Rosalía de Castro’s “Black shadow”


El alma gallega tuvo una voz y un nombre: ROSALIA de CASTRO Rosalía de Castro (Santiago de Compostela, 1837-Padrón, 1885), poet and novelist, was the great renewer of the Galician literature. Indispensable author in the Spanish romantic literary movement, Rosalía wrote as in Spanish (Castillian) as in Galician; existencialist themes, but also compromised poems with the Galicians migraters. Most of her poems were influenced by the Galician folk-songs; but, in some cases, Galician folklore feed of her poems.

This is the case of this song: “Negra sombra”, with music of Juan Montes Capón

Negra sombra

Cando penso que te fuches,
negra sombra que m’asombras,
o pe d’os teus cabezales
tornas facéndome mofa.
Cando maximo qu’es ida
n’o mesmo sol te m’amostras
y eres á estrela que brila
y eres ó vento que zoa.
Si cantan, es ti que cantas.
Si choran, es ti que choras.
y es ó marmurio d’o rio
y es á noite y es á aurora.
En todo estás e ti es todo,
pra min y en min mesma moras,
nin me deixarás nunca
sombra que sempre m’asombras.

Black shadow

When I realize that you’re gone,/ black shadow that amazes me,/ at the feet of your pillows/ you back taunting me.// When I consider you’re gone,/ in the same sun you are shown to me/ and you are the star that shine,/ and you are the wind that hoots.// If anybody sings, it’s you who is singing,/ if anybody cries, it’s you who is crying,/ and it’s the murmur of the river/ and it’s the night and it’s the dawn.// You are in all and you are all/ for me and inside myself you dwell/ neither you ever leave me/ shadow that always amazes me.

Many Galician singers and groups made their own version: Amancio Prada, Milladoiro, Luz Casal… And Bibiano, which 1980’s album version scandalize to the purists:

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 and the Venezuelan Xulio Formoso. 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 make 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.

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