Monday, March 10, 2014

La Buona Novella:
   L'infanzia di Maria - The Childhood of Maria

Voce:
Forse fu all'ora terza forse alla nona
cucito qualche giglio sul vestitino alla buona
forse fu per bisogno o peggio per buon esempio
presero i tuoi tre anni e li portarono al tempio
presero i tuoi tre anni e li portarono al tempio.

Non fu più il seno di Anna fra le mura discrete
a consolare il pianto a calmarti la sete
dicono fosse un angelo a raccontarti le ore
a misurarti il tempo fra cibo e Signore
a misurarti il tempo fra cibo e Signore.

Coro:
Scioglie la neve al sole ritorna l'acqua al mare
il vento e la stagione ritornano a giocare
ma non per te bambina che nel tempio resti china
ma non per te bambina che nel tempio resti china.

Voce:
E quando i sacerdoti ti rifiutarono alloggio
avevi dodici anni e nessuna colpa addosso
ma per i sacerdoti fu colpa il tuo maggio
la tua verginità che si tingeva di rosso
la tua verginità che si tingeva di rosso.

E si vuol dar marito a chi non lo voleva
si batte la campagna si fruga la via
popolo senza moglie uomini d'ogni leva
del corpo d'una vergine si fa lotteria
del corpo d'una vergine si fa lotteria.

Coro:
Sciogli i capelli e guarda già vengono...
Guardala guardala scioglie i capelli
sono più lunghi dei nostri mantelli
guarda la pelle viene la nebbia
risplende il sole come la neve
guarda le mani guardale il viso
sembra venuta dal paradiso
guarda le forme la proporzione
sembra venuta per tentazione.

Guardala guardala scioglie i capelli
sono più lunghi dei nostri mantelli
guarda le mani guardale il viso
sembra venuta dal paradiso
guardale gli occhi guarda i capelli
guarda le mani guardale il collo
guarda la carne guarda il suo viso
guarda i capelli del paradiso
guarda la carne guardale il collo
sembra venuta dal suo sorriso
guardale gli occhi guarda la neve
guarda la carne del paradiso.

Voce:
E fosti tu Giuseppe un reduce del passato
falegname per forza padre per professione
a vederti assegnata da un destino sgarbato
una figlia di più senza alcuna ragione
una bimba su cui non avevi intenzione.

E mentre te ne vai stanco d'essere stanco
la bambina per mano la tristezza di fianco
pensi "Quei sacerdoti la diedero in sposa
a dita troppo secche per chiudersi su una rosa
a un cuore troppo vecchio che ormai si riposa".

Secondo l'ordine ricevuto
Giuseppe portò la bambina nella propria casa
e subito se ne partì per dei lavori
che lo attendevano fuori dalla Giudea.
Rimase lontano quattro anni.

L'infanzia di Maria © 1970 Fabrizio De André/Gian Piero Reverberi

"L'infanzia di Maria" tells of the young childhood of Maria as recounted in the most famous of the apocrypha, the Gospel of James.

















Presentazione di Maria al tempio (1433-34)
by Paolo Uccello, at the Cappella dell'Assunta -
Basilica Cattedrale di Santo Stefano - Prato




Voice:
Perhaps 'twas at morning prayers or maybe afternoon,
some lilies sewn on the plain little dress,
maybe due to poverty, or worse, as a good example,
they took your three years and carried them to the temple,
they took your three years and carried them to the temple.

No more Anna's breast between the discrete walls
to console the crying, to quench your thirst.
They say 'twas an angel that recounted prayers to you,
that measured for you the time between food and the Lord,
that measured for you the time between food and the Lord.

Chorus:
The snow melts in the sun and the water returns to the sea,
the wind and the season return to play,
but not for you child, who stays in the temple, head bowed,
but not for you child, who stays in the temple, head bowed.

Voice:
And when the clergymen refused you lodging
you were twelve years old without a sin upon you.
But for the priests your May was a sin,
your virginity that was tinged with red,
your virginity that was tinged with red.

And they wanted to give a husband to one who didn’t want it, they scoured the countryside, they searched the streets.
A people without a wife, men of every generation,
one plays the lottery for the body of a virgin,
one plays the lottery for the body of a virgin.

Chorus:
Let down your hair and look, already they come
"Look at her, look at her, she lets down her hair,
it’s longer than our capes.
Look at the skin, here comes the fog,
the sun shines like the snow.
Look at the hands, look at her face,
she seems to have come from paradise.
Look at the form, the proportion,
she seems to have come for temptation.

"Look at her, look at her, she lets down her hair,
it’s longer than our capes.
Look at her hands, look at her face,
she seems to have come from paradise.
Look at her eyes, look at her hair,
look at her hands, look at her neck,
look at her flesh, look at her face,
look at the hair of paradise,
look at her flesh, look at her neck,
it seems to have come from her smile.
Look at her eyes, look at the snow,
look at the flesh of paradise."

Voice
And you, Joseph, were a survivor of the past,
carpenter by necessity, father by profession,
to see you assigned by an unkind destiny
one more daughter without any reason,
a little girl for whom you had no intention.

And while you walked, tired of being tired,
holding the girl by the hand, with sadness at your side,
you think, “These priests gave her in marriage
to fingers too dry to close themselves on a rose,
to a heart too old that by now is resting."

According to the order received,
Joseph brought the girl to his own house
and immediately departed for some jobs
that awaited him outside of Judaea.
He stayed away four years.

English translation © 2014 Dennis Criteser

First edition
Second edition
Third edition


La Buona Novella, released in 1970, was written in the thick of the student protests and social upheavals of 1968/1969 including "May 68" in France and Hot Autumn in Italy. The album is based on the Biblical apocrypha. De André reminded his compatriots that Jesus was the greatest revolutionary in history, and the album was meant to be an allegory for the times. At left is a painting by Paolo Uccello of the young Maria entering the temple. "La Buona Novella" means The Good Book, and in Italian refers specifically to the New Testament.
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