Imanol’s “El Pueblo no olvidará”

Imanol_LarzabalIn 1976, Basque songwriter, Imanol, recorded in France (were he was exiled) the album Herriak ez du barkatuko (B. People shall not forgive), with the collaboration of some of the musicians members of the Breton folk group Gwendal. It was a Basque-Breton folk album, with strong protest songs in Basque and Spanish, some of them writen by poets as Gabriel Aresti and José Antonio Artze. The last song, sung in Spanish and mixing some verses in Basque, was a call to rebelion and a vindication of some of the victism of the Francoism, the most of them were workers.

El Pueblo no olvidará

¡El pueblo no olvidará!
Herriak ez du barkatuko!

Del caliente recuerdo
de la libertad,
que se le ha negado
en interminables jornadas
de lucha y de trabajo,
tan en miseria pagándoselas.

¡El pueblo no olvidará!
Herriak ez du barkatuko!

De aquellos sus muertos,
ni tampoco de estos,
sus vivos que mueren
por la explotación.
Muerte a muerte
tan viva esta como su recuerdo.

¡El pueblo no olvidará!
Herriak ez du barkatuko!

Poder cantar sin quejarse,
de no poder hablar sin tener que callarse,
de no poder olvidar, sino acordase,
de no poder olvidar, sino vengase.

¡El pueblo no olvidará!
Herriak ez du barkatuko!

El pueblo no olvidará Carmona.
El pueblo no olvidará Eibar.
El pueblo no olvidará Erandio.
Herriak ez ditu Donostiko hilketak ahaztuko.
El pueblo no olvidará El Ferrol.
El pueblo no olvidará San Adrián del Besos.
Herriak, herriak ez du Otaegi ahaztuko.
El pueblo vengará a Otaegi.
El pueblo no olvidará a Baena.
El pueblo vengará a Baena.
Herriak ez du Txiki ahaztuko.
El pueblo vengará a Txiki.
El pueblo no olvidará.

People shall not forget

People shall not forget!/ [People shall not forgive!] (1)// Of the warm memory/ of freedom,/ which have been denied to them/ in endless struggle and work/ days,/ paid in such misery.// People…// Of those their dead ones,/ nor of these,/ their live ones that die/ by the exploitation./ Dead by dead/ as alive as their memory.// People…// To be able to sing without complaining,/ of cannot talk without having of shut up,/ of cannot forget, but remember,/ of cannot forget, but take revenge.// People…// People shall not forget Carmona. (2)/ People shall not forget Eibar. (3)/ People shall not forget Erandio. (4)/ [People shall not forget San Sebastian’s deads] (5)/ People shall not forget El Ferrol. (6)/ People shall not forget San Adrián del Besós (7)/ [People, people shall not forget Otaegi.] (8)/ People shall revenge Otaegi./ People shall not forget Baena. (8)/ [People shall not forget Txiki] (8)/ People shall revenge Txiki./ People shall not forget.



(1) For a better understanding, the translations of the Basque verses are put on between brackets.

(2) In August 1974, there was a protest march in Carmona (Seville) asking water to the town. The Guardia Civil opened fire against the marcher: there were many hurted people and one dead, Miguel Roldán.

(3) Maybe Imanol is talking about the dead of Roberto Pérez in December 1970, by a plainclothes police, during a protest against the Process of Burgos in Eibar (Guipuzcoa). Other sad event was the dead, in 1976, by the Guardia Civil fire of Alberto Soliño, when he was coming from the III Basque Song Contest.

(4) In 1969, the town of Erandio (Vizcaia) was suffering a strong polution, which was affecting to the health of the population. So some neighbours make a marchs of protest that were hardly repressed; in October 29 were dead by the Guardia Civil fire Josu Murueta and Antón Fernández.

(5) In 1975, after having a dinner, a bunch of young began to sing Basque Nationalist songs near a Guardia Civil quarter. One of this agent get to Koldo Arriola into the quarter, a little after the shot of a gun was heard.

(6) Amador Rei and Daniel Niebla were two Galicians workers of El Ferrol who died during a strike shot down by the police in 1972.

(7) In the town of San Adrián del Besós (Cat. Sant Adrià del Besós), in 1972, in a strike for solidarity, a young man was dead by police.

(8) Ángel (or Anjel) Otaegi, Jon Paredes “Txiki” and Xosé Humberto Baena were three of the five, with Ramón García Sanz and José Luis Sánchez Bravo, of the last five shot down by Franco’s order in 1975 (a little before Franco’s dead). Their dead shocked to the whole world.

More information about these tragedies:

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