Archive for 12 de julio de 2008

Raimon: «We shall sing life»

For many people, R26aimon 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.



Cantarem la vida

Cantarem la vida,
cantarem la nostra vida
de poble que no vol morir.
Lluitarem amb forca,
lluitarem amb tota la força
per l’única possible,
perseguida, vida nostra.
I guanyarem l’esperança,
sí, pujarem al camp de l’esperança,
temps i temps negada,
arrancada i trencada.
Sí, guanyarem l’esperança,
l’esperança de viure
lliures i en pau.
Cantarem la vida,
cantarem la nostra vida
de poble que no vol morir.


We shall sing life

We shall sing life,/ we shall sing our life,/ that of a people who don’t want to die./ We shall fight with strength,/ we shall fight with all our strength/ for our only possible,/ persecuted life./ And we shall win hope,/ yes, we shall climb up to the field of hope,/ time and time denied,/ torn out and broken./ Yes, we shall win hope,/ the hope of living/ free and in peace./ We shall sing life,/ we shall sing our life,/ that of a people who don’t want to die./ We shall sing.


For read it in Spanish click here

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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