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Look at the World

A way to look at the world,
a way to sing with old friends,
to take the sun on the wall,
a way to know how to wait.
A way to touch the beech trees,
to read the surface of skins,
a way to smell the south wind,
a way to weep in the car.
Not the best way maybe,
not the loveliest way maybe,
too old, too small, maybe.
A way to meet someone’s eyes,
a way to ask the questions,
a way to take someone’s hand,
a way to have a dream.
Not the best way maybe,
not the loveliest way maybe,
too old, too small, maybe,
maybe.

Lyrics by: Kirmen Uribe
Music by: Mikel Urdangarin


Three Verses of Love

My name is Kirmen Uribe,
a.k.a. Let’s Celebrate.
Ask this guy by my side
who gave me the name.
I love it in my circle of friends.
I can’t deny it.
I often go out by moonlight
and go to bed by day.
We’ve agreed to meet for a few rounds.
Rafa and Bingen are coming.
Mikel looks like the count of something,
standing upright, upstanding.
He’s gone and lost his bearings,
last night in Bilbao, today in Vitoria.
And no one on earth has a clue
where these poor schmoes have come from!

The world isn’t looking good
in the new-made century.
Every time, the powerful seizes
power over the weak one.
Good thing there's also, in the one
and the other, any joy at all.
Come out soon, I’m waiting,
the apples in this oven.


Lyrics by: Kirmen Uribe
Music by: Mikel Urdangarin


One Friend (Children Song)

There’s a friend I hate.
Whenever I want to climb a tree
“No, no, no, better not”, he says,
“you’ll slip and fall to the ground”.
There’s a friend I hate.
Whenever I want to play ball
“No, no, no, better not”, he says,
“they’ll get a goal in right under your butt”.
There’s a friend I hate.
As I go over to the girl I like
“No, no, no, better not”, he says,
“she won’t want to be with you”.
There’s a friend I hate.
When I want to kiss my little brother
“No, no, no, better not”, he says,
“he’ll wake right up if you do”.
There's a friend I hate.
The name of this friend is Shame.
"No, no, no, no way," I tell him nightly,
"come tomorrow, I will ignore you."

Lyrics by: Kirmen Uribe
Music by: Mikel Urdangarin


Fragile

It’s fall in this corner of the landscape.
You’re dressed in green, tempting.
And I, on the other hand, again this fragile.
And you, on the other hand, as passionate as that.
Yes, perhaps I’d place my hand on your back,
drop it to your waist, to dance.
Lie down in this nest, sleep and
at twilight awaken.
It’s a desert on this street.
You’re dressed in mist, fruitful.
And I, on the other hand, again this fragile.
And you, on the other hand, as passionate as that.
Yes, perhaps I’d place my hand on your back,
drop it to your waist, to dance.
Lie down in this nest, sleep and
at twilight awaken.
And, if longing put me inside you,
rest on your shoulder, lower.
Sheathe your belly, sleep and
forgetting awaken.

Mikel Urdangarin


The Cuckoo
To Aitzol

He heard the first cuckoo at the beginning of April.
Because he’d been feeling on edge, maybe,
from his inclination to order the chaos, maybe,
he wanted to know which notes the cuckoo sang.
He sat waiting with his pitch pipe
next afternoon: when
would the cuckoo sing?
He finally achieved it:
The pitch pipe told no lies.
Si-sol were the cuckoo’s notes.
The discovery shook the countryside.
Everyone wanted to prove whether truly those
were the notes that the cuckoo sang.
The measurements were not in harmony.
Each had his or her own truth.
One said it was fa-re, another mi-do.
No one managed to agree.
Meanwhile the cuckoo went on singing in the forest,
not mi-do, not fa-re, not si-sol, either.
As it had a thousand years before,
the cuckoo sang cuccu, cuccu.

Lyrics by: Kirmen Uribe
Music by: Rafa Rueda


On The High Rocks

On the high rocks, in mists,
and barefoot, with child.
She speaks to the one
who is coming:
You will see a country
wounded and weeping.
You alone, you alone
will have to heal it.
On the day of the damned
they killed your father.
You’ll want no bonfire
next Midsummer’s Eve.
May the sun warm my hands.
They are too keen.
The voice of the rocks and tree branches
in the forests of the Pyrenees.

Mikel Urdangarin

Three Weeks Gone

Los pájaros dibujaban en mis ojos pequeñas jaulas. Alejandra Pizarnik

Three weeks gone,
back from the sea.
Into a bearhug
playing with me.
On shore the men,
in the water shadows.
Again you’ve appeared
in my dreams.
Hatred is easy,
love is hard.
What was within you
was not all clear.
A grief I have
is sickening me:
Beyond what I told you:
what I didn’t declare.
Once you created me
in my own time.
Lay down with Mother
when the hour was right.
Don’t worry for me,
I’m on my way.
Father, you come
whenever you please.


Lyrics by: Kirmen Uribe
Music by: Mikel Urdangarin


I Love You, No

Even though he worked in the steel mills
in those times, through and through
he remained a farmer.
In October, he’d roast the red peppers
on the farmhouse balcony
with the acetylene torch.
His sounding voice
silenced everyone.
His daughter stood up to him.
He never said I love you.
Tobacco and steel dust
plowed through his vocal cords.
A field poppy less two leaves.
His daughter has married into another city.
The retiree brings a gift.
Not rubies, not red silk, either.
Over the years he lifted the parts from the mill.
With the acetylene torch
inch by inch he made her a bed out of the steel.
He never said I love you.


Lyrics by: Kirmen Uribe
Music by: Bingen Mendizabal


Things That Are Perfect
Though a favor to the feet, to the shoes
the sandals are bare skeletons.
The olive tree can live two thousand years
but tends to remember nothing.
Things that are perfect sow terror in me.
I don’t like them.
My handwriting is skewed, my gait more so,
doing my best.

Lyrics by: Kirmen Uribe
Music by: Rafa Rueda


Notes on a Loose Piece of Paper

Remember to call home before too long.
To see the long reeds when they’re in motion.
Not to punish myself as much as that again.
To miss the last train and wait for the next.
To wash off your injured hands in the creek.
Learn there is no happiness without sadness.
Feel the glass caress of morning in the kiss.
Accept what the Devil offers once in a while.
Perhaps everything can in fact change.
Perhaps there’s any road at all somewhere.
Remember to tell what blocks you at every turn.
Not speak while watching the cormorants.
Hold out a hand to the doubts and fears.
Drive along alone without orientation.


Lyrics by: Kirmen Uribe
Music by: Mikel Urdangarin


The Gold Ring

Father lost his wedding ring in the ocean once. Like all the sailors, he’d take it from his finger to put on a neck chain, not to lose the finger as the net went out.
After several tides, our aunt, while cleaning some hake, found a gold ring in the belly of one fish.
Once she’d washed it, she examined the letters and numbers engraved inside. Though it couldn’t be true, the date and initials were those of our parents’ wedding.
By all appearances, Father himself had caught the hake that had swallowed the ring.
That’s how we learned it.
Peaceable summer nights bring the inland wind, and the memories. I look at the sky, and it dawns that coincidences are the planets with the amplest orbits.
Only every so often have they come round.
The ring’s is far too great a coincidence. It would’ve been lost and found in the same stone sink. But it doesn’t matter. What’s most important now is this: for years and years, the story of the ring was entirely believable to our child-size children’s intelligence.
Nights, the ocean has the shimmer of hake.
The stars go leaping around like the scales.

Lyrics by: Kirmen Uribe
Music by: Mikel Urdangarin


In The Palace of Tardets

 

 

In the Palace of Tardets

two golden lemons,

the King of Hungary

asked for one.

They hadn’t yet ripened

was his answer,

when they were ripe

he could have one.

The city of Tardets

city on a plain,

has a river

at one end,

the King’s highway

through its center,

Mary Magdalen’s hermitage

on its farther side.

Father, you’ve sold me

as a heifer is sold.

If my mother still lived,

Father, like you,

I would not be bound

for Hungary,

but would have wed

Sala of Tardets.

Sister, pray go

to the front door,

The Hungarian King

is already come.

Pray you, tell him

I had been ill,

these past seven years

I’ve been abed.

Sister, go now

to the parlor window,

to see if the wind

is north or south.

If from the north,

my greetings to Salas,

may he come soon

to claim my corpse.

The bells of Tardets

ring all alone.

The youths of the place

are dressed in black.

Lady Saint Clare

is leaving there.

The horse that she rides

is saddled in gold.

 

 

Traditional

 

 

Native to the Continental part of the Basque Country, this early ballad is among the most documented. It is first mentioned in 1753, in Poésies Populaires de la France, and many versions were collected in the nineteenth century. This one was transcribed by Sallaberry in 1870.

 

 

Return It

 

And on the day that the south wind takes me off

return my body to the town I was born in,

bury it in the grave of my seaside friends,

surrounded by people of good will, willing,

with the fisherman,

with the drugger,

with the writer.

 

Lyrics by:

Kirmen Uribe

Music by:

Bingen Mendizabal

 

 

Don’t Make It a Choice

 

 

Don’t make me choose

Between the Sea and Dry and.

I enjoy living on the edge of the seacliff,

On this black ribbon the wind waves,

On this long hair fallen from an errant giant.

Of the Sea I love especially its heart,

as idiotic as a great child’s.

Now furious, now drawing

impossible landscapes.

Of Dry Land, however,

I most love those great hands.

Don’t make me choose

Between the Sea and Dry Land.

I know my residence is a fine line of thread,

But I’d be lost with only the Sea.

Drown with Dry Land.

Don’t make it a choice. I’m going to stay here.

Between the green waves and the blue mountains.

 

Kirmen Uribe