Cançoner Popular: Ariany

Many glosses narrate real facts, is the case of the following composition that tells what happened to a neighbor of Ariany in a nearby town.

Pavana from Ariany

Was killed in a cart.

What a disgrace, oh Lord,

there was in Sant Joan!

The judge was determined

That someone from Sant Joan did it,

And now, they'll say

That it was someone from his own town.

Pavana from Ariany

Was killed by his own cousin,

Who threw him in a bean patch

At Gossauba,

Thinking that they wouldn't find him.

Big Miquel consoled

Little Miquel, his godson:

'Come on, commend him to God,

Your father's buried now!'

'On Consolació My father is buried.

Oh how we suffered My mother and I

And my elder brother!

On Consolació My father is buried;

If he caused you ill, I ask forgiveness on his behalf!'

Pavana's second son

Got down from the cart

To kiss his blood

Which was everywhere.

"Glosada den Pavana"

Cançoner popular de Mallorca, Rafel Ginard

Translated by Richard Mansell.

Gloses populars

Amongst the many functions that popular rhymes used to serve, there was the need to relate and record tragic events, so they would be remembered. Generally, this type of rhyme tends to give information on the place and circumstances of the event, the origin of those involved, and a moral judgement is also common, where the victims are praised and the murderers condemned. Although these rhymes on violent events were passed on orally, at a certain point they were published as plaguetes, a type of pamphlet. In the case of the murder of Pavana, it refers to the violent death of someone with the surname Mestre, known as Pavana in Ariany. On leaving Sant Joan on the road to Montuïri, there is still the Pavana cross, which according to tradition indicates the place where the murder took place, and people from Sant Joan used to say the Lord’s Prayer for his soul when they went past. Another infamous murder in the area that passed into rhyme is the death of “l’amo del Puig Moltó” (‘amo’ is a term of respect, meaning ‘boss’) in Montuïri during a robbery on 8th December 1948.



Ariany, like Vilafranca de Bonany, is a town that was born in the shadow of the large estates owned by the Majorcan nobility. An old Moorish farm passed through the hands of several families who took censuses in the house of s'Alberg, the original centre of the town. From the 15th century the town is linked to the Cotoner family, who in 1717 acquired the title of Marquises of Ariany, for supporting Philip V during the War of Spanish Succession.

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