'Gernikako Arbola' is Basque for 'Tree of Guernica' (see Guernica for more information on the tree). It is also the title of a song on the Guernica oak, written by José María Iparraguirra in 1853. It is the hymn of the Basque militancy. It has the same importance the 'International' has to the communists, or the Marseillaise to the French.

Gernikako arbola
de bedeincatuba
euskaldun artean
guztiz maitatuba
Eman ta zabalzazu
munduban frutuba,
adoratzen zaitugu
arbola santuba

O tree of our Guernica
O symbol blessed by God
Held dear by all euskaldunak
By them revered and loved
Ancient and holy symbol
Let fall thy fruit worldwide
While we in adoration gaze
on thee our blessed tree

Iparraguirra performed this song for the first time in café San Luis in Madrid. The song was prohibited by the government and Iparraguirra was expelled from the country. This was exactly what made it so popular and what made it into the symbol of Basque freedom.


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