Quando in anticipo sul tuo stupore
verranno a chiederti del nostro amore
a quella gente consumata nel farsi dar retta
un amore così lungo
tu non darglielo in fretta,
non spalancare le labbra a un ingorgo di parole
le tue labbra così frenate nelle fantasie dell'amore
dopo l'amore così sicure a rifugiarsi nei "sempre"
nell'ipocrisia dei "mai"
non son riuscito a cambiarti
non mi hai cambiato lo sai.
E dietro ai microfoni porteranno uno specchio
per farti più bella e pensarmi già vecchio
tu regalagli un trucco che con me non portavi
e loro si stupiranno
che tu non mi bastavi,
digli pure che il potere io l'ho scagliato dalle mani
dove l'amore non era adulto
e ti lasciavo graffi sui seni
per ritornare dopo l'amore
alle carezze dell'amore
era facile ormai
non sei riuscita a cambiarmi
non ti ho cambiata lo sai.
Digli che i tuoi occhi me li han ridati sempre
come fiori regalati a maggio e restituiti in novembre
i tuoi occhi come vuoti a rendere
per chi ti ha dato lavoro
i tuoi occhi assunti da tre anni
i tuoi occhi per loro,
ormai buoni per setacciare spiagge
con la scusa del corallo
o per buttarsi in un cinema
con una pietra al collo
e troppo stanchi per non vergognarsi
di confessarlo nei miei
proprio identici ai tuoi
sono riusciti a cambiarci
ci son riusciti lo sai.
Ma senza che gli altri ne sappiano niente
dimmi senza un programma dimmi come ci si sente
continuerai ad ammirarti tanto
da volerti portare al dito
farai l'amore per amore
o per avercelo garantito,
andrai a vivere con Alice
che si fa il whisky distillando fiori
o con un Casanova
che ti promette di presentarti ai genitori
o resterai più semplicemente
dove un attimo vale un altro
senza chiederti come mai,
continuerai a farti scegliere
o finalmente sceglierai.
Verranno a chiederti del nostro amore © 1973 Fabrizio De André/
Giuseppe Bentivoglio/Nicola Piovani
The worker, now incarcerated, writes this letter of farewell to his former fiance. In what has been to this point a completely political album, De André inserts a love song in part because he thought it was too arid and lacking in humanity. The song was written for the woman he was involved with in between his two wives, the same woman for whom "Giugno '73" was composed.
When, before you even know about it, to your amazement
they come to ask you about our love,
to those people consumed with grabbing one's attention,
a love so long,
don’t you give it to them so easily.
Don’t throw your lips open to a snarl of words,
your lips so restrained in the fantasies of love,
after love so secure in taking refuge in the “forevers,”
in the hypocrisy of the “nevers.”
I haven’t managed to change you,
you haven’t changed me, you know.
And off camera they’ll bring a mirror
to make you more beautiful and, thinking I’m old already,
you give them a makeup you never wore with me.
And they'll be astonished
that you weren’t enough for me.
Just tell them that power, I hurled it from my hands
where love wasn’t grown-up,
and I left scratches on your breasts,
to return after love-making
to the caresses of love.
It was easy at the time.
You weren’t able to change me,
I didn’t change you, you know.
Tell them your eyes always came back to me
like flowers bestowed in May, given back in November,
your eyes like returnable containers
for whoever gave you work,
your eyes hired for three years,
your eyes for them,
now good for sifting beaches
under the pretext of cheap red,
or for throwing yourself into a movie
with a stone at your neck,
and too tired to not feel ashamed,
to confess it in mine eyes,
just identical to yours.
They managed to change us,
they managed to, you know.
But without others knowing anything about it,
tell me without a program, tell me what it feels like.
You’ll keep admiring yourself
so much you'll want to wed yourself.
You’ll make love for love’s sake,
or to have it guaranteed.
You’ll go live with Alice,
who makes herself whiskey distilling flowers,
or with a Casanova
who promises to introduce you to his parents,
or you’ll remain more simply
where one moment deserves another,
without asking yourself how come.
You'll continue to make yourself choose,
or finally you will choose.
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.
Fabrizio De André, the revered Italian singer/songwriter, created a deep and enduring body of work over the course of his career from the 1960s through the 1990s. With these translations I have tried to render his words into an English that reads naturally without straying too far from the Italian. The translations decipher De André's lyrics without trying to preserve rhyme schemes or to make the resulting English lyric work with the melody of the song.
Friday, May 2, 2014
Storia di un impiegato:
Verranno a chiederti del nostro amore
They'll Come to Ask You About Our Love
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