Sunday, July 6, 2014

Volume 8:
   Nancy (Leonard Cohen)

Un po' di tempo fa
Nancy era senza compagnia
all'ultimo spettacolo
con la sua bigiotteria.

Nel palazzo di giustizia
suo padre era innocente
nel palazzo del mistero
Non c'era proprio niente
non c'era quasi niente.

Un po' di tempo fa
eravamo distratti
lei portava calze Verdi
Dormiva con tutti.

Ma cosa fai domani
Non lo chiese mai a nessuno
s'innamorò di tutti noi
non proprio di qualcuno
non solo di qualcuno.

E un po' di tempo fa
col telefono rotto
cercò dal terzo piano
la sua serenità.

Dicevamo che era libera
e nessuno era sincero
non l'avremmo corteggiata mai
nel palazzo del mistero
nel palazzo del mistero.

E dove mandi i tuoi pensieri adesso
trovi Nancy a fermarli
molti hanno usato il suo corpo
molti hanno pettinato i suoi capelli.
E nel vuoto della notte
quando hai freddo e sei perduto
È ancora Nancy che ti dice –
Amore sono contenta che sei venuto.

Sono contenta che sei venuto.

Text of Nancy © 1975 Fabrizio De André translation of
Seems So Long Ago, Nancy © 1969 Leonard Cohen


Cohen wrote "Seems So Long Ago, Nancy" based on a young girl who committed suicide when she was forced to give her baby, born out of wedlock, up for adoption. She came from an important family that included members of Parliament and a Supreme Court judge, so the social and family pressures on her were intense.







Seems So Long Ago, Nancy – Leonard Cohen

It seems so long ago,
Nancy was alone,
Looking at the late late show
Through a semi-precious stone.
In the house of honesty
Her father was on trial,
In the house of mystery
There was no one at all,
There was no one at all.

It seems so long ago,
None of us were strong;
Nancy wore green stockings
And she slept with everyone.
She never said she'd wait for us
Although she was alone,
I think she fell in love for us
In nineteen sixty one,
In nineteen sixty one.

It seems so long ago,
Nancy was alone,
A forty five beside her head,
An open telephone.
We told her she was beautiful,
We told her she was free
But none of us would meet her in
The house of mystery,
The house of mystery.

And now you look around you,
See her everywhere,
Many use her body,
Many comb her hair.
In the hollow of the night
When you are cold and numb
You hear her talking freely then,
She's happy that you've come,
She's happy that you've come.
A little while ago
Nancy was without company,
at the last show
with her costume jewelry.

In the palace of justice
her father was innocent,
in the palace of mystery
there was no one at all,
there was almost no one.

A little while ago
we were distracted,
she wore green stockings
and she slept with everyone.

But what will you do tomorrow?
She never asked anyone,
she fell in love with all of us,
not just with someone,
not only with someone.

And a little while ago
with a broken telephone
she searched from the fourth floor
for her serenity.

We used to say she was free
and no one was sincere.
We never courted her
in the palace of mystery,
in the palace of mystery.

And where do you send your thoughts now?
You go see Nancy to stop them
many have used her body,
many have combed her hair.
And in the emptiness of the night
when you are cold and lost
it is still Nancy who tells you,
“Love, I’m happy you’ve come.”

“I’m happy that you have come.”

English translation © 2014 Dennis Criteser



Volume 8, released in 1975, was largely the fruit of three months of hanging out and writing with Francesco De Gregori at De André's Sardinia home, after De André had traveled to Rome to hear the young songwriter perform live. De André was inspired by the possibilities and extended an invitation to De Gregori to visit. Five of the songs have De Gregori's mark on them, and there are two new De André songs and another Leonard Cohen cover. Critics weren't too kind to this album, thinking it was too influenced by De Gregori and rather obscure in some of the lyrics. If you like De André, though, you will find plenty to like here, critics be damned!


Nancy - Fabrizio De André

A while ago
Nancy was without company
At the last show
With her costume jewelry
In the palace of justice
Her father was innocent
In the palace of mystery
There was no one at all
There was almost no one.

A while ago
We were distracted
She wore green stockings
And she slept with everyone.
But what do you do tomorrow
She never asked anyone
She fell in love with all of us
Not just with someone
Not only with someone.

And a while ago
With a broken telephone
She searched from the fourth floor
For her serenity.
They used to say she was free
And no one was sincere
We never courted her
In the palace of mystery
In the palace of mystery.

And where do you send your thoughts now
You visit Nancy to stop them
Many have used her body
Many have combed her hair.
And in the emptiness of the night
When you are cold and lost
It is still Nancy who tells you
“Love, I’m happy you’ve come.”
“I’m happy that you have come.”
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