Archive for 13/04/08

Manuel Curros Enríquez: The thorn

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.

A Espiña

Pra que vos cante esta noite
metéronme certo empeño
e un pouco a cantarvos veño
se hai por eiquí quen me escoite.

Anos hai que nos riñós
levo cravada unha espiña
e como me doi ainda
vóuna quitar diante vos.

Si mentras a arrinco berro
disimulaime a molestia:
láiase a besta e é besta,
é ferro, e quéixase o ferro.

Moito non se han de alegrar
de ver que aínda teño alentos
os que beberon os ventos
para facerme calar.

Eses, con almas de can,
que coidan, na súa insolencia,
que se merca unha concencia
por catro codias de pan.

Eses que medrando vin
dos abusos do poder
e a xornal quixeran ter
un cómplice mudo en min.

Eses, pra quen todo enteiro
o orden moral é un negocio,
a cobiza, un sacerdocio
e o millor dios, o diñeiro.

Eses que, o nome calando,
non quero eiquí recordar
quen as fai ten que as pagar
¡eses xa as están pagando!

Xornaleiro do porvir
decote sobre o meu tallo
eu vivo do meu traballo
e traballo pra vivir.

Pra miña pedra labrar
nin forza nin tempo sobra
e quero dar fin á obra
antes de se o sol deitar.

The thorn

For I sing to you tonight/ they put on me any effort/ and I come to sing to you a little/ if there’s anybody here who listen to me.// There are a lot of years that I have a thorn stuck in my kidneys/ and, as still it hurts me,/ I’m going to get it out in your presence.// If while I’m getting it out I shout/ you have to pretend my pain:/ the beast complains and it’s a beast,/ it’s iron and iron complains.// Shall not cheer up/ to seeing I still have encouragement/ those who made the impossible/ to silence me.// Those who have dog souls,/ who think in their insolence/ that they can buy a conscience/ by four crust of stale bread.// Those who I see thriving/ in the abuse of power/ and daily would want/ a dumb accomplice on me.// Those for who the whole/ moral order is a business,/ greed, a priesthood,/ and the best God the money.// Those who, I don’t tell whose names,/ I don’t want to recall here:/ who does it pay it/ Those already are paying!// Future’s day labourer,/ daily on my sterm,/ I live of my work/ and I work for living.// For carving my stone/ doesn’t left strength nor time/ and I want to finish the work/ before the sun goes down.

Manuel Curros Enríquez

Galician songwriter Benedicto made an excellent song with this poem for his LP Os nomes das cousas (The names of the things) with music by his own:


(Benedicto, standing and reading, during a concert in 1979, introducing Os nomes das cousas)

Benedicto (Benedicto García Villar) 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 was making 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.

Follow this link to know more about Benedicto’s Os nomes das cousas:

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