Archive for 1 de noviembre de 2008

Pi de la Serra’s «The donkey and the eagle»

Pi_de_la_Serra_(_La_crisis_de_la_Nova_Cançó___Luis_Carandell__www.triunfodigital Francesc Pi de la Serra, also called frequently Quico, is maybe the most imaginative and satirical Spanish songwriter in Catalan language. He was one of the younger first members of the Catalans songwriters collective Els Setze Jutges. With a poetry very inspired on French songwriters, specially Georges Brassens, Quico’s music is very progressive and imaginative: his first LP was recorded with jazz music. Later he introduced in Spain a more actual music during the 70s. His words have been definite as bittersweet, making parodies about politic, high and middle class, relating events that were happening in the 70s, but also tremendously serious songs.
This is one of his most emblematic songs: "El burro i l’àguila" (The donkey and the eagle), which is a metaforical song. Included in the 1974’s album No és posible el que visc  (It’s not possibel what I’m seeing), the song is very bold, and refers, ultimately, to Franco, the donkey, and his successor, the prince John Charles -actually John Charles I of Spain-, who is the eagle. In this song, Quico picks to pieces the intolerance, fanatism, reactionarism, integrism and crimes of sympathizers of Franco’s regime.

El burro i l’àguila

Qui fa i desfà quan vol sense manies,
Retalla siluetes sense rostre,

que corren, s’agenollen i respatllen?
Xisclen com marietes donant ordres
per el seu be i per el nostre mal?

Son el Burro i l’Àguila Reial.

Perquè ballem el ball de mala gana?
perquè tanquem finestres quan obertes
deixen entrar la llum que abans teniem?

perquè les flors ja nèixen totes grises?
perquè em de regar pedres quan no cal?
perque ho mana el Burro i l’Àguila Reial.

On es diuen paraules i discursos
que cada dia més ningú s’escolta?
On s’estripen raons imprescindibles?
On encara es recorden les creuades?
On l’amor es pecat per immoral?
On hi ha el Burro i l’Àguila Reial.

Quan tornarem a riure com ho feien,
els nostres pares forts sense recansa?
Quan deixarem els nervis de l’espera
i dormirem tranquils d’una tirada,
i oblidarem per sempre el tant se val?

Quan es morin el Burro i l’Àguila Reial.

Sortirem al carrer… i una gentada,
es fondrà en salts de joia i alegria,
i el Sol resplandira radiant i amb força,
i el festeig durarà quatre setmanes,
una gresca a nivell estatal,
quan es morin el burro i l’àguila reial.


The donkey and the eagle

Who does and undoes when wants without mania?/ Cuts faceless silhouettes/ that run, get down on their knees and brush them?/ Yell like queers giving orders/ for his googness and for our badness?/ They are the donkey and the royal eagle.// Why are we unwillingness dancing this dance?/ Why do we close windows and doors that opened/ let the light we used to have before in?/ Why do all the flowers are already growing in grey?/ Why do we must water the stones if it’s needless?/ Because it’s commanding by the donkey and the royal eagle.// Where is it saying words and speeches/ that day by day nobody listen?/ Where is it eviscerating indispensable reasons?/ Where still are reminded the crusades?/ Where is love a sin for unmoral?/ Where the donkey and the royal eagle are.// When shall we laugh again like our fathers did, strongly and without objections?/ When shall we leave the nerves of the waiting/ and shall quite sleep in a pull/ and forget forever the "it does not matter"?/ When die the donkey and the royal eagle.// We shall get out to the street… and a crowd/ shall shade into leaps of joy and happiness,/ and the Sun shall shine brightly with force,/ and the celebration shall go on for four weeks,/ a State-level whoopee/ when die the donkey and the royal eagle.

Pi de la Serra


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. 

Els Setze Jutges (Sixteen Judges) was a Catalan songwriters collective, founded by Delfí Abella, Miquel Porter and Josep Mª Espinàs, among others, for vindicate language and poetry of the so called Països Catalans (Catalan Countries): the lands, in Spain, Andorra and France, where Catalan is talked, with an antifrancoist spirit. They decided to use French songwriters’ music, specially Georges Brassens, and no Catalan folklore, because the regime was using it for demonstrate his power over all the Spanish lands. Between them, were future important artists as Joan Manuel Serrat, María del Mar Bonet and her brother Joan Ramón, Rafael Subirachs, Guillermina Motta, Francesc Pi de la Serra, and the last in come in, Lluís Llach, and others until complete 16. Songwriter Raimon, in despite the generally believing, was not a part of the collective, but he collaborated with them.

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