Sunday, March 2, 2014

La Buona Novella:
   Laudate hominem - Praise the Person

Laudate dominum
Laudate dominum

Gli umili, gli straccioni:
"Il potere che cercava il nostro umore
mentre uccideva nel nome d'un dio,
nel nome d'un dio uccideva un uomo:
nel nome di quel dio si assolse.

Poi, poi chiamò dio, poi chiamò dio
poi chiamò dio quell'uomo
e nel suo nome, nuovo nome
altri uomini,
altri, altri uomini
uccise ".

Non voglio pensarti figlio di Dio
ma figlio dell'uomo, fratello anche mio.

Laudate dominum
Laudate dominum

Ancora una volta abbracciamo la fede
che insegna ad avere, ad avere il diritto
al perdono, perdono sul male commesso
nel nome d'un dio
che il male non volle, il male non volle,
finché restò uomo, uomo.

Non posso pensarti figlio di Dio
ma figlio dell'uomo, fratello anche mio.

Qualcuno, qualcuno tentò di imitarlo
se non ci riuscì fu scusato,
anche lui perdonato
perché non s'imita
imita un dio,
un dio va temuto e lodato, lodato...

Laudate hominem
No, non devo pensarti figlio di Dio
ma figlio dell'uomo, fratello anche mio.
Ma figlio dell'uomo, fratello anche mio.
Laudate hominem.

Laudate hominemm © 1970 Fabrizio De André/Gian Piero Reverberi

De André once called "Laudate hominem" his final sermon of the album. "I need to, and I believe everyone's like me, consider Christ to be a man, and his story also a human one. Because if I consider him to be a God, he can't be imitated; if he's considered a man, yes, I can do it."




In 2010, PFM, the Italian progressive rock group that De André toured with in 1979-1980 and that made a variety of interesting rearrangements of classic De André songs, released an album reworking La Buona Novella.

Third edition
Praise the Lord
Praise the Lord

The humble, the beggars:
“The power that sought our mood
while killing in the name of a god,
in the name of a god killing a man:
in the name of that god one is absolved.

Then, then he called god, then he called god,
then he called god, that man.
And in his name, new name,
other men,
many other men,
he killed.”

I don’t want to think of you as son of God,
but son of man, even brother of mine.

Praise to God
Praise to God

Yet one more time let’s embrace the faith
that teaches to have, to have the right
to a pardon, pardon on the evil committed,
in the name of a god
that didn’t want evil, he didn’t want evil,
until there remained Man, Man.

I can’t think of you as son of God
But son of man, even my brother.

Someone, someone tried to imitate him,
if they couldn’t do it they were excused,
even he, pardoned,
because one doesn’t imitate,
imitate a god,
a god goes feared and praised, praised . . .

Praise the person.
No, I don’t have to think of you as son of God,
but son of man, even my brother;
but son of man, even my brother.
Praise the person.

English translation © 2014 Dennis Criteser

First edition
Second 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. "La Buona Novella" means The Good Book, and in Italian refers specifically to the New Testament.


above: Hot Autumn 1969 - "The owners tan themselves at the beach, the workers roast in the ovens . . ."

left: Fabrizio De André in 1970, photo by Barbara Rombi Serra.
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