José Antonio Artze’s “Txori ttikia” (The little bird)

j.a artzeJosé Antonio Artze is a great contemporary Basque poet and composser, born in 1940. With his brother, singer Jesús Artze, was a member of the Basque songwriters’ collective Ez dok Amairu (There’s no thirteen), being, with Xabier Lete and Antton Valverde, the writer of the most Basque songwriters’ lyrics of songs, as this from Lertxundi.


Txori ttikia

Txori ttikia nintzelarik

esan zidaten,

kaiolan bizitzeko

sortua nintzela,

gero arrano bihurtuko nintzanean

kaiola hautsita aldegingo

nuen beldurrez,

libro nintzela sinistarazi

nahi zidaten,

horregatik iriki zizkidaten ateak

egin nezan hegaz,

bainan luze gabe ohartu nintzen

hanka harkaitz bati

lotu zidatela

kate motz eta astun batez.

The Little Bird

When I was a little bird/ they told me/ I was born to live in a cage,/ later, when I came into an eagle,/ they, afraid of I could flight breaking the cage,/ made me believe I was free,/ for that they opened the door for I could fly,/ but I didn’t last in notice that my paw was tide/ to a rock/ with a short and heavy chain.

José Antonio Artze

Translation to Spanish, by Marta Palenzuela:

Benito Lertxundi is one of the most famous and continuous Basque songwriter. Benito has sung words by José Antonio Artze and Xabier Lete, but also his own: words that speak us about Basque Country and other relevant things in the time he begun to sing, when Basque language was put down by dictatorship. His music, very beautiful, takes its roots from Basque traditional music, but also from celtic music. Member of Ez dok Amairu by the hand of New Basque Song patriarch, Mikel Laboa, Lertxundi’s first EP comes in 1965. To this will follow others great LPs as Oro laño mee batek… (1974) (All is cover by a fog), from which is this beautiful song.

Another version, from his 1998’s album Ahuen sinfonika:

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