Birth anniversary of Rosalía de Castro

On February 23, 1837, a girl who would change the history of Galician literature like no other figure singular was born in the Casa de la Parra del Camino Nuevo (today Plaza de Vigo), in Cornes, place of Conxo (Santiago de Compostela): Rosalía de Castro, baptized as María Rosalía Rita on the 24th (day and reason why until this same year of 2022 it was always celebrated as the birth of the poet).

An event typical of a soap opera plot, only the first of many that would fill the biography of an unfathomable figure in every way. Rosalía would also have to be the first in many aspects: a writer in Galician, a feminist champion in her creativity, an unusual European culture in a world as closed as the Galician one, first journalistic incursions with Murguía… A jewel that in recent times is being studied and recognized from a more complete perspective.

To celebrate this event on a day like today, we went to Padrón, to the Casa Museo de Rosalía, in what is known as Casa de la Matanza, home of Rosalía and her family with Manuel Murguía in the last years of the life of the poet, to speak with its president Anxo Angueira about this change of day in the celebration of the birth of Rosalía de Castro, the result of the investigation carried out by Sagrario Abelleira.

Unha vez tiven un cravo,I once had a nail,
cravado no corazón,stuck in the heart,
i eu non me acordo xa si era aquel cravoand I no longer remember if it was that nail
de ouro, de ferro ou de, iron or love.
Sóio sei que me fixo un mal tan fondo,I only know that he did me such a deep wrong,
que tanto me atormentóu,that tormented me so much,
que eu día e noite sin cesar chorabathat I cried day and night without ceasing
cal choróu Madanela na Pasión.which Magdalena wept in the Passion.
«Señor, que todo o podedes“Lord, you can do everything
-pedínlle unha vez a Dios-,-I asked God once-,
daime valor para arrincar dun golpegive me courage to start with a blow
cravo de tal condición”.nail of such condition”.
E doumo Dios, e arrinquéino;And God gave it to me, and I pulled it out;
mais… ¿quén pensara…? Despóisbut… who would think…? After
xa non sentín máis tormentosI no longer felt torment
nin soupen qué era delor;I didn’t even know what pain was;
soupen só que non sei qué me faltabaI knew I just don’t know what I was missing
para en donde o cravo faltóu,where the nail was missing,
e seica, seica tiven soidadesand apparently, apparently I had loneliness
daquela pena… ¡Bon Dios!of that sorrow… Good God!
Este barro mortal que envolve o espritoThis deadly mud that envelops the spirit
¡quén o entenderá, Señor…!Who will understand, Lord…!

The song “Negra Sombra” is sufficiently known through the musical composition of Juan Montes (Lugo, April 13, 1840 – June 24, 1899), with hundreds of recordings, some of which had an immense impact on the public, even outside Galicia. When Carlos and I decided to include the poem by Rosalía de Castro in our album “Popsia Vol. I”, we were clear that we did not want to do another version with Montes’s music, so we made the decision to open a new path starting from a composition of his own, and immediately we both coincide in a touch of blackness in the rhythm, appropriate to a metaphysical letter. In the disco wave, we look for a way to fuse a funky rhythm with the tradition of Galician music. We hope that listening to the song will be to your liking. We also have extraordinary musicians: Paco Cerdeira on guitar, Ruchi de Baio on electric bass, Gueorgui Oganesian on tenor sax, María Quiroga on trumpet, Mandela on trombone, Marta Oro Amón on violin, Miguel Vázquez on bagpipes, and an unbeatable trio in female voices: Ángeles Dorrio, Carmen Rey and Sara Vázquez.

  1. NEGRA SOMBRA Fran Amil 3:26


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Cando penso que te fuches,When I think you’re gone
negra sombra que me asombras;black shadow that amazes me;
(negra, negra, negra sombra;(black, black, shadow black;
negra, negra, negra sombra)black, black, black shadow)
aos pés dos meus cabezalesat the foot of my heads
tornas facéndome turn making fun of me
(negra, negra, negra sombra;(black, black, shadow black;
negra sombra que me asombras)black shadow that amazes me)
Cando maxino que es ida,When I imagine you’re gone
no mesmo sol te me amosas:in the same sun you show me.
i es a estrela que brilaAnd you are the star that shines
i eres o vento que zoa.and you are the wind that resounds.
(negra, negra, negra sombra;(black, black, shadow black;
negra, negra, negra sombra)black, black, shadow black)
(negra, negra, negra sombra;(black, black, shadow black;
negra sombra que me asombras)black shadow that amazes me)
Negra, negra, negra sombra;Black, black, shadow black;
Negra, negra, negra sombra;Black, black, shadow black;
Se cantan es ti que cantas,If they sing, it’s you who sings,
se choran es ti que choras,if they cry, it’s you who cries,
i es o marmurio do río,and you are the murmur of the river,
i es a noite i es aurora.and you are the night and you are dawn.
En todo estás i ti es todo,You are in everything and you are everything,
pra min i en mi mesma moras,for me and in myself you dwell,
nin me deixarás ti nuncayou will never leave me
sombra que sempre me asombras.shadow that always amazes me.
Negra sombra, negra sombra.Black shadow, black shadow.
Negra sombra, negra sombra.Black shadow, black shadow.
Negra sombra, negra sombra.Black shadow, black shadow.
Negra sombra que me asombra.Black shadow that amazes me.

Here I leave you the acoustic version recorded in front of the Casa de la Matanza. I have for me that something of the Rosaliano spirit could stick to me in such a unique place.

To listen to it, click on the title above the photo.

We took these photos in Bertamiráns, in the town hall of Ames (A Coruña). Look what a fabulous mural entitled “As Rosalías”, made by the artist Yoseba Muruzábal in the Casa da Cultura de Milladoiro.

Here we can find an interesting study by Lois Rodríguez on the iconic image of Rosalía: “O deseño de Portela que mudou a imaxe de Galicia”. An image that can be found today on t-shirts, notebooks, record covers, glasses, plates, stamps, murals, statues (such as the Ferradura statue in Santiago) and all kinds of designs and drawings, even adorning the image of old 500-peseta bills that passed from hand to hand throughout Spain, or guides the tail of a plane of the Norwegian company Norwegian.

If you follow this link you will arrive at a very interesting study on “Unpublished poetic texts by Rosalía de Castro“, signed by Henrique Monteagudo and Chus Lama.

Don’t forget to pay a visit to the Casa Museo de Rosalía de Castro in Padrón, but as long as you don’t do it in person, you can get closer virtually. A must see.

If you want to see more anniversaries related to the lyrical authors of the album “Popsia Vol. I” click HERE.