Archive for 30/03/08

Benito Lertxundi: “For your freedom”


Benito Lertxundi is one of the most famous and continuous Basque songwriter. Benito has sung words by José Antonio Artze and Xabier Lete, but also his own: words that speak us about Basque Country and other relevant things in the time he begun to sing, when Basque language was put down by dictatorship. His music, very beautiful, takes its roots from Basque traditional music, but also from celtic music. Member of Ez dok Amairu by the hand of New Basque Song patriarch, Mikel Laboa, Lertxundi’s first EP comes in 1965. To this will follow others great LPs as Oro laño mee batek… (1974) (All is cover by a fog), from which is this beautiful song. 

José Antonio Artze is a great contemporary Basque poet and composser, born in 1940. With his brother, singer Jesús Artze, was a member of the Basque songwriters’ collective Ez dok Amairu (There’s no thirteen), being, with Xabier Lete and Antton Valverde, the
writer of the most Basque songwriters’ words of songs, as this from Lertxundi.

Zure askatasunagatik 

Zure askatasunagatikburrukatzen banaiz,
kantatzen badut,
ez dut, maite zaitudalako
kantatzen.
Ez eta zure malkoak xukatzeagatik.
Zoriontsu
libro behar zaitudalako, baizik;
Zure askatasunean
zure zorionean
nereak ikusten dudalako.

For your Freedom
If I fight,/ If I sing,/ for your freedom,/ I don't sing for I love you,/ neither/ for dry up your
tears,/ but for I need you happy, free./ Because in your freedom,/ in your happiness,/ I see mine.
words by José Antonio Artze
music by Benito Lertxundi
Benito Lertxundi’ official web-page:
Benito Lertxundi-Oriotik internetera


Ez dok Amairu (There’s no Thirteen) was a collective created around Basque esculptor Jorge de Oteiza. Founded by Mikel Laboa, some of their members were Benito Lertxundi, Lourdes Iriondo, Xabier Lete, Antton Valverde and J. A. Artze. Influenced by the Catalan collective Els Setze Jutges (Sixteen Judges),Ez dok Amairu’s finallity was the vindication of Basque language, music, culture and literature, specially poetry. They were, with Castilians, Andalucians and Canarians songwriters and folk-groups, the first in doing songs based on the Basque traditional music, thanks to the wonderful and elder songs-books legated through the centuries.

Euskal Kanta Berria (New Basque Song) was a movement of Basque songwriters with the pretension of vindicate and save Basque language, music and culture, and a vindication of their land, the so named Euskal Herria (Basque Land/ Basque People). Between this movement, there were collectives as and Argia (light) and Ez dok Amairu (There’s no Thirteen). Between them we can name people as important as Mikel Laboa, Lourdes Iriondo, Benito Lertxundi, Imanol, Lupe, Oskorri… In differance of others regionals songwriters movements, Euskal Kanta Berria used to play the Basque traditional music since the beginnig with their poems or those from great Basque poets as Gabriel Aresti. Within this movement, songwriters Antton Valverde, J. A. Artze and Xabier Lete make the most of these songs.

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