Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Volume I:
   Preghiera in gennaio - January Prayer

Lascia che sia fiorito
Signore, il suo sentiero
quando a te la sua anima
e al mondo la sua pelle
dovrà riconsegnare
quando verrà al tuo cielo
là dove in pieno giorno
risplendono le stelle.

Quando attraverserà
l'ultimo vecchio ponte
ai suicidi dirà
baciandoli alla fronte
venite in Paradiso
là dove vado anch'io
perché non c'è l'inferno
nel mondo del buon Dio.

Fate che giunga a Voi
con le sue ossa stanche
seguito da migliaia
di quelle facce bianche
fate che a voi ritorni
fra i morti per oltraggio
che al cielo ed alla terra
mostrarono il coraggio.

Signori benpensanti
spero non vi dispiaccia
se in cielo, in mezzo ai Santi
Dio, fra le sue braccia
soffocherà il singhiozzo
di quelle labbra smorte
che all'odio e all'ignoranza
preferirono la morte.

Dio di misericordia
il tuo bel Paradiso
l'hai fatto soprattutto
per chi non ha sorriso
per quelli che han vissuto
con la coscienza pura
l'inferno esiste solo
per chi ne ha paura.

Meglio di lui nessuno
mai ti potrà indicare
gli errori di noi tutti
che puoi e vuoi salvare.

Ascolta la sua voce
che ormai canta nel vento
Dio di misericordia
vedrai, sarai contento.

Dio di misericordia
vedrai, sarai contento.

Preghiera in gennaio © 1967 Fabrizio De André/Gian Piero Reverberi

"Preghiera in gennaio" was written on the occasion of the suicide of Luigi Tenco, a friend and fellow singer/songwriter. Tenco took his life after his song "Ciao amore, ciao" was rejected at the 1967 Sanremo Music Festival, an annual competition for Italian songwriters. At the time, suicide being considered a sin by the Church, a traditional Catholic funeral mass and burial were prohibited. The song itself was influenced by "Prière pour aller au paradis avec les ânes," a poem by Francis Jammes with whom De Andrè probably became familiar by way of Georges Brassens.




Luigi Tenco
May blossoms adorn
his pathway, Lord,
when to you his spirit
and to the world his skin
he'll have to hand back in,
when he comes to your heaven,
there where in broad daylight
the stars shine bright.

When he crosses
the last old bridge,
to the suicides he will say,
kissing them on the forehead,
"Come you all to Paradise,
there where I too am going,
because there's no Hell
in the world of the good Lord."

Make it so he joins You
with his tired bones,
followed by thousands
of those white faces.
Make it so he returns to You,
in contempt among the dead,
who to heaven and to earth
displayed their courage.

All you right-thinking sirs,
I hope not to displease you
if in heaven, in the midst of the saints,
God, in his embrace,
will hush the sob
of those pale lips
that, over hatred and ignorance,
preferred death.

God of mercy,
your beautiful Paradise
you have made, above all,
for whoever didn’t smile,
for those who lived
with a clear conscience.
Hell exists only
for those who fear it.

None better than he
can ever show you
the errors of us all,
whom you can and do want to save.

Listen to his voice
that now sings in the wind.
God of mercy,
you will see, you will be pleased.

God of mercy,
you will see, you will be pleased.

English translation © 2014 Dennis Criteser


Volume I is De André’s first full studio album, released in 1967 on the Bluebell label. It was produced by Gian Piero Reverberi and Andrea Malcotti. Reverberi shares writing credits on the music of six of the songs.
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