This article was translated by John R. Bopp

We’ve said it so many times: one of the things that we most enjoy about writing this blog is that we get to learn and discover so many things.

Today is one of those days that we understand how much more we still have to learn.  On the radio show “Mamá Rock”, out of Córdoba-based Argentine National Radio, a recent program was dedicated to José Luis Mezo Ugarte, better known as Mezo Bigarrena.  Born in Algorta, outside Bilbao, on July 22, 1951, he ended up in Argentina after a short and intense life that represents those times very well.

After touring half of Europe, and sharing his life and adventures in London with the likes of Sid Vicious and Joaquín Sabina, he headed to South America to live in Venezuela and Brazil, where he befriended musicians MPB like Chico Buarque o Milton Nascimento.

And then, for love, he went to Argentina, where he developed an influential and interesting career as a composer and musician, which is the main reason why this time was dedicated to him on “Mamá Rock”.

We didn’t know about him, and after listening these past few hours, we’ve heard some of his compositions and we loved them.  His two albums, Viaje de Vida / Bizitzaren Bidaia (Journey to Life) and Avión (Airplane) seemed really interesting.  One interesting detail: his first album starts with Galician music and lyrics, and Basque then starts showing up in his songs.

It’s definitely worth it to have a listen to the work of this sensible and committed Basque adventurer and poet, and to get to know this heretofore unknown (at least to us) who deserves to be known.

By the way, listening to his song “Himno de regreso a Jauja” (Hymn on the Return to Jauja) helps us to understand how, for us subjects of the Kingdom of Spain, things don’t change much (lyrics below).

Thanks to the “Mamá Rock” team for this program, which has helped us get to know a fellow Basque.

Radio Nacional – 22/7/2017 – Argentina

Mezo Bigarrena, vasco, argentino y del mundo

Recordamos a Mezo Bigarrena, vasco de nacimiento, porteño por adopción y trotamundos de alma. Nacido un 22 de julio, aseguraba haber convivido en Londres con Sid Vicious y haber conocido allí a Joaquín Sabina, con quién se peleó y nunca pudo reconciliarse, pero quien en Enemigos Íntimos le dedicóFlores en su entierro. Ésta última, En este barrio por Juan Carlos Baglietto y La rosa fantasma por el mismo Mezo, escuchamos para recordarlo, a 66 años de su nacimiento y 24 de su muerte.
 (Continue) (Automatic Translation)

Viaje de vida – Bizitzaren Bidaia
Avión

HIMNO DE REGRESO A JAUJA
 HIMNO DE REGRESO A JAUJA
HYMN ON RETURNING TO JAUJA
 Mezo Bigarrena
La patria con su cabeza apuñalada,
sus piernas chuecas embarradas.
Te vuelve a abrir su corazón, con temor
Banderas con los colores de la fiesta,
te invitan a dormir la siesta.
Para que olvides el olor del terror
Los campos aún continúan alambrados,
y los ladrones perfumados,
tranquilos te hablan de la paz y el amor.
Hermano, están haciendo las maletas,
para olvidarse de esas jetas.
Que nunca cambiarán de verso, ni de flor.
Parece que hay que empezar dónde quedamos,
para barrer a esos amos.
Que no reparten el botín ni el pan.
El hambre hará que seas una fiera,
para que tu pueblo no muera,
en los caminos del exilio sin final.
La patria con su cabeza apuñalada,
sus piernas chuecas embarradas,
te vuelve a abrir su corazón con temor.
Banderas con los colores de la fiesta,
te invitan a dormir la siesta.
Para que olvides el olor del horror.
La paz ha sido decretada, se prohíbe el rencor.
Quien quede vivo que le rece al redentor,
se han sepultado años de luto de abuso y de horror,
hay que vivir en armonía con el traidor.
Y en la radio se escucha
una música en inglés
que nadie entiende, but it sounds so nice
para que digas: ¡oh yes!
Hay que olvidar la mala leche
pues la cosa es como es.
No te preocupes si el mundo está al revés.
La cosa es ir sobreviviendo
no te importe el stress.
Aunque andes como un juguete japonés.
Verás que Dios castiga allá
al que aquí tenga el perdón
ocúpate de tus asuntos
and just be happy, please, come on.
La paz ha sido decretada, se prohíbe el rencor.
Quien quede vivo que le rece al redentor,
se han sepultado años de luto de abuso y de horror,
hay que vivir en armonía con el traidor.
Y en la radio se escucha
una música en inglés
que nadie entiende, but it sounds so nice
para que digas: ¡oh yes!
Mezo Bigarrena
The fatherland, with its head stabbed,
Its crooked legs covered in mud,
Opens its heart to you again, fearful
Flags with party colors
Invite you to take a nap
So that you’ll forget the smell of terror
The fields are still fenced in with wire
And the thieves wear perfume
Calm, they talk to you about peace and love
Brother, they’re packing their bags
In order to forget about those rogues
Who will never change their verse, or flower
It seems we have to start from where we are
To sweep away those masters
Who don’t share the booty or bread
Hunger will turn you into a demon
So that your people won’t die
On the endless roads to exile
The fatherland, with its head stabbed,
Its crooked legs covered in mud,
Opens its heart to you again, fearful
Flags with the party colors
Invite you to take a nap
So that you’ll forget the smell of horror
Peace has been decreed, grudges are prohibited
Those left alive should pray to the redeemer
Years of pain and abuse and horror have been buried
We must live in harmony with the traitor
And on the radio,
we hear music in English
That no one understands, but it “sounds so nice”
So that you’ll say, “Oh, yes!”
You have to forget the bad blood
That’s just the way it is
Don’t worry if the world is upside-down
You just have to survive
Don’t worry about stress
Even if you walk like a Japanese toy
You’ll see that, out there, God punished
Those he forgives here
Mind your own business
“And just be happy, please, come on”
Peace has been decreed, grudges are prohibited
Those left alive should pray to the redeemer
Years of pain and abuse and horror have been buried
We must live in harmony with the traitor
And on the radio,
we hear music in English
That no one understands, but it “sounds so nice”
So that you’ll say, “Oh, yes!”

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