Celso Emilio Ferreiro’s “Olla meu irmao” (sung by Miro Casabella)

castelaoAlfonso Daniel Rodríguez Castelao, commonly known as Castelao (Rianxo, 1886 – Buenos Aires 1950), was a Galician politician, writer, doctor and a very satyrical drawer; it’s considered as the father of the Galician natioanlism. As a Galicianist and Republican intellectual, through his works, Castelao charge against the “chieftainism” (in the days of kings Alphons XII and Alphons XIII, chieftains and landlords were real running the country, running their villages, as in the Middle Age), the visions of the rural Galicia and Galicians: poverty, causes of emigration, analfabetism, etc. As politician, in the days of the second Republic, he was a parlamentarian and founder of the Partido Galeguista (Galicianist Party) and member of the Royal Academy of Galician Language. In 1934, after the incidents of Asturias, he was confined in Extremadura. But in 1936, he get back to Parlament as parlamentarian with Manuel Azaña’s Frente Popular (People Front). During th Civil War, he stood loyal to government, and made fantastic draws against fascist repression. He died in exile, in Argentina.

From his work "Galiza mártir" (¿1937?): "Esta door non se cura con resiñación" (This pain doesn't heal with resignation)But Castelao’s occupations were not only politic issues: he also wrote works about Galician folklore and people costums. And so, after his dead, through the chancelorship of propaganda, i. e., Ministerio de Información y turismo (Ministry of Information and Tourism), the regime presents a folklorist Castelao, out of political issues, to conform the folklorism at service of the regime. So many leftist people and Galician nationalists get very aggravating. Betweem them, the great Galician poet Celso Emilio Ferreiro wrote a poem against this fact, but changing his name in Daniel, though the Galicians known who was Daniel. Some years later, a great Galician songwriter, Miro Casabella, put it into music and recorded in one of his first EPs:

Olla meu irmao

Olla meu irmao honrado
o que contece con Daniel,
os que o tiñan desterrado
agora falan ben del.

O palurdo de alma lerda
o tendeiro desertor,
o vinculeiro da merda
disfrazado de señor.

O lurdo carca refrito
o monifate de antroido,
o aprendiz de señorito
Marqués de Quero e non poido.

O badoco endomingado
o xoglar moi pousafol,
o forricas desleigado
o pequeno burgués mol.

O devoto do onanismo
o feligrés de pesebre,
o tolleito de cinismo
o que da gato por lebre

O rateiro de peirao
o refurgallo incivil,
valense de ti irmao [Alt. valense de Castelao]
para esconder a casta vil.

Escoita puto nefando
criado na sevidume,
non pasará o contrabando
dise teu noxento estrume.

Grotesco escriva sandeu
inxertado nun raposo,
Daniel nunca foi teu
porque Daniel é noso.

E anque a ti che importe un pito
saberás, que é cousa sabida,
que estás incurso en delito
de apropiación indebida.

Look, my brother

Look, my honest brother,/ what’s happening with Daniel:/ those who got him in exile/ now are talking well about him.// The hick of dull soul/ the deserter tradesman,/ the heir of shit/ disguised as a lord.// The rehash rude square (1)/ the carnival puppet,/ the rich kid apprentice (2)/ Marquis of *I want but I can’t* (3).// The Sunday vest bumpkin/ the so lazy minstrel (4),/ the *by-himself-outcast* (5) gross/ the limp petit bourgeois.// The onanism devotee/ the manger parishioner,/ the cripple of cynicism/ that who cons (6).// The pickpocket of dock/ the uncivil waste,/ they avail of you brother [Alt. they avail of Castelao]/ to hide the vile caste.// Listen fucked infamous/ grown up in serfhood,/ shall not pass the contraband/ of that disgusting muck of yours.// Grotesque fatuous scribe/ grafted in a fox,/ Daniel never was your/ because Daniel is ours.// And although you give a damn/ you should know, for that’s a known thing,/ you are committing a crime/ of misappropiation.

Celso Emilio Ferreiro

Live version


The english translation, due to the difficult of the Galician text, has been made in base of this Spanish translation:


Except parts from “O badoco endomingado…” to “… o pequeno burgués mol”, that there aren’t in that text. So it wa made by me, but with caution.

(1) Carca is a pejorative noun, diminutive of carcamal, “old crock” (in Spanish and Galician): in this diminutive for means a reactionary person, even a fascist. As I always like very much the 50 and 60’s English word “square”, so let it be, but maybe is not right at all.

(2) The word señorito, in this context, doesn’t mean exactly a young lord, but a person, either young or old, who think about himself as a person such important that pretends not to work and may others work for him. According to Word Refference, this is the term more apropiated.

(3) Quiero y no puedo is an expression with several aceptions. In this context means a person who wants to feign he’s an important person. I couldn’t find a translation.

(4) According to Galician Language Dictionary (http://www.edu.xunta.es/diccionarios/index_rag.html), figuratively, pousafoles is a very lazy person. If this is was Ferreiro meant, I intepreted as those kind of poets of the pos-war age, who sung about “good life”, country life, etc, and had a conception of his art as if, by the only fact of making poetry, they were in a higher status of society.

(5) This word is not exactly what it means. Desleigado means a person who rejected his vinculations with his family, or his national and cultural links, as the Galician bourgeoisie did. In English, “outcast”, is a rejected person, so I put the “by-himself”.

 (6) Dar gato por liebre is a set phrase: the expression comes from the days of misery, when tradesmen and cooks serf, instead of hare, cat. So, the expression past as a way of saying someone has been conned.

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