Tuesday, January 28, 2014

José María de Iparraguirre Balerdi

José María de Iparraguirre Balerdi (1820 - 1881) was a Spanish poet and musician, considered the Basque bard for his compositions in Euskera (the Basque language) and is best known for his hymn to the Tree of Guernica.
Iparraguirre had an adventurous bohemian life that fitted well with his image of a bard, always carrying his guitar with him and improvising songs and verses. 
His work, written mostly in Basque (though he also wrote in Spanish, French, English and Italian), contains some of the most significant songs of today's Basque Country.
He lived a romantic life during a very turbulent period in the history of Spain, with the outbreak of the Carlist Wars and the abolition of the privileges of the old regime.
At age 14 he ran away from his parents' house in Madrid, to enlist in the Carlist ranks in the first battalion of Guipúzcoa. He was wounded in the leg at the Battle of Arrigorriaga (1835), when he was only 15 years, and then joined the company of Yeomen of D. Carlos.
After the war, when he was 19, he went into exile, joining in 1848 the French revolutionaries who overthrew the monarchy of Louis Philippe. But when Napoleon III made his coup, Iparraguirre was expelled from France and started touring Europe with a troupe to earn a living.
In 1853 he filed for a pardon and returned to Spain, where he composed Gernikako Arbola a zortziko who first performed that year at the Café de San Luis in Madrid. The song became popular and reached the Basque Country. In Bilbao, Iparraguirre himself sang it at two locations of the Plaza Nueva, La Patisserie and Café de la Iberia; all present joined in.
This seemed dangerous to the authorities who considered Iparraguirre a “rabble-rouser"and banished him in 1855, by means of the Guardia Civil, which became the subject of another of his popular songs, Nereamak baleki .
After two years of exile, he returned to Guipúzcoa, but he was exiled again in 1858, this time, to Buenos Aires.
In 1859 , he married in Buenos Aires with the Querejeta Guipuzcoa Aizpurua Maria Angela, with whom he lived in Uruguay and had eight children, two boys and six.
In 1877 , he returned to Spain, leaving his family in America.

1 comment:

  1. Heres a nice photo of my wife wearing a beret back in the 80's. She tends to favour the spotted headscarf these days! http://www.flickr.com/photos/21133841@N03/4284477724/