(Translation: Stephen Moran)
LEARN HOW TO LOSE
A cyclist peddles up the mountainside / a domestique all on his own / his mouth dry, his back bent double. / I look at him, he looks back at me. / I wanted his water bottle / but it is his sweat I get. // How do you learn to lose, / to lose straight from the start, / to be last?
The finish line is still far off, the cyclist has long lost heart, / his ears are deaf, his pulse is racing. / I look at him, he looks back at me. / I was looking for a gift / but it is his wheezing spittle I get. // How do you learn to lose (…)? / I look at him, he looks back at me. / He flings me his bottle, to the side of the road. // How do you learn to lose (…)?
IRUÑA MOTOR CITY
50 years ago / they opened a lot of factories here in the city, / and one of them was Authi-Morris in Landaben, / and that’s when / Iruñea became automobile / Iruñea Motor City. // Then came the petrol crisis, / and Seat snapped up Authi-Morris, / then it was Volkswagen, / and that’s what it is today, / Iruñea became automobile / Iruñea Motor City. // All the cars they’ve made are small and compact, / the Mini, 124 and Polo. / Hey! Don’t we deserve a big fancy motor? // With the delocalization/ of the current car industry, / which has pushed Detroit to decadence, / in the future will we cease to be Iruñea automobile, / Iruñea Motor City?
Childhood days / memorable days / some brilliant / some overcast. // Our grandparents’ smiles / getting angry with friends / the smell of ripe fruit… still alive in the soul. // Memory is not the same as nostalgia. / Will we drown in the waters of the past? // Childhood days / memorable days / some brilliant / some overcast. // Long hours at school, / even longer at church, / those spent in play outside seemed much shorter, / the best.// The first love, / hidden in silence, / quickly forgotten, / no time for jealousy. // Memory is not the same as nostalgia… // Childhood days / memorable days / some brilliant / some overcast. // Our grandparents’ smiles / getting angry with friends / the smell of ripe fruit… still alive in the soul. //
ON THE SWING
I live on path to the graveyard, / in the new neighbourhood for the bipolar, / blown about by all the winds. / Strangers cut / the lilies and roses / that grow along the path. / I hide in a corner, / while the hours away, / hanging from a branch.// Up and down on the swing, / and down and up, / back and forth on the swing, / forth and back. // In the gravediggers’ pub, / on the outskirts of town, / I can hear the best sounds. / I sing, whistle and dance my way / to my hidden corner, / you wanna come with me? / We´ll be together / for all the hours and days we want, / hanging from a branch, // Up and down on the swing (…)
THE THREE BROTHERS
You don´t know me. // You don´t know me, I´m not your friend, / you´ve got it wrong, I´m not the one you´re talking about. // The one who works and works, / the one who goes to church on Sundays, / the one who always wins at cards, / that´s not me, that´s my big brother. // You don´t know me (…) // The party-animal, / the ladies’man, / the one who has tried all the drugs / that´s not me, that´s my little brother. // The one who lives happily in the clouds, / the one who knows how to keep up appearances, / the one who´s never got anything to say / that´s not me, that´s my twin brother. // You don´t know me.
THE WORDS OF NEZAHUALCOYOTL
I Netzahualcóyotl ask: / Do we really live rooted to this Earth? Not on Earth forever: / only here a short time. / Even if it is of jade, it cracks, / though gold it may be, it breaks, / although it is Quetzal plumage, it becomes shredded. / Not on Earth forever: / only here a short time.//
I am drunk and upset, I weep, / I think, I say, / I find it inside myself: / If I were never to die, / never to disappear. / There, where death does not exist, / where death conquers, / There I would go… /If I were never to die, / never to disappear.//
My blossoms shall not die / nor my songs cease. / I, singer, raise them high, / they spread and scatter. / Even when the flowers blanch and wither, / thither they shall be carried, / into the house, / of the bird with the golden feathers.
Two stars have appeared in the sky / following the passing of two musician friends, / while they may appear dull in the sky, / they glint and flash in our hearts. // One loved Mexican cantinas, / the other, the flashing darkness of neon. // Both had music in their veins / and they lived life to its full. // Marco Antonio didn´t have the greatest voice in the world / but he had exceptional wit. / Though I didn´t understand Josetxo`s lyrics in English / there was a great tension in his words. // I don`t know if they`ll ever meet, / now they are both in the heaven of humble myths. // Two stars have appeared in the sky, / they glint and flash in our hearts.
US AND ME
We´ve been together since we were kids, / school, friends and San Fermin. / Great in winter and summer too, / whatever we thought of we´d just do. / We didn’t need a lot: / a few beers, el Sadar (Football stadium) and whatever came along, / they were eleven, we were ten, / but all together we were strong. // You shout: Long live me and you! / but tell me , my friend, / what about the others?// We ain´t young and we ain`t old, / many years have already passed, / With the help of the gods, / I think we`ll still last. / I´m not as sure as I used to, / fears starting to creep in, / so many lies I´ve swallowed, / the future leaves me dumbfounded. // You shout…
ON THE SEASHORE
I´d like to be on the seashore, in the salty sea breeze, / my heart beating in time with the waves. / I´d like to spend hours on the tidal flats, / lost all day in the distant horizon. // At high tide I sit on the cliff-top, / when it`s low, I wander along the beach. // I`d like to live on the seashore, build a house there, / so I could watch and hear the rolling waves. // Walk soaked to the skin at equinox / and sleep under the stars of the summer solstice. // I´d like to be on the seashore, in the kingdom of bikinis, / songs by Los Uskis in my ears, a mojito in my hands. // Though I`m from inland, I dream of sailboats, / and though I´m no sailor, I’d surely set sail.
I´VE SCREWED UP
You´re in a fix and / I wanted to help you out. / Not knowing what to do / my good intentions are soon shot. // I´ve screwed up, I`ve screwed up. // If someone is going through a bad time, you gotta be close and lend a hand. / I`ve been far from you / and my concern is now of little help. // I´ve screwed up, I`ve screwed up. // If you end up tossed out on the street, all down and out / I’m not to blame. / Maybe that´s when you could use my hand, but until then // I´ve screwed up, I`ve screwed up.
Tonight I don´t know what I´m feeling inside, / in my body, in my mind… don´t know what it is. / It´s like a light went out, / and I´m lost in the darkness of night, how long? / How long will I be lost in this dark night? // So, I sit back and rest, trying to calm myself down, / but five minutes later I´m fretting again, / just when I was riding high, been shot down, / Will I be able to get myself back together? // My voice is lost, no strength in my muscles, / I need some air, my heart crestfallen… / I´d love to sing, But it is just impossible. // I don´t know what I´m gonna do tonight, / if I don´t get some help from my friends. / My voice is one with all of yours, / together, side by side, we´ll sing. / We´ll sing together, side by side: / sha-la-la-la-la-la-la, sha-la-la-la-la-la-la.
DANCING TIME IS ALMOST OVER
Cause I never learnt the arin-arin (local Basque dance) , the mambo or the twist / I stayed far away from the dancefloor / when I was a kid. // At the local dance / I´d halfheartedly try, / but I couldn´t hold the rhythm / the way I could hold a glass. // Dancing time is almost over // Cause they were easier, / every now and again / I´d try my hand at Rock `n´ Roll,, a waltz or ska / but I almost end up falling over. // The dancing bug has come and bitten me: / gonna learn to dance. / My waist and legs are pumping to go, / but I still feel as silly as ever. // Dancing time is almost over.
IN THE SNOW
In the snow, / when time goes slowly, / and footsteps, / may be coming or going. / Gusts of wind, whistling, / snowflakes swirling to drifts. // Under the snow, / when everything is hidden, / and dreams / drift off to sleep in that great white blanket. / Violent, stormy wind, snowflakes swirling to drifts. // In the snow, / when ice freezes the world, / and on branches, / perch silent birds. // In the cold wind, silence, snowflakes swirling to drifts.
A BIG, BIG FAN
We have a friend, a fanatical fan; / wherever the group goes, he´s always there. / Because of him, we know how good we are / and how much the world would lose if we weren´t here. // He´s always there for us, our fanatical fan. / We don´t need anything, no manager, record, network, no nothing at all. / He´s our voice, friend and travelling companion. // Fan, fan, fan, a fanatical fan. / We´ve only got one, that´s enough for us. // We´ll eventually switch off, not our fanatical fan. / As long as he can breathe, / he´ll never give up, even from his grave / he´ll be heard to proclaim / Balerdi´s fame. // Fan, fan, fan, a fanatical fan. / We´ve only got one, that´s enough for us. // Enough, enough…