Archive for 18/10/08

Rafael Alberti’s “Gallop”


Rafael_Alberti_lee_poesía_al_V_Regimiento_(Febrero__1936) Rafael Alberti (Puerto de Santa María, Cádiz, 1902-Madrid, 1999) was one between the greatest Spanish poets. He was a member of the great Generación del 27 (27’s Generation), with García Lorca, Gerardo Diego, etc. His poetry has five stages: new popularism, gongorism (relative to great clasic poet Luis de Góngora), political poetry and poetry from the exile. Member of the Spanish Comunist Party, Alberti was one of the poet more actives in the social report. During Spanish Civil War, was very active in the Republican side inside the movement Anti-Fascist Intellectuals Alliance, till Franco’s victory, when he is forced to exile. Rafael begun to write poems vindicating humanism and against Francoist regime, becoming in a symbol to an all inconformist generation. He get back to Spain in 1977, two years after Franco’s dead, thanks to an amnisty. (Photo: February, 1936; Alberti reading to the V Regiment)

During the Civil War, Alberti wrote a lot of combative poems, some of them under pseudonim; and between them, this is one of the most important:

 

Galope

Las tierras, las tierras, las tierras de España,
las grandes, las solas, desiertas llanuras.
Galopa, caballo cuatralbo,
jinete del pueblo,
al sol y a la luna.

¡A galopar,
a galopar,
hasta enterrarlos en el mar!

A corazón suenan, resuenan, resuenan
las tierras de España, en las herraduras.
Galopa, jinete del pueblo,
caballo cuatralbo,
caballo de espuma.

¡A galopar,
a galopar,
hasta enterrarlos en el mar!

Nadie, nadie, nadie, que enfrente no hay nadie;
que es nadie la muerte si va en tu montura.
Galopa, caballo cuatralbo,
jinete del pueblo,
que la tierra es tuya.

¡A galopar,
a galopar,
hasta enterrarlos en el mar!

Gallop

The lands, the lands, the Spanish lands,/ the greats, the lonelies, desert plains./ Gallop, white-four-pawed horse (1),/ people’s rider,/ at the sun and at the moon.// Let’s gallop,/ let’s gallop,/ till bury them under the sea!// In the heart sound, resound, resound/ the lands of Spain, in the horseshoes./ Gallop, people’s rider,/ white-four-pawed horse,/ foam horse.// Let’s gallop…// No-one, no-one, no-one, in front of you there’s no-one;/ no-one is the death if she goes on your saddle./ Gallop, white-four-pawed horse,/ people’s rider,/ for the Land is yours.// Let’s gallop,/ let’s gallop,/ till bury them under the sea!

Rafael Alberti

(1) The word is "cuatralbo" (cuatro: four; albo: white), which is a tecnicism for naming a horse whose all its paws are white. I don’t know the English equivalent.

Paco_Ibáñez_en_el_mítico_recital_de_el_Olympia_de_París_(www.triunfodigital.com) (Photo: Paco Ibáñez in the mytical Olympia Theater concert) In many ways, Paco Ibáñez is almost the father of the Spanish songwriters movement, beside Chicho Sánchez Ferlosio and Raimon. Born during the Spanish Civil War, and went with his family as exiliated to France. In France he mets the work of the great French songwriters, specially that who will be his inspiration: Georges Brassens. In 1959 he starts to put music on the great Spanish poems: from Spanish literature Golden Age, as Quevedo, Luis de Góngora, Jorge Manrique; passing by the 27’s Generation, as Lorca, Alberti, Miguel Hernández; to the most contemporary and compromised poets: Blas de Otero, Gabriel Celaya, José Agustín Goytisolo… But also Latin-Americans poets like Jorge Guillén and Pablo Neruda. He tried to live in Spain at the 60’s, but his so known anti-francoism makes that the authorities are always following him; so he returned to France for singing in freedom. Finally returned when generals Franco was dead. Many songwriters took example from him, as in Castilian as in the others language from Spain: Catalonian, Basque and Galician. In 1968, in his third LP La Poesía Española de hoy y de siempre 3 (The Spanish poetry of today and of always 3), Paco made a version of this Alberti’s poem: since then, the song became in a symbol of resistance, and was the most demanded in the Paco’s concerts. This version is from the concert at the Paris’ Olympia Theater:

 

 

 

Rafael Alberti Foundation: http://www.rafaelalberti.es/

Paco Ibáñez’s official web: http://www.aflordetiempo.com/webNova.htm

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