Death anniversary of Manuel Leiras Pulpeiro

It has been 109 years since Manuel Leiras Pulpeiro (Mondoñedo October 25, 1854, November 9, 1912), a writer belonging to the Rexurdimento (Resurgence), has died.

He collected a huge amount of proverbs, riddles, songs and other herbs of popular culture, which among other things had to provide the structure of the only book he published while alive: “Cantares gallegos” (Galician Songs).

Con me casar como quixen,
E tel-o ceio n-a casa,
N’hay noite que non me acorde
D’as noites de muiñada.

Still getting married as I wanted,
And have heaven in the house,
There is no night that I do not remember
Of grinding nights.

“Cantares gallegos” is composed of short poems, in stanzas of four verses, in a popular and traditional way, which collects songs of strong patriotic content, anticlerical satire and in which he sings to Mondoñedo and his region, where he worked as a doctor.

“Pena da roca” (Rock of the rock) is a song that I composed by putting together some loose stanzas from the book “Cantares gallegos”, published in 1911. I tried to give these free verses a continuity to turn them into an expressive unit, and it shouldn’t have come out badly because it is one of the favorite songs for many people among those who make up my album “Popsía Vol. I”.

  1. PENA DA ROCA Fran Amil 3:38

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Dan cen voltas as formigas
para dar co mel na colmea;
pero dou máis eu buscando
o da boquiña das nenas.

¡Ai, quen me dera no souto
que hai xunto da miña casa!
¡Ai, quen me dera coas nenas
con quenes hai pouco brincaba!

Tal a miña pena era,
e tanto e tanto chorei
que a mesma pena da roca
co pranto meu abrandei.

Quedéime como o ramallo
que deixan soio na fraga;
non teño quen me agarime
do sol do vento e da iauga.

The ants go around a hundred
to find honey in the hive;
but I give more I looking for
the one with the little girl’s mouth.

Oh, who would give me in the grove
that is near my house!
Oh, who would give me the girls
with whom he recently played!

Such was my sadness,
and so much and so much I cried
that the same sadness of the rock
with my tears I softened.

I stayed like the branch
left alone in the forest;
I have no one to protect me
from the sun from the wind and from the water.

For the occasion, I went to Mondoñedo on Sunday October 17 of this year 2021, to the slab of Leiras Pulpeiro in the civil cemetery, to the act of tribute on the occasion of the Centennial of the inauguration of the mausoleum to Leiras Pulpeiro, promoted by the Society « Mondoñedo y distritos » of Buenos Aires. There the literary group “Leiras Pulpeiro” invited me to sing “Pena da roca”. The presentation of the act was given by Antonio Reigosa, official chronicler of Mondoñedo and author of an important narrative work for children and young people, in addition to numerous popular mythology essays.

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

José Luís Fernández Ansede, member of the literary group “Leiras Pulpeiro” and a true cultural promoter of Mondoñedo, guided us throughout our tour of the town and told us countless anecdotes about Leiras Pulpeiro, Álvaro Cunqueiro and other prominent cultural figures Mindonian. Thank you very much, José Luís, for your warm welcome.

Fran Amil and José Luís Fernández Ansedes,

from the literary group “Leiras Pulpeiro”