EITB, the Basque communications group, organizes a marathon every year dedicated to raising funds for a given disease.  Last year, they raised almost €1.2 million for the fight against childhood cancer.

To help share this event, and to get as much of society involved as possible, events are held to spread the word.  In 2019, they asked everyone to record and send them one of the most popular Basque songs of the last few decades, “Lau Teilatu” by Itoiz.  With the over 1,500 clips sent in, a choral music video was created that overcame generations and borders.

Lau Teilatu – EITB Maratoia 2019

So why are we bringing this up?

Because this year, the funds raised at this event, to be held on December 17, will be dedicated to Covid-19 research.  The common goal of this year has a lot to do with what is especially demanded of us during this pandemic.

Bertsos are an important part of our nation’s cultural heritage.  They are an element that unites us and helps us feel like we belong to the community.  So, this year, they’re asking us to create a chain of bertsos to help raise awareness.

This bertso chain needed a starting point, so for the starting bertso, six bertsolaris got togther: Maddalen Arzallus, Sebastian Lizaso, Oihana Iguaran, Xabier Euzkitze, Onintza Enbeita, and Aitor Mendiluze.  Each of them was given a feeling that their song had to explore, a feeling closely related to what we’ve been living through recently.  Based on that reflection, the video we’re including today was created, and moreover, the melody chosen carries with it a strong, positive power: “No Woman, No Cry” by Bob Marley.

So now, shortly, this chain will be set off, and all of us can participate.

So again, why are we tell you all this?  Because in the song that starts the chain off, the recording by the bertsolaris, give the keys to guide us in getting through these rough times.  In short: being together, and solidarity.  In essence, continuing to do what our elders have been doing for centuries: auzolana, that formula of cooperation and commitment that brought neighbors together to face challenges as a single community.

Quite the opposite to what that small but annoying and disconcerting group of brain dead people who have started going out on to the streets of the Basque Country, and the world, to try to make us believe that their lack of solidarity is the ruler freedom is measured with.  Actually, all it measures is their stupidity.

A translation of the lyrics into English:

When the pandemia started,
Everything was doubts, pain, questions, panic.
Perhaps this will make our walking blind change.

Let’s look beyond our current pain,
Because at the end of this long, dark tunnel,
There is a ray of light.

Don’t cry, we’re together.
Don’t cry, we’re together.

Friendship and solidarity
Will carry us forward.
We might be lost, but we will always be together.

We’ll beat this with our courage.
We were one and we are one.
This tight spot will make the embrace more real.

Don’t cry, we’re together.
Don’t cry, we’re together.