Luar Na Lubre - Chove En Santiago (con Ismael Serrano)

When people think of Spanish music they commonly think of flamenco guitars and castanets, a cultural cartoon cliche.  There’s a lot more to it than that, especially now, but it’s a fair bet that most would not think of this; of Celta.  The perceived image is of dust and heat, matching the arid inland plateau.  Galicia punches out into the north Atlantic, the only part of mainland Spain with both a north and western seaboard as it sits north of Portugal, to which it is closer culturally. It is green and windswept and rainy and maintains its own language, Galego, distinct from both Castilian and Portuguese though with elements of both.

Federico García Lorca, the Troubador of the South, is perhaps Spain’s most widely recognised poet. This, a particular favourite song by LNL, is their interpretation of Madrigal á Cibdá De Santiago (Madrigal for the City of Santiago). Though the treatment chooses the first line as the title, It Rains on Santiago (or is it ‘It’s raining in Santiago’? I wouldn’t know so I’ll go with Tony Kline’s contextual translation). What’s notable about this is that he wrote the poem, and several more, in Galego. A bit of a turn up for an Andalucian Castilian-speaker.  A year after he wrote the Seis Poemas Galego he and their publisher were murdered the same day by Franco’s Castilian-speaking Fascists.

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