Saturday, February 1, 2014

Volume III:
   Il re fa rullare i tamburi -
   The King Makes the Drums Roll

Il re fa rullare i tamburi
Il re fa rullare i tamburi
vuol sceglier fra le dame
un nuovo e fresco amore
ed è la prima che ha veduto
che gli ha rapito il cuore

"Marchese la conosci tu
marchese la conosci tu
chi è quella graziosa?"
Ed il marchese disse al re
"Maestà è la mia sposa"

"Tu sei più felice di me
tu sei più felice di me
d'aver dama sì bella
signora sì compita
se tu vorrai cederla a me
sarà la favorita"

"Signore se non foste il re
signore se non foste il re
v'intimerei prudenza
ma siete il sire siete il re
vi devo l'obbedienza"

"Marchese vedrai passerà
marchese vedrai passerà
d'amor la sofferenza
io ti farò nelle mie armate
maresciallo di Francia"

"Addio per sempre mia gioia
addio per sempre mia bella
addio dolce amore
devi lasciarmi per il re
ed io ti lascio il cuore"

La regina ha raccolto dei fiori
la regina ha raccolto dei fiori
celando la sua offesa
ed il profumo di quei fiori
ha ucciso la marchesa

Il re fa rullare i tamburi © 1968 Fabrizio De André,
based on a 14th century French ballad


"Il re fa rullare i tamburi" was based on a 14th century French ballad "Le proclame du Roy." Here we see De André in his medievalist mode at work again.


The king makes the drums roll,
the king makes the drums roll.
He wants to choose from among the ladies
a new and fresh love,
and it’s the first one that he saw
that ravished his heart.

“Marquis, do you know her,
Marquis, do you know her,
who is that young lovely?"
And the Marquis told the King,
“Your majesty, it’s my wife.”

“You are happier than I am,
you’re happier than me,
to have a dame so beautiful,
a woman so courteous.
If you would concede her to me
she would be my favorite.”

“Sir if you were not the King,
Sir if you were not the King,
I would bid you take caution.
But you are the Sire, you are the King,
I do owe you obedience.”

“Marquis, you'll see, it will pass,
Marquis you'll see, it will pass,
the pain of love.
I will make you in my armies
Marshall of France.”

“Goodbye forever my joy,
goodbye forever my beauteous one.
Farewell sweet love,
you must leave me for the King
and my heart I do leave to you.”

The Queen gathered some flowers.
The Queen gathered some flowers,
concealing her humiliation,
and the smell of those flowers
killed the Marquis's wife.

English translation © 2014 Dennis Criteser


Volume III, released in 1968 just three months after the release of Tutti morimmo a stento, included four new songs along with re-recorded versions of other songs released previously as singles. The new songs weren't originals, however: two translations of Georges Brassens songs, a 13th century Italian sonnet set to music, and a traditional 14th century French song. The lack of originals and the timing of the release points to the fact that De André's label wanted to release something on the heels of the huge success of the Mina cover of "Marinella" that was released at the end of 1967. Volume III had strong sales for two years following its release.
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