to teaching. This Patxi’s teacher was one of those lay, humanist, socialist and scientific republicans teachers.

 

El maestro


Con el alma en una nube

y el cuepo como un lamento

viene el problema del pueblo

viene el maestro.

El cura cree que es ateo

y el alcalde comunista

y el cabo jefe de puesto

piensa que es un anarquista.

Le deben treinta y seis meses

del cacareado aumento
y él piensa que no es tan malo

enseñar toreando un sueldo.

En el casino del pueblo

nunca le dieron asiento

por no andar politiqueando

ni ser portavoz de cuentos.

Las buenas gente del pueblo

han escrito al "menistrerio"
y dicen que no está claro

como piensa este maestro.

Dicen que lee con los niños

lo que escribio un tal Machado

que anduvo por estos pagos

antes de ser exilado.

Les habla de lo inombrable

y de otras cosa peores

les lee libros de versos

y no les pone orejones.

Al explicar cualquier guerra

siempre se muestra remiso

por explicar claramente

quien venció y fue vencido.
 
Nunca fue amigo de fiestas

ni asiste a las reuniones

de las damas postulantes
esposas de los patrones

por estas y otras razones

al fin triunfó el buen criterio

y al terminar el invierno

le relevaron del puesto

(y) ahora las buenas gentes

tienen tranquilo el sueño

porque han librado a sus hijos

del peligro de un maestro

con el alma en una nube

y el cuerpo como un lamento

se marcha el Padre del ueblo

se marcha el maestro.

The teacher


With the soul on a cloud/ and his body like a lament/ comes the village’s trouble (1)/ comes the teacher.// The priest thinks he’s an atheist/ and the mayor, communist/ and the chief-post cape (2) thinks/ he is an anarchist.// They owe him thirty six months/ of the boasted raise/ and he thinks is not so bad/ to teach bull-fighting a salary.// In the village’s casino/ they never gave him a sit/ for not coming "politicking" (3)/ nor to be a tales’ spokesman.// The good village people/ have written to the Department (4)/ and they say is not clear/ how this teacher thinks.// They say he reads with the children/ what wrote someone named Machado (5)/ who was by this neck of the woods/ before he was exiled.// He talks to them about the unspeakable/ and about other worst things/ he reads them books of verses/ and doesn’t put them donkey’s ears.// When he explains any war/ he always get cautious/  to explain clearly/ who won and who was defeated (6).// He never was friend of parties/ nor attends to the meetings/ of the advanced ladies/ bosses’ wifes/ for these and other reasons/ at the end the good judgment won/ and at the fall of the winter/ they relieve him from the post// and now the good people/ have calmed the sleep/ because they have released their children/ from a teacher’s danger// with the soul on a cloud/ and his body like a lament/ goes out the people’s Father (1 bis)/ goes out the teacher.

Patxi Andión

NOTE: the transcription is a exactly reproduction of the words that appear in Patxi’s LP.
1 & 1bis. I think in this text, Patxi makes a difference between "pueblo" and "Pueblo". In Spanish, the word "pueblo" has two principal meanings: first, "pueblo" as village, and second, as people.

2. The priest, the mayor and the cape: after civil war, the local authorities of the villages were 3, following the francoist ideology. The priest, obviously, was the Spanish church’s representative; the mayor was member of the unique party: FET-JONS (Traditionalist Spanish Phalanx – National-Syndicalist Offensive Junta -Falange Española Tradicionalista – Juntas de Ofensiva Nacional-Sindicalista-, what was the result of join FE-JONS and the Traditionalist Party): so he was the representative of the civil/ political power. And the civil guard cape, who represents military power. This three characters, during the 40 and 50s were the absolute authorities in the villages.

3. Really don’t know if this word exists in English or not. The Spanish word, "politiquear", makes reference to the practice of talking about politic excessively and wrong, but also to be a conspirator.

4. The word that Patxi uses is "menistrerio": this word doesn’t exists, is a vulgar form of "ministerio": the institution of a minister.

5. Obviously, he means Antonio Machado: one of the greater Spanish poets. By his sympathies and activities for the Spanish Republic, before and during the war, Antonio Machado, who died in exile a little days since he went out from Spain, was a forbidden poet during almost all the Franco’s regime. Maybe, watching these verses, the village could be situated at any place of Castilla, maybe Soria.

6. He explains civil war. The teacher is a clearly old republican.

La Nueva Canción Castellana (New Castilian Song), contrary to others originals movements as Nova Cançó, Nova Canción and Kanta Berria, was a kind of publicity trick by some journalist, as an imitation of Catalan movement. Some of the names that were in that list were Manolo Díaz, Luis Eduardo Aute, Patxi Andión, successful female singer Massiel and others. Although not true at all, most of them were in a commercial  spirit. Didn’t get in the list other interesting proposition from Castilla and Madrid as Canción del Pueblo or the folk-singers and folk groups that were appearing. In despite this, most of them were not to say they belonged to this movement, and each one were going to develop and make great songs.

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