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Boga, Boga

Basque Sailor's song

Boga, boga (Row, row) is a Basque sailor's song written by Jesús Guridi in 1913. Said to have originated in the coastal town of Ondarroa, it is one of the best known Basque songs, featuring widely in familiar meetings, bars, and choral concerts.

The Province of Biscay (Spanish: Vizcaya; Basque: Bizkaia) is at the foot of the Pyrenees between Spain and France, and has long been known for its maritime history. The Basques were said to have alerted Christopher Columbus to the existence of the New World, and were among his crew during the period of colonization. Afterwards, it was the famous ship La Nao Victoria, captained by Basque sailor Juan Sebastian Elkano, that made the first circumnavigation around the world.

Among the important Basques who risked their lives in sea voyages for the expansion of the Kingdom of Christ is Mother Mariana de Jesús Torres, the Conceptionist nun who received apparitions of Our Lady of Good Success in the then-Spanish colony of Quito, Ecuador.

Boga, boga expresses the bittersweet moment of a ship's departure. Wanting to hasten this moment, one could imagine the singer - whose goal should be the expansion of the Kingdom of Christ to the Indies - telling the sailors to "row, row," knowing that he "will no longer see this beautiful port of Ondarroa".

Boga, boga is here interpreted by Oldarra, the well-known choir of Basque ex-patriates established in France.

Boga, boga, performed by Oldarra

Basque Lyrics:

Boga boga, mariñela, mariñela,
Joan behar degu,
Urrutira, urrutira,
Bai Indietara, bai Indietara.

Ez det, ez det, ez det nik ikusiko,
Zure kai ederra, kai ederra
Agur, agur, agur
Ondarroako itsas, itsaso bazterra,
Itsas, itsaso bazterra.

Mariñela, mariñela,
Boga mariñela!

English Translation

Row, row, sailor, sailor,
We must go
Far, far away,
Yes, to the Indies, yes, to the Indies.

I will no longer see,
Your beautiful port, your beautiful port,
Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye
To this sea of Ondarroa, to this corner of the sea
To the sea, to this corner of the sea.

Sailor, sailor,
Row sailor!

lyrics and music Boga  Boga

For a high-resolution JPG version, click here.

For a PDF version, click here.

For a version for men's choir, click here.

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Boga Boga

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