15 de diciembre de 2000

Joan Manuel Serrat and Sports

Por Jesús Castañón Rodríguez

Joan Manuel Serrat and Sports

Jesús Castañón Rodríguez

Joan Manuel Serrat is one of the most respected singer and songwriter of Iberoamerica. Born in Barcelona in 1943, he belonged to the Nova Cançó, a cultural movement that supported the recovery of the Catalonian identity through their music. He has turned into the most representative narrator of our times and circumstances, a narrator of melancholy and hope, of sighs and sense of humor applied to essential issues, commitments and even light concerns of daily life.

His approach to composing is to give himself to his lyrics, expressing his soul in words, until all nostalgia and happiness are out. This method has earned him an extraordinary recognition as one of the best composers of our times. But beyond this, Serrat has a long-time relationship with sports, something much less known to the public.

The poetry of admiration

Serrat’s ties with Sports cover several aspects. First, his passionate attitude as a football fan identified with the Barcelona Football Club. This passion takes him to watch his admired team very often, and also makes him play in benefit games with the old glories of the club. Let’s not forget his admiration for Kubala, and his participation in the Centennial of the Club in 1999, when he sang the organization’s anthem with a chorus of 120,000 voices in the Nou Camp.

Second, he rendered that vital experience in two compositions with lyrics in Catalonian. The first one, Temps era temps, a song written in 1980, where Serrat reflects the city of Barcelona after the ending of the Civil War: black market, cable cars, football. And it’s in that theme, football, where he finds a defining element for a time already gone, with an refrain that says «Basora, César, Kubala i Manchón».

Kubala, in 1989, stalled the myth by creating his unique technique to get into the area and place the ball in the glorious path to the goal. He is the real legend, in spite of the football history that names Pele as the greatest football player ever, Maradona as the one and only, or Di Stéfano as the true master of skillfulness in this sport.

Sports literature

In the third place, he has performed a very interesting job as a judge in the Contest of Sports Poetry Juan Antonio Samaranch, organized by the weekly magazine Don Balón.

The poetry and lyrics, the feelings exposed and the concentration of emotions in very short structures lead the organizers to request Serrat´s collaboration in the panel of judges, where he worked together with Manuel Alcántara, José Luis Córdoba, Romà Cuyás, Pedro Ruiz and Esteban Conde during the second half of the 1980s and the 1990s.

An artistic expression of Sports

In summary, Joan Manuel Serrat is an example of a person who has worked hard for the interconnection between the emotions of sports and music. He proves that the musical and literary expression of sporting events can create new cultural forms that dignify sports.