A Santiago voy, lixeiriño,
A Santiago voy, camiñando,
Como un peregrino por el camino de la ilusión.
(To Santiago I go, briskly / To Santiago I go,
on foot / Like a pilgrim on the path of hope.)Los Tamara, ‘A Santiago voy’ (1967)
Introduction: Santiago de Compostela, the path of hope
In 1967 Los Tamara – a pioneering Galician pop band – released one of their most successful and representative singles, ‘A Santiago voy’ / ‘Soy muy feliz’ (To Santiago I Go / I Am Very Happy). The A-side, ‘A Santiago voy’, tells the story of a man who, like a pilgrim, walks to the woman who awaits him in the city of Santiago de Compostela. Yet the chorus, in its Castilianized Galician, tells a different story: ‘Vou subindo montañas, / cruzando valles, / sempre cantando. / O verde me acaricia / porque a Galicia xa estou chegando’ (I climb mountains, / cross valleys, / always singing. / The greenery caresses me / because I am arriving in Galicia). This is the story of a migrant who comes back home, a thematic line fruitfully explored by Los Tamara, who were particularly successful in the European Galician diaspora. Santiago de Compostela, the place where the romantic encounter takes place, also stands for home – and ultimately for Galicia – in the song. Thus, the relationship between the subject and the nation is gendered (male/female) and conceptualized through a heterosexual romance narrative described in a positive light: that of the path of hope.