Saturday, May 3, 2014

Storia di un impiegato:
   Il bombarolo - The Bomber

Chi va dicendo in giro
che odio il mio lavoro
non sa con quanto amore
mi dedico al tritolo,
è quasi indipendente
ancora poche ore
poi gli darò la voce
il detonatore.

Il mio Pinocchio fragile
parente artigianale
di ordigni costruiti
su scala industriale
di me non farà mai
un cavaliere del lavoro,
io son d'un'altra razza,
son bombarolo.

Nello scendere le scale
ci metto più attenzione,
sarebbe imperdonabile
giustiziarmi
sul portone
proprio nel giorno in cui
la decisione è mia
sulla condanna a morte
o l'amnistia.

Per strada tante facce
non hanno un bel colore,
qui chi non terrorizza
si ammala di terrore,
c'è chi aspetta la pioggia
per non piangere da solo,
io son d'un altro avviso,
son bombarolo.

Intellettuali d'oggi
idioti di domani
ridatemi il cervello
che basta alle mie mani,
profeti molto acrobati
della rivoluzione
oggi farò da me
senza lezione.

Vi scoverò i nemici
per voi così distanti
e dopo averli uccisi
sarò fra i latitanti
ma finché li cerco io
i latitanti sono loro,
ho scelto un'altra scuola,
son bombarolo.

Potere troppe volte
delegato ad altre mani,
sganciato e restituitoci
dai tuoi aeroplani,
io vengo a restituirti
un po' del tuo terrore
del tuo disordine
del tuo rumore.

Così pensava forte
un trentenne disperato
se non del tutto giusto
quasi niente sbagliato,
cercando il luogo idoneo
adatto al suo tritolo,
insomma il posto degno
d'un bombarolo.

C'è chi lo vide ridere
davanti al Parlamento
aspettando l'esplosione
che provasse il suo talento,
c'è chi lo vide piangere
un torrente di vocali
vedendo esplodere
un chiosco di giornali.

Ma ciò che lo ferì
profondamente nell'orgoglio
fu l'immagine di lei
che si sporgeva da ogni foglio
lontana dal ridicolo
in cui lo lasciò solo,
ma in prima pagina
col bombarolo.

Il bombarolo © 1973 Fabrizio De André/Giuseppe Bentivoglio/Nicola Piovani

Upon his return to the dream, the worker has the clear idea of how to vent his rage: make a bomb and launch it against the powers that have disappointed him. According to the liner notes: "The worker knows what to do, where to go, who to hit and why. He goes straight to the Parliament to throw a real bomb and to kill real people, but his ability was only a dream: the bomb rolls down towards a magazine kiosk. His true defeat might be in seeing on all the newspaper covers the face of his fiance, who decided to leave him after his actions. The bomber remains truly alone."



Anyone who goes around saying
that I hate my job
doesn’t know with how much love
I dedicate myself to TNT.
It's almost ready to stand on its own,
another few hours,
then I’ll give it a voice:
the detonator.

My delicate Pinocchio,
artisanal relative
of devices made
on an industrial scale -
it will never make of me
a Knight in the Order of Merit for Labor,
I am of another race,
I'm a bomber.

In descending the stairs
I pay closer attention -
it would be unpardonable
to carry out a death penalty on me
at the main entrance
on the very day in which
the decision is mine
about condemnation to death
or amnesty.

Out on the street, so many faces
don’t have good color.
Here, whoever doesn’t terrorize
becomes sick with terror.
There are ones who wait for the rain
so as not to cry alone.
I am of a different opinion,
I'm a bomber.

Today's intellectuals,
tomorrow's idiots,
give me back brain enough
for my hands.
Ever so acrobatic prophets
of the revolution,
today I’ll make do by myself
without instruction.

I’ll track down your enemies
for all of you so distant,
and after having killed them
I’ll be among the fugitives.
But until I look for them,
they are the fugitives,
I’ve chosen another school,
I’m a bomber.

Power too many times
delegated to other hands,
dropped and returned to us
from your airplanes.
I come to return to you
a bit of your terror,
of your disorder,
of your noise.

Thus thought long and hard
a desperate thirty-something,
if not right about everything,
almost nothing mistaken,
searching for the appropriate place
suitable for his TNT,
in short, the place worthy
of a bomber.

There is one who saw him laughing
in front of the Parliament,
waiting for the explosion
that demonstrated his talent.
There is one who saw him crying
a torrent of vowels,
seeing explode
a kiosk of magazines.

But what wounded him
deeply in his pride
was her image,
that jumped out from every paper
far from the ridicule
in which she left him alone,
but on the first page,
with the bomber.

English translation © 2014 Dennis Criteser


Storia di un impiegato, released in 1973, tells the story of a worker who, inspired by a song about the French student riots of May/June 1968, decides to become a revolutionary. De André hoped to make a poetic interpretation of the events of 1968, but wanted to burn the album upon its release because he felt it ended up as a political album, with him telling people how to act. The lyrics were co-written with Giuseppe Bentivoglio, and the resultant anarchist/Marxist texts are sometimes confusing and obscure. The music was co-written with Nicola Piovani, who also co-wrote Non al denaro non all'amore né al cielo.
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