Bernal de Bonaval
Trovador medieval


Nationality: Galega

Biographical Note:

Galician segrel, native of Bonaval, most probably the extramural quarter of the medieval Santiago de Compostela, whose hermitage he constantly mentions (including its consecration, that may have occurred in 1230, although there are no certainties).He should, then, have started his activity in the first decades of the 13th century, which complies with the placement of his songs in the songbooks, initiating a series that Resende de Oliveira1 calls “the songbook of Galician minstrels” (a series still visible in the indication that precedes his first song: Em esta folha adeante se começam as cantigas d’amor. Primeiro trobador: Bernal de Bonavalle. Translation: From this following sheet on start the love songs. First troubadour: Bernal de Bonavalle). But he still surely attended Alfonso X’s troubadourian circle (by the time he was a prince or already as a king), given the several satirical songs adressed to him by several of Alfonso’s troubadours and minstrels, most probably during the 40’s and the 50’s, since the tone used in those songs is an indication that he would belong to a prior generation.It should be added that, quite recently, José António Souto Cabo2 found new data that may alter our vision of Bernardo de Bodaval and shed a different light over his songs. Indeed, in the will of the compostelian judge Fernando Afonso, dated 1279, this researcher located a “Friar Bernardo, prior of Bonaval” that could very well be our author. Thus, he adds, “according to this hypothesis, Dom Bernardo would join the (growing in importance) fray of clerics, namely from Compostela, that actively took part in the Galician-Portuguese lyric movement”. In any case, and given that documents pertaining to the (dominican) abbey of Bonaval during this period are scarce, nothing else is known, at least at the moment, regarding the path of Dom Bernardo in the Order, or the years of his priory.


References

1 Oliveira, António Resende de (1994), Depois do espectáculo trovadoresco. A estrutura dos cancioneiros peninsulares e as recolhas dos séculos XIII e XIV, Lisboa, Edições Colibri.

2 Souto Cabo, José António (2012), "En Santiago, seend’ albergado en mia pousada. Nótulas trovadorescas compostelanas", in Verba, 39.
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Read all cantigas (in Cancioneiros' order)


Cantigas (alphabetical order):


A Bonaval quer'eu, mia senhor, ir
Cantiga de Amor

A dona que eu am'e tenho por senhor
Cantiga de Amor

- Abril Pérez, muit'hei eu gram pesar
Tenção de amor

Ai Deus! e quem mi tolherá
Cantiga de Amor

- Ai fremosinha, se bem hajades
Cantiga de Amigo

Amor, bem sei o que m'ora faredes
Cantiga de Amor

Diss'a fremosa em Bonaval assi:
Cantiga de Amigo

Filha fremosa, vedes que vos digo:
Cantiga de Amigo

Fremosas, a Deus grado, tam bom dia comigo
Cantiga de Amigo

Pero m'eu moiro, mia senhor
Cantiga de Amor

Pero me vós dizedes, mia senhor
Cantiga de Amor

Pero vejo donas mui bem parecer
Cantiga de Amor

Pois mi dizedes, amigo, ca mi queredes vós melhor
Cantiga de Amigo

Por quanta coita me faz mia senhor
Cantiga de Amor

Quero-vos eu, mia irmana, rogar
Cantiga de Amigo

Rogar-vos quero [e]u, mia madr'e mia senhor,
Cantiga de Amigo

Se veess'o meu amigo a Bonaval e me visse
Cantiga de Amigo

Senhor fremosa, pois assi Deus quer
Cantiga de Amor

Senhor fremosa, tam gram coita hei
Cantiga de Amor