Winds of the People (Part 2)



Tall Francisca Solano,
death kisses your temples.
Our voices were calling,
tortured by waiting.
Your smile will not guard
our hearts with its warmth.
Why did you stay alone
with the mountain and Death?


/Music: "El Quinto Regimiento": guitar prelude, then lyrics, under Voice 2:/


/El diez y ocho día de Julio
en el patio de un convento
El pueblo Madrileño
fondo el Quinto Regimiento.

Venga, jaleo, jaleo;
sueno de una ametralladora
y Franco se va paseo [2x]

Con Lister y Campesino
con Galan y Modesto
con el Comandante Carlos
no hay miliciano con miedo ...

Venga, jaleo, (etc.) ...

(On the l8th of July
in the courtyard of a convent
the people of Madrid
formed the Fifteenth Regiment.

Come, rejoice, rejoice:
I dream of a machine-gun
and Franco goes running away [2x])

With Lister and Campesino
with Galan and Modesto
with Commander Carlos
no militiaman was afraid.

Come, rejoice, (etc.)/


Ranks of workers were taught,
ranks and ranks of steel:
lacking bullets, they used picks,
lacking bayonets, fists of steel.
In July the people, burning,
founded the Fifteenth Regiment:
the Thaelmann Battalion,
Battalion of Steel,
Brigade of Victory,
of Lister and Celán,
Modesto, Benito,
Arellano, Heredía,
Cortigo and Paolo
and others now dead:
your blood flowed united
in the Fifteenth Regiment ...

/Music: up, fade, out./


I don't know his name:
he came here from Málaga,
and his name doesn't matter.
He came from his home
with his memory etched
with blood and with fire.
When nothing was heard
of his wife or his children,
when nobody knew
they were dead or alive,
he faced the fire
and told us, "Forget it,
it doesn't matter."
I don't know his name:
he came here from Málaga ...

/Music: instrumental, from "Si me quieres escribir": under Voice 4./


Pancho Villa went with them,
up the bare mountain,
a smile on his lips,
astride a black horse.
He took his name
from the brave warrior
who defended Mexico.
Pancho Villa, Pancho Villa,
militiaman of the Sierra!


/Music: up and into lyrics, then out:/

/Si me quieres escribir,
ya sabés mi paradero.
En el frente de Gandesa,
primera linea de fuego.

Si me quieres comer bien,
barato y de buena forma...

(If you want to write me,
you know my address.
On the Gandesa front,
on the front line of fire.

If you want to eat well,
cheap and pretty...)/


N:    The poets spoke of the battles ...


How long the road is
from Málaga to Almería!

/Music: instrumental version of "Viva La Quince Brigada": under Voices 2,4./


The battle lasted three days
and the slaughter was great,
but we held our position
till Lister's men came
and the refugees were saved ...


When they reached the tower
only three were left,
for five had blown up
with their dynamite.
And these three stayed on
while their fuses sputtered:
and the stones of El Carpio
made their tomb ...

/Music: up, to lyrics; then out at end./

/Viva la Quince Brigada
Rúmbala rúmbala rúmbala rum
Que se han cubierta de gloria
Aí Manuela, ay Manuela!

Luchamos contra los moros
Rúmbala ...
Mercenarios y fascistas
Aí ...

(Long live the l5th Brigade
rúmbala rúmbala rúmbala rum
that has covered itself with glory
Aí, Manuela, aí, Manuela!

We fight against the Moors
Rúmbala ...
mercenaries and Fascists
Aí ...)/


N:     And spoke of the Fascists:



The fields, bare and dark,
seem a world forgotten:
no one plants them or sows.
Night and day the Fascists
stalk the streets and squares;
at their steps the neighbors
close their windows
and feel in their hearts
the sound of the guns.
Behind the walls of the convent
the Fascists have crawled,
not heeding the moans
of the wounded and tortured ...


How brave you are,
you rebel fliers:
you fly so low
we cannot see you,
even with telescopes!


Mother, there go the Militias,
and your son goes with them
to fight against Fascism.
Do you know what that is?
Fascism is working
without rest or food
to make fertile land
of the barren plains,
to endure forever
the sun and frost
waiting for promises
of a few grains of wheat
you will have to pay
to the playboy for rent.
Fascism is the crime
of the idle boss
who takes his fancy
with the sweat of the poor.
It's the powerful Church,
champion of the rich,
who raised a great palace
on Christ's humble home.
It is misery, ignorance,
hunger and terror ...


Listen! Radio Sevilla!
Queipo De Llano
is barking, braying,
spitting, mooing
on his four paws.
Radio Sevilla!
Gentlemen: here
is a savior of Spain!
Long live wine!
Long live vomit!
Tonight I take Malaga;
Monday, Jerez;
Tuesday, Montilla
and Cazalla; Wednesday,
Chinchón; and Thursday
I get drunk,
and the stables of Madrid,
pillowed with dung,
will be my soft bed!
What an honor it is
to wear on my feet
the horseshoes that Franco
won with his daring
against African spears! ...

/Minor break./


N:     The poets were in the cities, besieged; the poets were on the battleground with their people. Great poets and unknown poets. Young poets, like Miguel Hernández, the shepherd boy from Alicante, who was to die unknown to the world in the prisons of Spain, of Franco’s Spain ... but who fought first in the trenches and felt the wind that held the fighters up when food and water and bullets were gone ...


Winds of the people carry me,
winds of the people drag me,
spread my heart
and open my throat.
The oxen bow their heads
helplessly tame
before men with whips;
lions lift their heads
and punish in return
with their clamorous paw.
I am not of a people of oxen,
but of a people who harness
layers of lions,
gorges of eagles,
and mountains of bulls
with pride in their horns.
The oxen never thrived
on the bleak plains of Spain!
Who talks of putting a yoke
on the shoulders of this race?
Who has put shackles
or yokes on the hurricane,
and who kept the lightning
jailed in a cage?
Asturianos of courage,
Valencians of joy
and Castillans of soul,
plowed like the earth
and graceful as wings;
Andalucians of lightning,
born among guitars
and forged on torrential
anvils of tears;
Murcians of dynamite
fruitfully planted;
Leonians, Navarrans,
masters of hunger,
of sweat and the hatchet,
kings of the mines,
lords of the plowland,
men among races
like graceful roots
who go from life to death,
from nothing to nothing;
men from thin grasslands;
they would fix you with yokes,
yokes you must leave
broken on their backs.

The twilight of oxen
begins the dawn.
The oxen die dressed
in meekness and stable-stink;
but bulls, lions and eagles
die dressed in pride,
and behind them the sky
does not darken or fail.
The dying of oxen
makes a tiny show;
a proud animal's death
makes creation enlarge.
If I die let me die
with my head held high:
I'd be twenty times dead
with my mouth in the grass.
Let my teeth be clenched
and my beard stand firm.
I wait for death singing,
for nightingales sing
above the rifles
in the midst of the battle!


N:     There were other poets of this wind, sharing this song; poets known the world over: like Manuel Altolaguirre, who spoke of his friend Saturnino Ruíz, a printer by trade ...


I'm looking at my books,
my books, the ones I printed,
that passed through your hands
page by page, word by word.
I think of the printshop with you,
before the war exploded,
and of you, such a craftsman
at Minerva’s altar.
A book of García Lorca
with his first poems
went from him to you, passing
through the love of the presses.
He and you, the companions
of my works and sorrows.
As with you I was a printer,
with me he was a poet;
as they've killed him in Granada,
you've fallen in Somosierra,
and you two have come,
glorious, to my presence:
he with a martyr's palm,
you a hero of the war;
he asking vengeance,
you giving me strength ...


N:     There were many voices in the wind of the people, in the wind of song that rose everywhere: on the front lines and back in the anxious cities. Sometimes, often, their names mean nothing to us, and only their words remain in the air: unskillful, naive, nourishing the vital breeze - like the words of a woman who sang of her son, killed in the Taos sector:

V5 ( woman):

A soldier almost a child,
he was sixteen years old.
He was named Andres Moya,
was born in Cantabria,
noble as mountains,
strong as the rocks,
brave, his blood surging
through his young veins.
They called him an Anarchist,
and to set Spain free
he grabbed a rifle on day.
He didn't stay in Madrid.;
it was September thirtieth;
I will never forget him:
he took part in the struggle,
and the son of my life
fought full of hope
with daring and courage
without falling in combat
till the twenty-fourth day
when making a retreat
an artillery howitzer
of the Fascist rabble
reaped his life without mercy.
On the banks of the Tajo
his noble blood spilled

/music fades in/

staining the ground red
where someday, perhaps,
red poppies will flower
that I, his dear mother,
will kiss till petals fall
and revenge my misery.


/Music: Spanish Renaissance song "Triste Estava El Rey David":
fading in under as above, then up and out at end of lyric:/

/Triste estava el rey David
triste y con gran passión
quando le vinieron las nuevas
de la muerte de Absalóm

(King David was sad,
sad and deeply moved,
when they brought him the news
of Absalom's death.)/

/Music: Surinach, "Tiento De Pena", from horn solo: under./


N:     But one poet could not be with his people, for Franco's Falangists had found him in Granada, in the first summer of the war.

/Music up; under Voice 2, out by line 3./

N:    They found him among the jasmines, and left him face-down in a field somewhere, nameless, one with the others he lay beside. But when he was dead the soldiers of the Republic went on singing his songs and reading his poems, often never knowing whose they were. And those who could neither read nor write came to their friends to have his ballads read over and over until they had learned them by heart ... And so it was that when Nicholas Guillén came to look for Federico García Lorca, he found only the wind singing over the trenches and the blasted fields of Spain ...



I knock on the door of a ballad.
/echo/   - Federico been here?
A parrot answers me:
/echo/   --  He's gone.

I knock on a door of crystal.
/echo/   --  Federico been here?
A hand comes, and answers me:
/echo/   --  He's in the river.

I knock on a gypsy's door.
/echo/   --  Federico been here?
No one answers, no one speaks ...
/shout, echo/   --  Federico! Federico!

The dark house, empty;
black moss on the walls;
well-wall, no bucket,
garden of green lizards.

Over the plowed earth
snails that stir,
and the red wind of July
among the ruins, rocking.

/shout, echo/   --  Federico!  Federico!
Where does the gypsy die?
Where do his eyes grow cold?
Where can he be that he doesn't come?
/shout, echo/   --  Federico!  Federico!

/"Song" (sing-song)/

Left Sunday at nine,
left Sunday at night,
left Sunday, doesn't come back!
Had a lily in his hand,
had a fever in his eyes;
lily turned to blood,
blood turned to death.

/"Another Song" (echoing)/

Where can Federico be,
where can he be, that he doesn't come?
/shouted/   Federico! Federico!
Where can he be, that he doesn't come?
Where can he be, that he doesn't come?

/"Moment in García Lorca"/


Federico was dreaming of nard and wax,
of olive, carnation, and cold moon.
Federico, Granada and Spring.


He slept in a keen solitude,
beside his ambiguous lemon-trees,
lying down, musical, by the roadside.

Tall the night, burning with stars,
dragging her transparent tail
over all the highways.

"Federico!" they shouted suddenly,
with their hands motionless, bound,
the gypsies who were slowly passing.

/Music as above: from horn solo, fade under./

What a voice from their empty veins!
What warmth from their numbed bodies!
How gentle their footsteps, their footsteps!

Going green, newly nightfelled;
on the hard invertebrate road
their senses walked barefoot.

Federico arose, bathed in light;
Federico, Granada and Spring;
and with moon, carnation, nard and wax
followed him to the fragrant mountain.

/Music: up and out./

N:     They had killed one poet, the greatest of all: but they could not kill the wind of the people ...

V3 (distant, softly echoing):     Each poet who dies leaves in another's hands, like a heritage, an instrument that comes wandering ... to our scattered heart. Before the shadow of two poets, two more of us rise, and before our shadow two others will rise tomorrow. Our source ... : the earth. Our destiny ... : to wind up in the hands of the people ...

N:     And others came from all the Spanish-speaking lands to relieve their dead brothers. Nicholas Guillén came from Cuba ...


/The sound of surf: under, out after several lines./


son of America,
son of you and of Africa;
yesterday slave of white overseers,
     masters with bloody whips;
today slave of red Yankees despised and greedy;
I, splashing in the dark blood that soaks my Antilles;
smothered in the sour green mist of the cane-fields;
buried in the mud of the prisons;
hemmed-in day and night by insatiable bayonets;
lost in the howling forests of the islands
     crucified on the cross of the Tropic;
I, son of America,
run to you, die for you.

/Sound of surf: up and under Voice 2; out./


Death goes disguised as a priest.
With my tropical shirt tight,
stuck with sweat, I kill my dance
and move behind Death through your life.

Your two bloods, that join in me,
return to you, for they came from you,
and question through your bright wounds.
I'll see the men who wounded you shriveled.

Against scepter and crown and mantle and saber,
people, against cassock; and I with you,
and with my voice, so my breast will speak to you.
I, your friend, my friend; I, your friend.

In the grey mountains; on the red
trails; over the runaway roads,
my skin, in strips, to make you bandages
and my bones marching in your soldiers.


N:     And César Vallejo came from Peru, to fight side by side with a Spanish worker and sing his death:


V2:             He used to write on the air with his thumb:
V4:            "Long LiV the ComraDs! - Pedro Rojas."
V2:             from Miranda de Ebro, father and man,
                  husband and man, railroad-worker and man,
                  father and more man, Pedro and his two deaths.

V3:             Paper of wind, they've killed him: pass it on!
                  Pen of flesh, they've killed him: pass it on!
V4:            "TeL aLL the ComraDs quick!"

V3:            Pole they've hung his rifle on,
                  they've killed him;
                  they've killed him at the foot of his thumb!
                  They've killed Pedro, killed Rojas too!

V4:            Long LiV the ComraDs
V2:            written to the top of his air!
V4:            Long LiV ...
V2:            with this V of the Vulture at the guts
                  of Pedro
                  and of Rojas, of the hero and of the martyr.


Inspecting him, dead, they discovered
in his body a great body,
for the soul of the world,
and in his jacket a dead spoon.

Pedro also used to eat
among the creatures of his flesh, tidy up, paint
the table and live sweetly,
just as everyone does,
and this spoon went along in his jacket,
awake and even while he slept, always,
dead spoon alive, she and her symbols.


TeL aLL the Comrads quick!
Long LiV the Comrads at the foot of this spoon foreVer!


They've killed him, forcing death
on Rojas, on Pedro, on the man, on the one
who was born a tiny child, watching the sky,
and then grew, turned red
and struggled with his cells, his no's, his yets,
his hungers, his fragments.
They have killed him softly
in the hair of his woman, Juana Vázquez,
at the hour of the fire, in the year of the bullet,
when he was finally nearing everything.

So Pedro Rojas, after his death,
got up, kissed his bloodied shroud,
wept for Spain,
and wrote on the air again with his finger:

V4:             "Long LiV the ComraDs! - Pedro Rojas."

V2:             His corpse was full of world.


N:     They say that César Vallejo died in Paris in 1937 of some unknown ailment. But his friends say he died of Spain ...


V1: /aside/   !España, aparta de mi este cáliz!

Niños del mundo,
si cae España - digo, es un decir - si cae
del cielo abajo tu antebrazo
que dos terrestres láminas asen en un yugo ...

/Voice 3 fades in; Voice 1 under and out./

V3: /aside/   Spain, take this chalice from me!


Children of the world,
if Spain falls - listen, it's a saying -
if her forearm,
that two earthy plates grasp
in a harness, falls from the sky:
-- children, what an age of hollow temples!
how early in the sun, what I told you of!
how quickly in your breast, the ancient noise!
how old your 2 in the notebook!
Children of the world!
our mother Spain stands with her womb on her back,
she stands as our teacher with her rulers,
as mother and teacher,
cross and wood, because she gave you height
and vertigo, division and total, children:
she stands by herself, you legal fathers!
If she falls -- listen, it's a saying --
if Spain falls, down from the Earth ...
-- children, how you'll stop growing!
how the year will punish the month!
how everything will halt: your teeth at ten,
the dipthong in downstroke, the medal in weeping!
How the lamb will stay tied
by its leg to the great inkwell!
How you'll go down the steps of the alphabet
to the letter where sorrow was born!

sons of the warriors, meanwhile,
hush your voices, for this very moment
Spain is dividing her energy among the animal kingdom,
the little flowers, the comets and men.
Hush your voices, for she stands
with her sternness, which is great, not knowing
what to do, and in her hand
is the speaking skull, and it speaks and speaks,
the skull, the one with braids,
the skull, the skull of life!

Hush your voices, I tell you;
hush your voices, the song of the syllables, the lament
of matter and the minor murmur of the pyramids, and even
of the temples that walk with two stones!
Hush your breath; and if
her forearm falls,
if the rulers slap, if it is night,
if the sky fits in two earthly limbos,
if there is noise in the sound of the doors,
if I am late,
if you don't see anyone, if the pencils without points
frighten you, if mother
Spain falls -- listen, it's a saying --
leave, children of the world; go seek her! ...


<== Back to Part 1 |  Onward to Part 3 ==>


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