Urko: “Salute to Basque Country”/ “Our children”


José Antonio Larrañaga, Urko, is a great Basque-Spanish songwriter. With a strong and melodic voice, joined to a fiery poetry by his own or from some other great Basque poets, Urko used to mix revolutionary themes with love themes. His first LP came in 1976: Sakonki maite zaitut (I love you deeply). To this shall follow Hemen gaude! (Here we are) in 1977, and the great epic song Gure lagunei (To our companions) in 1978, a large ballad dedicated to two Basque patriots killed by Franco. Reciently, Urko left political themes and also has sung in Spanish poems of José Bergamín.
Here there are two of his more popular songs.
The first, “Agur Euskal-Herriari” (Salute to Basque Country) is a song made of a Basque-French’s patriot poem (sorry, I couldn’t find the poet’s name), and was one of his more claimed anthems by 70’s abertzale (Basque patriot) youthful. 

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Agur Euskal-Herriari 

Zazpi Euskal Herriekbat egin dezagun,
guztiok beti-betigauden gu euskaldun.

Agur eta ohore
Euskal Herriari
Lapurdi, Baxenabar,
Zubero gainari;
Bizkai, Nafar, Gipuzko
eta Arabari.
Zazpiak bat besarkalot beitez elgarri.

Zazpi Euskal Herriek
bat egin dezagun,
guztiok beti-beti
gauden gu euskaldun.

Haritz eder bat da
gure mendietan,
zazpi adarrez dena
zabaltzen airetan.
Frantzian, Espainian,
bi alderdietan:
hemen hiru eta han lau,
bat da zazpiretan.

Zazpi Euskal Herriek
bat egin dezagun,
guztiok beti-beti
gauden gu euskaldun.

Hi haiz, Euskal Herria
haritz hori bera,
arrotza nausiturik
moztua sobera.
Oi gure arbasoakez, otoi ez beira,
zein goratik garen gujautsiak behera!

Zazpi Euskal Herriek
bat egin dezagun,
guztiok beti-beti
gauden gu euskaldun.

Salute to Basque Country 

The seven Basque lands make one,/ all of us are forever Basques.// Salute and honour to Basque Country (1),/ to Labort, Low Navarre,/ Vizcaya, Navarre, Guipuzcoa and Alava (2)./ The seven ones are joined by their arms.// There are a beautiful oak (3) in our mounts/ with his seven branches waving on the air./ In France, in Spain, in both sides;/ here three, there four, the seven ones are one.// You are, oh my Basque Country,/ that oak/ that has been cut down/ by the foreigner command.// Ancestors of us/ don’t look from/ how high we have/ gone down to the abyss! 

 

 

music by Urko
 

  1. “Basque Country”: although usually this name refers to what in Spain it’s named País Vasco/ Euskadi, in this text refers to the name Euskal Herria, which means Basque Country too, or Basque land, and refers to those territories where it’s spoken Basque: four provinces in Spain and three in France; for this, the real meaning of the song.
  2. These are the well known seven Basque provinces that make Euskal Herria: in Spain, forming the Basque Autonomic Community (Comunidad Autónoma Vasca), or País Vasco/ Euskadi (Basque Country), Vizcaya (Eus. Bizkaia), Guipuzcoa (Gipuzkoa) and Alava (Araba), with Navarre (Eus. Nafarroa or Naparra; Cast. Navarra); in France Labort (Lapurdi), Low Navarre (Fr. Baix-Navarre; Eus. Baxenabar) and Sola (Eus. Zubero).
  3. The oak tree is a Basque symbol. For example, the well known Guernica’s tree (Eus. Gernikako Arbola)


 

Gure haurrak 

Zuen haurrak hiltzen jarraitzen duzute
Zuen haurrak galtzen jarraitzen duzute
Jainkoz eta legez josi dituzute
Gizondutzean gorrotako zaituete

Gure haurrak hiltzen jarraituko dugu
Gure haurrak galtzen jarraituko dugu
Lau zortzi urtez izorratuko ditugu
Jainkoz eta legez josiko ditugu

Haurraren jabe zeralakoan zaude
Zer den on eta txar dakizulakoan zaude
Zure iritziak aldezinak dirade
Zure haurrak hiltzen hain itsu noiz arte

Bai eskoletara bidaltzen dituzu
ta guraso jator zerala uste duzu
Askatasuna ezagutu ezin duzu
haurrak hiltzen ezin jarrai dezakezu

Bizitza zer den ikasi ez dugunean
jakin ta jakin bakarrik eskatzean
esklabu gaude buru pentsamenduetan
loturik gure barruko kateetan

Kate historie honek behar du akaba
Gezurretik umeak behingoz salba
Begiak ireki mundu hau aldatu
askatasun bizitza gureganatu

Our children 

You are still killing your children,/ you are still losing your children,/ you have tied them with gods and laws/ when they became in men.// We will still killing our children,/ we will still killing our children,/ we will fuck them at four and eight years old,/ we will tie them with gods and laws.// You think you are the owner of the child,/ you think you know what is good and what is wrong,/ your opinions are immovable,/ until when you will be killing your children.// You send them to school/ and you think/ you can’t know freedom,/ you can’t keep yourself killing children.// When we have not learn what life is,/ when they just ask us knowing and knowing,/ we are slaves of our thoughts,/ we are tied to our inside chains.// This history of chains musts end,/ we must to save the children from lie./ Open your eyes, change the world,/ let’s get a free living. 

 

 

words and music
Urko 

 

 

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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