“Good Kings”, A Traditional Christmas Song From Castile


joaquin diazJoaquín Díaz is the great Spanish folk pioneer. Inspired on Pete Seeger’s work, but also on Spanish folklorist and musician Agapito Marazuela’s work, he dedicated to study and dilvuge the traditional Spanish music: Galicia, Andalucia, Basque Country, Catalonia…, but specially Castile, and also the Sephardic and Arabic legacy in Spain, songs of the Spanish War of Independence and Loyalist songs of the Spanish Civil War. The most of his records are compilations of traditional Spanish tunes, some of Universal folklore, and one, with María Salgado, singing the words of Luis Díaz Viana: Recuerdo y Profecía por España (Memory and Prophecy for Spain, 1977). Around him were born the most of the 60’s and 70’s Castilian Folk Groups (Nuestro Pequeño Mundo, Nuevo Mester de Juglaría, María Salgado, etc.). Actually, he runs the Fundación Joaquín Díaz in Valladolid, a great organization dedicated to the study of the Spanish music patrimony.

This is a beautiful Christmas song, sung in Castile during the eve of Kings’ Night, that commemorates the Epiphany or Twelfth-Day, that is one of the most Spanish antique traditions, when the Wizards Kings visit the children’s houses for give them toys or, if they have been bad, coal. Joaquín’s interpretation reclaim a certain Celtic or Medieval style.

Listen: http://www.goear.com/listen/22d6cb1/buenos-reyes-joaquin-diaz

Buenos Reyes

En el nombre de Jesús
y su santo sacramento,
decid todos a una voz
¡viva los que estamos dentro!
Felices Pascuas de Reyes
después de natividad,
que gocen vuestras mercedes
por toda la eternidad.

Buenos reyes son
que cuando nació Jesús
les ofreció una señal:
aquella famosa estrella
que temprana luz nos da,
y para que conozcamos
lo mucho que Dios nos quiere
¡alegría, caballeros,
que es la Noche de los Reyes!

Señor cura, señor cura,
eche usted mano al bolsillo
y saque una pesetilla
para echarnos un traguillo,
chorizos y longanizas
y otras cosas de comer,
chorizos y longanizas
que el Niño nació en Belén.

Buenos Reyes son,
que cuando nació Jesús
les ofreció una señal:
aquella famosa estrella
que temprana luz nos da,
y para que sepamos
lo mucho que Dios nos quiere
¡Alegría caballeros,
que es la noche de los Reyes!

Good Kings

In the name of Jesus/ and his Holy Sacrament,/ say all of you at once/ Hurray for us that are within!/ Happy Kings’ Easter/ after Antivity,/ may Your Mercies joy/ for all eternity.// Good Kings they are/ for when Jesus was born/ He lighted them a sign:/ that famous star/ that early light gives us,/ and for we know/ the most God loves us./ Cheers, gentlemen,/ it’s Kings’ Night!// Mr. priest, Mr. priest,/ reach into your pocket/ and take out a pesetilla/ for we take a drink,/ chorizos and longanizas/ and other eating things,/ chorizos and longanizas/ for the Baby was born in Bethlehem.// Good Kings they are/ for when Jesus was born/ He lighted them a sign:/ that famous star/ that early light gives us,/ and for we know/ the most God loves us./ Cheers, gentlemen,/ it’s Kings’ Night!

Traditional

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  1. […] en vez de traer un tradicional villancico sobre la Noche de Reyes, también llamada –en desuso- Epifanía, traigo algo más crítico, que […]

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