Xalbadorren heriotzean 1 is a song and poem by Xabier Lete from the album Lore bat, zauri bat (A flower, an injury), which translates from Basque means “In the death of Xalbador “. It is also known in everyday language as ” Urepeleko artzaina 2 in Basque or ”  the shepherd of Urepel ” in French.

It was written in tribute to the missing poet Xalbador. This is one of the most famous songs with Txoria txori throughout the Basque Country .

Written in 1978, two years after the death of the bertsolari in Urepel on 7 November 1976 3 , this song has been performed by a large number of artists such as the poet Erramun Martikorena, the group Arrantzaleak, Magali Zubillaga, Benito Lertxundi, Anne Etchegoyen among others.

Xalbadorren heriotzean

Adiskide bat bazen orotan bihotz bera,
Poesiaren hegoek
Sentimentuzko bertsoek antzaldatzen zutena.

Plazetako kantari bakardadez josia,
Hitzen lihoa iruten
Bere barnean irauten oiñazez ikasia, ikasia.

Nun hago, zer larretan
Urepeleko artzaina,
Mendi hegaletan gora
Oroitzapen den gerora
Ihesetan joan hintzana. (a)

Hesia urraturik libratu huen kanta
Lotura guztietatik
Gorputzaren mugetatik aske senditu nahirik.

Azken hatsa huela bertsorik sakonena.
Iñoiz esan ezin diren
Estalitako egien oihurik bortitzena, bortitzena.

Nun hago …

At the death of Xalbador

There was a friend, a deep and sensitive being
transfigured by the wings of poetry,
by the worms arisen from a deep inner feeling.

A singer who roamed the squares, a lonely one
who had learned in pain to weave the words modestly,
from the incorruptible truth of his inner being.

Where are you, in what pasture,
shepherd of Urepel ?
you who fled
to the flanks of the mountain,
to the aftermath that remains in the memory. (encore)

You released the song by tearing down the barriers
searching with ardor
freedom beyond the bounds and limits of the body.

transforming your last sigh into the deepest verse,
into a violent cry
of unfathomable truths that can never be expressed.

Where are you…

Xabier Lete in concert. (1971)


Notes and references

  1. ↑ Veint años de canción in España, 1963-1983: Of the esperanza. Apéndices , Fernando González Lucini, Grupo Cultural Zero, 1984
  2. ↑ Urepelego artzaina in the local dialect.
  3. ↑ the conditions of his disappearance make Xalbador a legend. Indeed, the day of his death, all his friends were gathered to celebrate the public presentation of a collection of texts, and it is the evening of that day that the sensitive man died of a heart attack.