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Agur Intxorta maite, songs from the War of 1936-37

The first known examples of Basque literature are epic Basque poems describing the different battles fought against the infamous Parientes Mayores band during the 14th century: Urrexolako borroka, Akondiakoa, etc. The well-known Bereterretxe khantoria is based on an episode in the war between the Agromonteses and the Beaumonteses (1440). The Carlist Wars (1833-39 and 1872-76) gave rise to a multitude of songs and melodies, some of which, such as Ai ai ai mutila and Txapela gorria, etc. are extremely well-known. One of Elizanburu’s the most beautiful songs, *Solferiñoko Itsua*, is based on a battle which took place during the Franco-Prussian war (1859). Wars always seem to cause an outflow of musical creativity.
Curiously enough, however, it seems as if our most recent war only gave rise to the song Eusko Gudariak.
Historical evidence exists, however, to suggest the presence of Basque trikitrixa music at the battle front, demonstrating that music, song and the diatonic accordion was a key weapon during those dark and terrible days. On the basis of this historical evidence, the writer Koldo Izagirre and the musician Joseba Tapia carried out the slow and painstaking task of searching through publications and archives and interviewing surviving war veterans. The result was a huge body of poems and songs that together make up the Basque Collection of Antifascist Ballads (1936-37).
This album is just a small sample of our hitherto unknown (or hidden) historical and cultural heritage. Sung in an austere style that faithfully reflects their urgency and yearnings, these twenty hitherto unpublished songs are a masterly recreation of the tears, hopes and intense craving for freedom of an entire people.