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Thursday, 14 October 2010

Lorca's Corpse Just Walked Away

I had a 'when did I put this on my mp3 player?' moment in the car this morning-The Pogues' mournful, stirring and elegant (not a word usually associated with the Pogues) tribute to Federico Garcia Lorca. Starting with a military drum beat and building slowly, while Shane sings about Lorca's murder at the hands of Genral Franco's falangists during the Spanish Civil War. Lorca was an internationally acclaimed poet and playwright, outspoken critic of Franco and fascism, and a leading light of the Spanish Generation of '27. Franco's men took him at some point in August 1936 from a friend's house and along with three others shot him at Fuente Grande on the road betweenViznar and Alfacar. His body was buried somewhere in the vacinity, and despite recent attempts has not been found.

In Shane's hands the lyric is full of drama and symbolism, and some insensitivity ('the faggot poet they left til last, blew his brains out with a pistol up his arse') but there's no doubt where Shane's sympathies lie, and at the end when the killers come to mutilate the dead and terrorise the town, Lorca's corpse gets up and walks away. History lesson over- Lorca's Novena is from The Pogues' Hell's Ditch album, produced by Joe Strummer.

The Pogues - Lorcas Novena.mp3

1 comment:

Tom Wu said...

Leonard Cohen's Take This Waltz is based on a Lorca poem. Maybe I should read some Lorca.