Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Canzoni:
   Giovanna d'Arco - Joan of Arc (Leonard Cohen)

Attraverso il buio Giovanna d'Arco
precedeva le fiamme cavalcando
nessuna luna per la sua corazza
nessun uomo nella sua fumosa notte al suo fianco.

Della guerra sono stanca ormai
al lavoro di un tempo tornerei
a un vestito da sposa o qualcosa di bianco
per nascondere questa mia vocazione
al trionfo ed al pianto.

lalala lalala lalalalalala
lalala lalala lalalalalala

Son parole le tue che volevo ascoltare
ti ho spiata ogni giorno cavalcare
e a sentirti così ora so cosa voglio
vincere un'eroina così fredda,
abbracciarne l'orgoglio.

E chi sei tu lei disse divertendosi al gioco,
chi sei tu che mi parli così senza riguardo,
veramente stai parlando col fuoco
e amo la tua solitudine, amo il tuo sguardo.

lalala lalala lalalalalala

E se tu sei il fuoco raffreddati un poco,
le tue mani ora avranno da tenere qualcosa,
e tacendo gli si arrampicò dentro
ad offrirgli il suo modo migliore di essere sposa.

E nel profondo del suo cuore rovente
lui prese ad avvolgere Giovanna d'Arco
e là in alto e davanti alla gente
lui appese le ceneri inutili del suo abito bianco.

lalala lalala lalalalalala

E fu dal profondo del suo cuore rovente
che lui prese Giovanna e la colpì nel segno
e lei capì chiaramente
che se lui era il fuoco lei doveva essere il legno.

lalalalalala

Ho visto la smorfia del suo dolore,
ho visto la gloria nel suo sguardo raggiante
anche io vorrei luce ed amore
ma se arriva deve essere sempre così crudele e accecante.

Giovanna d'Arco text © 1974 Fabrizio De André based on
Joan of Arc © 1971 Leonard Cohen


"Giovanna d'Arco" was released as the B-side of a single featuring "Suzanne" in 1972. As with the latter song, the arrangement was tweaked by Gian Piero Reverberi for its inclusion on Canzoni, but most notably the album version deletes the final verse seen above.



Leonard Cohen text for Joan of Arc:

Now the flames they followed Joan of Arc
as she came riding through the dark;
no moon to keep her armour bright,
no man to get her through this very smoky night.

She said, "I'm tired of the war,
I want the kind of work I had before,
a wedding dress or something white
to wear upon my swollen appetite."

Well, I'm glad to hear you talk this way,
you know I've watched you riding every day
and something in me yearns to win
such a cold and lonesome heroine.

"And who are you?" she sternly spoke
to the one beneath the smoke.
"Why, I'm fire," he replied,
"And I love your solitude, I love your pride."

"Then fire, make your body cold,
I'm going to give you mine to hold,"
saying this she climbed inside
to be his one, to be his only bride.

And deep into his fiery heart
he took the dust of Joan of Arc,
and high above the wedding guests
he hung the ashes of her wedding dress.

It was deep into his fiery heart
he took the dust of Joan of Arc,
and then she clearly understood
if he was fire, oh then she must be wood.

I saw her wince, I saw her cry,
I saw the glory in her eye.
Myself I long for love and light,
but must it come so cruel, and oh so bright?
Through the darkness Joan of Arc
rode, keeping ahead of the flames,
no moon for her armor,
no man by her side in her smoky night.

I’m tired of the war now,
to the work of another time I would return,
to a wedding dress, or something white
to hide this vocation of mine
from triumph and grief.

lalala lalala lalalalalala
lalala lalala lalalalalala

Yours are words I was wanting to hear.
I spied you riding every day,
and to hear you this way, now I know what I want -
to win over a heroine so cold,
to embrace some of that pride.

"And who are you?" she said, enjoying the game,
"Who are you that speaks to me without regard?"
"Truly, you are speaking with fire,
and I love your solitude, I love your gaze."

lalala lalala lalalalalala

"And if you are fire, cool down a little,
your hands now will have to hold something."
And keeping quiet she clambered up inside him
to offer him her best, to be a bride.

And in the depths of his red-hot heart
he took Joan of Arc to envelop her,
and there up high in front of the people
he hung up the useless ashes of her white dress.

lalala lalala lalalalalala

And it was from the depths of his red-hot heart
that he took Joan and hit the mark,
and she understood clearly
that if he was fire she had to be wood.

lalalalalala

I saw the grimace of her pain,
I saw the glory in her radiant gaze.
Even I would like light and love,
but if it arrives must it always be so cruel and glaring?

English translation © 2014 Dennis Criteser



Canzoni, released in 1974, was a "filler" album, like Volume III, desired by De André's label. The only three previously unreleased songs here are covers of Dylan's "Desolation Row" and of two songs by Georges Brassens. Also included are covers of two Leonard Cohen songs previously released as a single.



Fabrizio De André text, translated, for Joan of Arc:

Through the darkness Joan of Arc
rode, keeping ahead of the flames,
no moon for her armor,
no man by her side in her smoky night.

I’m tired of the war now,
to the work of another time I would return,
to a wedding dress, or something white
to hide this vocation of mine from triumph and to grief.

Yours are words I was wanting to hear,
I spied you riding every day
and to hear you this way now I know what I want -
to win over a heroine so cold, to embrace some of that pride.

"And who are you?" she said, enjoying the game,
"Who are you that speaks to me without regard?"
"Truly you are speaking with fire,
and I love your solitude, I love your gaze."

"And if you are fire, cool down a little,
your hands now will have to hold something."
And keeping quiet she clambered up inside him,
to offer him her best, to be a bride.

And in the depths of his red-hot heart
he took Joan of Arc to envelop her,
and there up high in front of the people
he hung up the useless ashes of her white dress.

And it was from the depths of his red-hot heart
that he took Joan and hit the mark,
and she understood clearly
that if he was fire she had to be wood.

I saw the grimace of her pain,
I saw the glory in her radiant gaze
Even I would like light and love
But if it arrives it must always be so cruel and glaring.
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