Wha’s like us: a musical interlude

6
484

by Paul Kavanagh

Sometimes during political campaigns it’s nice just relax for a wee while, especially when the campaign is going well and you can afford to daydream for a short time about brighter days ahead.  So this week instead of bringing you worthy tales of small nations far away, I propose much more relaxing and pleasurable way of discovering wha’s like us.

Celtic music is both popular and well-established in the Iberian peninsula.  Newsnet has previously carried articles mentioning the Celtic links between Scotland, Ireland and Wales and the North West of the peninsula, especially Galicia and Asturias with their long tradition of bagpiping.  These links come across most strongly, and most emotively, in the music of the region.  Traditional but modern, informed with passion and style, Iberian Celtic music is world class, and deserves a much wider audience in Scotland.

So pour yourself a glass of your favourite non caffeinated alcoholic tipple (we don’t want to upset Andy Kerr), put your feet up and Bienvenidos – Benvinguts – Benvidos – Ongi Etorri – Welcome to a Celtic music tour of Iberia.

Hevia : Busindre Reel

Hevia is the foremost amongst the new generation of Asturian bagpipers.  He first came to prominence in Spain in 1998 with this track, Busindre Reel from the album Tierra de Nadie (No Man’s Land), which stayed at the top of the Spanish charts for weeks throughout the summer.  All over Spain the sound of bagpipes filled the streets.  Hevia has since gone on to great international success, bringing his unmistakable ambient bagpiping to a world audience and contributing greatly to popularising Celtic music throughout the Spanish speaking world.  

Carlos Núñez : O Pozo de Arán The Well of Aran

The godfather of the Iberian Celtic music revival, the Galiian musician Carlos Núñez is perhaps best known in Scotland for his work with the Irish band the Chieftains.  This song tells the story of a mother who takes her blind son to the magical well of Aran in search of a miracle. This clip is sung in Galego, the Spanish language version was a chart success in both Spain and Latin America.

 

Soñei, e todo estaba tan claro I dreamed and everything was clear
Mirei, un lugar un pozo sagrado I looked in a place with a sacred well
Soñei, que o meu fillo estaba curado I dreamed that my son was cured
Falei, ca’ aquela villiña chorando Crying I spoke with the old woman there
Meu neno na mirada ten unha noite infinita My child has the infinite night in his gaze
O pozo do teu soño esta en Aran na grande illa The well in your dream is in Aran the great isle
0
Xa verás, a luz que alegra todo Now you will see, the light that gladdens everything
Verás por fin, o sol por riba noso At last you’ll see the sun shine on us all
Verás o ceo, grande azul e limpo You’ll see the sky, great blue and clean
Vas ver onde se xuntan ceo e mar You’re going to see the waves that join the sea and sky
Coa vida nos teus ollos With life in your eyes
0
Ben sei, é difícil aínda que queiras I know it’s hard even if you want
Facer, que toda a vida floreza To make all life flourish
Que ao fin, acabe con ver nesta espera Today at last let our waiting end
Que ao fin, poida ver meu neno esta terra Today at last let my son see this Earth
Eu pídolle ás estrelas que bendigan esta auga I beg the stars to bless this water
Que o mundo non te cégue That the world may never blind you
Que a túa noite sexa clara And that your night may be clear.

Celtas Cortos : Fiesta Party

The bad boys of Iberian Celtic Music.  Celtas Cortos ‘Short Celts’ is the name of an old Spanish brand of cigarettes.  Sort of like Woodbine, only not quite so classy.  Strongly influenced by the Pogues, the Waterboys and Celtic Punk, this is a band to have a party with.  This is a track from their new album Introversiones, telling of a drunken local fiesta in a village in Almería in south eastern Spain.

Yo soy Jesús Hernández Cifuentes I’m Jesús Hernández Cifuentes
soy bienvenido a Almería I’m welcome to Almería
agua sin gas, café con leche still water, coffee with milk
tenemos fiestas y romería we’ve got a party and a knees up
0
Y la canción de la Chochona And the song of La Chochona
tenemos brandy y ron con cola we’ve got brandy and rum with cola
y Leonardo y su acordéon and Leonardo and his accordion
de calamares come otra racion. eating another helping of squid.
0
Y vámanos todos de fiesta, And let’s all go have a party
las tías quieren guerra the girls want to pick a fight
diré a Dios si volveré I’ll say to God if I come back
a ver Almeria otra vez … to see Almería again …
0
Hay un feriante, ahí lo ves, There’s a party goer, you see over there
que parla uno de de los tres who chats to one of the three
le susurró al oído He whispered in the ear
“¡Mátame esa muñeca, cariño!” “Kill that doll for me love!”
0
Ha ganao la Chochona en el bingo He’s won La Chochona at the bingo
y toda la ciudad de a loco Gringo. And the whole town’s mad like Gringos
0
Partirse de risa al tirar Splitting their sides with laughter
la muñeca del capitán al mar. when they throw the captain’s doll in the sea
0
chorus
0
El veiticinco de agosto, The 25th of August
abrío sus ojos Jaime Fearnley
Jaime Fearney opened his eyes
para beberse cincuenta ron con cola
in order to drink 50 rum and colas
y se echó a dormir la mona and went and slept it off
0
Y Costello el rey de América And Costello the king of America
y suntuosa Cait O’Riordan and the magnficent Cait O’Riordan
0
No me toques más los cojones
Don’t mess with my balls
los gritos fuera de las casas
the shouts outside the houses
0
chorus

Luar na Lubre : Hai un paraiso There is a paradise

Luar na Lubre ‘Moonlight in the Forest’ are a Galician band from A Coruna.  Best known for their collaboration with Mike Oldfield, they are one of the best known Galician Celtic music groups.  Most of their songs are sung in Galego, the Galician language.  This is a track from their album Luar na Lubre Ao Vivo Luar na Lubre Live.  The track is based on a traditional song about the pilgrimage route to the cathedral of St James the Apostle in the Galician city of Compostela.

Hai un paraiso nos confíns da terra, There’s a paradise at the ends of the Earth
Hai un paraiso ao que guian as estrelas. There’s a paradise which the stars point to
Hai un paraiso nos confíns da terra, There’s a paradise at the ends of the Earth
Hai un paraiso ao que guian as estrelas. There’s a paradise which the stars point to.
0
Por sete camiños chegan ata aquí By seven roads they come here
por sete camiños, son os pelegríns … By seven roads, they are the pilgrims …
0
Hai un paraiso nos confíns da terra, There’s a paradise at the ends of the Earth
E a cidade santa chamase Compostela. And a holy city called Compostela.
Hai un paraiso nos confíns da terra There’s a paradise at the ends of the Earth
E a cidade santa chamase Compostela. And a holy city called Compostela.
0
Por sete camiños chegan ata aquí By seven roads they come here
Por sete camiños, son os pelegríns. By seven roads, they are the pilgrims.
0
Meu Señor Santiago que estás en Galicia My Lord St. James you are in Galicia
Dende todo o mundo veñen con ledicia. from all over the world they come in joy …

Sueño de Morfeo : Nunca Volverá He will never return

An Asturian rock band with a strong Celtic influence in their music, El sueño de morfeo ‘the Sleep of Morpheus’ broke into the mainstream in 2005 with this single from their second album the self titled Sueño de Morfeo.  Now one of the biggest selling music groups in Spain and Latin America, in recent years they have moved away from their earlier Celtic based sound.

La encontraron días despues The found her days later
con las manos blancas de pintar with white paint on her hands
su nombre en la pared her name on the wall
y el tuyo junto a el borrado de pensar and yours beside it erased from thinking
que nunca volverá that he will never return
que nunca ha estado allí that he has never been here
que todas las promesas que hizo no eran de verdad that all the promises he made were not true
que nunca volverá that he will never return
que nunca ha estado allí that he has never been here
que todas las promesas que hizo no eran de verdad that all the promises he made were not true
y al verte quiso gritar and on seeing you she wanted to scream
y no pudo más que susurrar and could do no more than whisper
palabras sin razón words without reason
rompió su corazón lamentando pensar it broke her heart crying to think
que nunca volverá that he would never return
que nunca ha estado allí that he has never been here
que todas las promesas que hizo no eran de verdad … that all the promises he made were not true …