Survival Songs: Conchita Piquer's 'Coplas' and Franco's Regime of Terror

By Stephanie Sieburth

© 2014

How can a song help the hungry and persecuted to survive? Stephanie Sieburth’s Survival Songs explores how a genre of Spanish popular music, the copla, as sung by legendary performer Conchita Piquer, helped Republican sympathizers to survive the Franco regime’s dehumanizing treatment following the Spanish Civil War (1936–39). Piquer’s coplas were sad, bitter stories of fallen women, but they offered a way for the defeated to cope with chronic terror, grief, and trauma in the years known as the “time of silence.”

Drawing on the observations of clinical psychotherapy, Sieburth explores the way in which listening to Piquer’s coplas enabled persecuted, ostracized citizens to subconsciously use music, role-play, ritual, and narrative to mourn safely and without fear of repercussion from the repressive state. An interdisciplinary study that includes close readings of six of Piquer’s most famous coplas, Survival Songs will be of interest to specialists in modern Spanish studies and to clinical psychologists, musicologists, and those with an interest in issues of trauma, memory, and human rights.

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Product Details

  • Series: Toronto Iberic
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 280 pages
  • Illustrations: 10
  • Dimensions: 6.4in x 1.1in x 9.3in
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SKU# SP003370

  • PUBLISHED JUL 2014

    From: $37.50

    Regular Price: $50.00

    ISBN 9781442644731
  • PUBLISHED AUG 2014

    From: $37.50

    Regular Price: $50.00

Quick Overview

Stephanie Sieburth’s Survival Songs explores how a genre of Spanish popular music, the copla, as sung by legendary performer Conchita Piquer, helped Republican sympathizers to survive the Franco regime’s dehumanizing treatment following the Spanish Civil War (1936–39).

Survival Songs: Conchita Piquer's 'Coplas' and Franco's Regime of Terror

By Stephanie Sieburth

© 2014

How can a song help the hungry and persecuted to survive? Stephanie Sieburth’s Survival Songs explores how a genre of Spanish popular music, the copla, as sung by legendary performer Conchita Piquer, helped Republican sympathizers to survive the Franco regime’s dehumanizing treatment following the Spanish Civil War (1936–39). Piquer’s coplas were sad, bitter stories of fallen women, but they offered a way for the defeated to cope with chronic terror, grief, and trauma in the years known as the “time of silence.”

Drawing on the observations of clinical psychotherapy, Sieburth explores the way in which listening to Piquer’s coplas enabled persecuted, ostracized citizens to subconsciously use music, role-play, ritual, and narrative to mourn safely and without fear of repercussion from the repressive state. An interdisciplinary study that includes close readings of six of Piquer’s most famous coplas, Survival Songs will be of interest to specialists in modern Spanish studies and to clinical psychologists, musicologists, and those with an interest in issues of trauma, memory, and human rights.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Series: Toronto Iberic
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 280 pages
  • Illustrations: 10
  • Dimensions: 6.4in x 1.1in x 9.3in
  • Reviews

    Survival Songs is an ambitious book based on a vast amount of research in several fields – Spanish popular culture, Spanish history, psychoanalytic theory, and musicology. All of the information from these fields is deftly woven into a compelling narrative about the importance of the popular music genre, the copla, in helping to heal the psychological wounds suffered especially by those on the losing side of the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939).”
    Roberta Johnson, Emerita, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, University of Kansas

    “A voice, a song, a story – incarnating, as well as articulating, emotional resistance to the existential and psychological threats of trauma, mourning, and terror. Sieburth’s compelling and moving exploration, through the multiple lenses of close reading, history, politics, and psychotherapy, allows the defeated once more to break into song, and eloquently restores for us today the muted voices of Franco’s ‘time of silence.’”
    Linda Hutcheon, University Professor Emerita of English and Comparative Literature, University of Toronto
  • Author Information

    Stephanie Sieburth is a professor of Spanish in the Department of Romance Studies at Duke University.
  • Table of contents

    Acknowledgments

    Introduction: Conchita Piquer’s Coplas as Psychotherapy

    Chapter One: Camouflage: The Psychology of Survival in Franco’s Spain

    Chapter Two: An Introduction to the Copla and its Star Performer

    Chapter Three: Coping with Terror Through Popular Music: ‘La Parrala’ (‘The Wine Lady’)

    Chapter Four: Paradise Lost: ‘Ojos verdes’ (‘Green Eyes’) as Ritual of Separation

    Chapter Five: ‘Tatuaje’ (‘Tattoo’), the Unburied Dead, and Complicated Grief

    Chapter Six: The ‘Other Woman’: ‘Romance de la otra’ as Ritual of Marginalization and Disenfranchised Grief

    Chapter Seven: Reasserting Personhood through Popular Song: ‘Romance de valentía’ (‘Ballad of Bravery’) and ‘La Ruiseñora’ (‘The Nightingale’)

    Chapter Eight: When a Radio Song is the Meaning of Life: Mending the Torn Fabric of Identity through Narrative, Music and Interpretation

    Conclusion

    Notes

    Bibliography