Scene and Heard – CCCLXV: La Lienda – D’ Urria (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

31766448_591018491256699_5547867096567775232_oPossibly because of the scale and nature of The Second World War which was soon to follow, The Spanish Civil War, in many ways the opening chapter of that bigger conflict to come, tends to be overlooked outside the country itself. It is why the video accompanying La Lienda is so powerful, setting the scene for the song and reminding us of the turmoil that country faced as political idea fought for control.

Taking a traditional narrative form, La Lienda tells the story of two friends trying to escape the horrors of that conflict, a song of friendship and survival. Musically it is a gorgeous slice of Celtic rock that marries the countries musical traditions with a more modern musical delivery. 

The song also reminds us of the length and breadth of the Celtic culture, that a song forged of the traditional sounds of Northern Spain would be equally at home being played in a Dublin bar, a Scottish Highland music festival or a Bretton cafe. It is deft and gorgeous, emotive and deeply passionate, accordion melodies soar over hypnotic mandolins, haunting flutes flit through and the song grows in beat and dynamic as it tells its tale.

Stories often survive best as songs, it is the perfect way to preserve important history, heroic tales and the things we need to learn from and try not to repeat. La Lienda may be a small tale but it carries a big message one that is ever more important in this ever more unpredictable, dark modern age.


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