Els Segadors

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Els Segadors
English: The Reapers
Senyera (Pl. Octavià, S. Cugat del Vallès) 01.jpg
Senyera (flag of Catalonia)

National anthem of  Catalonia (Spain)
Lyrics Emili Guanyavents, 1899
Music Francesc Alió, 1892
Adopted 1993

Els Segadors (Eastern Catalan: [əɫs səɣəˈðos], Western Catalan: [eɫs seɣaˈðos]; "The Reapers") is the official national anthem of Catalonia, nationality and autonomous community of Spain.

History[edit]

Portrait of Francesc Alió i Brea

Though the original song dates in the oral tradition to 1640, its modern lyrics were written by Emili Guanyavents, who won a competition in 1899. The music was standardized by Francesc Alió in 1892.[1] The song is based on the events of 1640 known as Corpus de Sang during the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648) between Spain, England, France and Austria, the event that started the Catalan Revolt or Guerra dels Segadors (Reapers' War)[1] where Catalans fought against the Count-Duke of Olivares, the chief minister of King Philip IV of Spain.

The Catalan government adopted "Els Segadors" as the national anthem of Catalonia in 1993, by law of its parliament. The official version was made in 1994.

Lyrics[edit]

Original version of Els Segadors,
by the Orfeó Català, c. 1900
Els Segadors (Catalan)
Catalunya triomfant,
tornarà a ser rica i plena.
Endarrera aquesta gent
tan ufana i tan superba.
Tornada:
Bon cop de falç!
Bon cop de falç, defensors de la terra!
Bon cop de falç!
Ara és hora, segadors.
Ara és hora d'estar alerta.
Per quan vingui un altre juny,
esmolem ben bé les eines.
Tornada
Que tremoli l'enemic,
en veient la nostra ensenya.
Com fem caure espigues d'or,
quan convé seguem cadenes.
Tornada
The Reapers (English translation)
Catalonia triumphant
shall again be rich and bountiful.
Drive away these people,[2]
Who are so conceited and so arrogant.
Chorus:
Strike with your sickle!
Strike with your sickle, defenders of the land!
Strike with your sickle!
Now is the time, reapers.
Now is the time to stand alert.
For when another June comes,[3]
Let us sharpen our tools well.
Chorus
May the enemy tremble,
upon seeing our symbol.
Just as we cut golden ears of wheat,
when the time calls we cut off chains.[4]
Chorus

Jordi Savall[edit]

Contemporary Catalan composer Jordi Savall made a version of the folk song, using the original narrative (which dates back to the seventeenth century) combined with the modern lyrics and refrain, which were added later.

Catalonia is the only country in the world which has converted a popular song with historical roots into a national anthem: Els Segadors. A folk song that emerged from a collective spirit has become the symbol of that same spirit.

"Els Segadors is a historical romance that, as a “reminder of wrongs”, narrates the misfortunes of Catalonia during the popular revolt which caused the Corpus de Sang (1640), when the Catalans fought the Castilian troops in the so-called War of the Reapers, against King Philip IV of Castile and the Count-Duke Olivares. In this sense, it is a historical song with religious connotations. The popular melody dates back to the seventeenth century, if we except the refrain Bon cop de falç ... which was incorporated later and does not correspond to the legend.

The structure of the song is based almost entirely on tetracords and is very similar to other sixteenth century pieces which had their origins in a more remote tradition which must be sought in the ancient popular monody. The tune has a majestic air which is both sedate and solemn. The chorus, on the other hand, is a vibrant exclamation of energy.

In his version, Jordi Savall adopts a very plausible device to clarify further the origins of the music. Firstly, after an instrumental introduction by the wind instruments, he unfolds the narrative as a romance using voices and entrusts the dialogues to the soloists. The narrative, which is contained in sixteen stanzas, ends with an instrumental coda. Immediately afterwards are performed the three stanzas which constitute the present day hymn. The whole thing demonstrates the grandeur, splendour and pomp of the hymn itself, sustained by the instruments and persiste percussion."

(Antoni Sàbat, 1991, translated by Angela Buxton)

Lyrics:

Catalunya, comtat gran,

qui t'ha vist tan rica i plena!

Ara el rei, nostre senyor

declarada ens té la guerra.

Lo gran comte d'Olivar

sempre li burxa l'orella:

“Ara és hora, nostre rei

ara és hora que fem guerra”.

Contra tots els catalans

ja veieu quina n'han feta.

Seguiren viles i llocs

fins al lloc de Riu d’Arenes.

N'han cremat un sagrat lloc

que Santa Coloma es deia.

Cremen albes i casulles

i corporals i patenes,

i el Santíssim Sagrament,

alabat sia per sempre.

Mataren un sacerdot

mentres que la missa deia.

Mataren un cavaller

a la porta de l’iglésia,

en Lluís de Furrià,

i els àngels li fan gran festa.

Lo pa que no era blanc

deien que era massa negre:

el donaven als cavalls

sols per assolar la terra.

El vi que no era bo

engegaven les aixetes,

el tiraven pels carrers

sols per assolar la terra.

A presència dels parents

deshonraven les donzelles

i mataven els seus pares

si del mal donaven queixa.

Ne donen part al Virrei

del mal que aquells soldats feien.

“Llicència els he donat jo:

molta més se'n poden prendre”.

A vista de tot això

s'és esvalotat la terra:

Entraren a Barcelona

mil persones forasteres,

Entren com a segadors

com érem en temps de sega.

De tres guàrdies que n'hi ha

ja n'han morta la primera.

Ne mataren el Virrei

a l'entrant de la galera;

mataren els diputats

i els jutges de l'Audiència.

Bon cop de falç !

Bon cop de falç,

defensors de la terra !

Bon cop de falç !

Anaren a la presó

donen llibertat als presos.

El Bisbe els va beneir

amb la mà dreta i esquerra:

Bon cop de falç ! ...

“On és vostre capità?

A on és vostra bandera?”

Varen treure el bon Jesús

tot cobert amb un vel negre:

Bon cop de falç ! ...

“Aquí és nostre capità

aquesta és nostra bandera.”

A les armes, catalans,

que ens han declarat la guerra!

Bon cop de falç ! ...

Catalunya, triomfant,

tornarà a ser rica i plena !

Endarrera aquesta gent

tan ufana i tan superba !

Bon cop de falç !

Bon cop de falç,

defensors de la terra !

Bon cop de falç !

Ara és hora, segadors !

Ara és hora d’estar alerta !

Per quan vingui un altre juny

esmolem ben bé les eines !

Bon cop de falç !

Bon cop de falç,

defensors de la terra !

Bon cop de falç !

Que tremoli l’enemic

en veient la nostra ensenya:

com fem caure espigues d’or,

quan convé seguem cadenes !

Bon cop de falç !

Bon cop de falç,

defensors de la terra !

Bon cop de falç !

Recordings[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Generalitat de Catalunya: National Symbols
  2. ^ "These people" the oppressors of the Catalan people, who back in that time invaded Catalonia
  3. ^ the Segadors Revolt which the song references took place in June.
  4. ^ The verb in the Catalan original—seguem—is from the same root as segadors; that is, they will cut the chains as they cut the crops.

External links[edit]