Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Fabrizio De André:
    Verdi pascoli - Green Pastures

Gli aranci sono grossi
i limoni sono rossi
lassù, lassù nei verdi pascoli
ogni angelo è un bambino
sporco e birichino
lassù, lassù nei verdi pascoli.

     E ora non piangere perché
     presto la notte finirà
     con le sue perle stelle e strisce
     in fondo al cielo
     e ora sorridimi perché
     presto la notte se ne andrà
     con le sue stelle arrugginite
     in fondo al mare.

La radio suona sempre canzoni da ballare
lassù, lassù nei verdi pascoli
niente da scommettere
tutto da giocare
lassù, lassù nei verdi pascoli.

     E ora non piangere perché
     presto la notte se ne andrà
     con le sue perle stelle e strisce
     in fondo al cielo
     e ora sorridimi perché
     presto la notte finirà
     con le sue stelle arrugginite
     in fondo al mare.

Non c'è d'andare a scuola
ti basta una parola
lassù, lassù nei verdi pascoli
c'è carne da mangiare
erba da sognare
lassù, lassù nei verdi pascoli.

     E ora non piangere perché
     presto la notte finirà
     con le sue perle stelle e strisce
     in fondo al cielo
     e ora sorridimi perché
     presto la notte finirà
     con le sue stelle arrugginite
     in fondo al mare.

Gli aranci sono grossi
i limoni sono rossi
lassù, lassù nei verdi pascoli
papà non c'ha da fare
papà ti fa giocare
lassù, lassù nei verdi pascoli.

     E ora non piangere perché
     presto il concerto finirà
     con le sue perle stelle e strisce
     in fondo al cielo
     e ora sorridimi perché
     presto il concerto se ne andrà
     con le sue stelle arrugginite
     in fondo al mare.

Verdi pascoli © 1981 Fabrizio De André/Massimo Bubola

"Verdi pascoli" ends the album on a lighter note, although neither De Andrè nor Bubola were entirely pleased with the song. The song was inspired by Native American ritual dances that envisioned a time in the future when they would be liberated from their sequestration on reservations.



The oranges are huge,
the lemons are red
up there, up there in the green pastures.
Every angel is a child,
dirty and mischievous,
up there, up there in the green pastures.

     And now don’t cry, because
     soon the night will end,
     with its pearls, stars and streaks
     at the bottom of the sky.
     And now smile at me, because
     soon the night will go away,
     with its rusted stars
     at the bottom of the sea.

The radio always plays dance songs
up there, up there in the green pastures.
Nothing to gamble,
everything to play
up there, up there in the green pastures.

     And now don’t cry, because
     soon the night will go away,
     with its pearls, stars and streaks
     at the bottom of the sky.
     And now smile at me, because
     soon the night will end,
     with its rusty stars
     at the bottom of the sea.

There's no going to school,
one word is enough for you
up there, up there in the green pastures.
There’s meat to eat,
grass to dream on,
up there, up there in the green pastures.

     And now don’t cry, because
     soon the night will end,
     with its pearls, stars and streaks
     at the bottom of the sky.
     And now smile at me, because
     soon the night will end,
     with its rusty stars
     at the bottom of the sea.

The oranges are huge,
the lemons are red
up there, up there in the green pastures.
Papa has nothing to do,
Papa plays with you
up there, up there in the green pastures.

     And now don’t cry, because
     soon the concert will end,
     with its pearls, stars and streaks
     at the bottom of the sky.
     And now smile at me, because
     soon the concert will go away,
     with its rusty stars
     at the bottom of the sea.

English translation © 2014 Dennis Criteser


The album Fabrizio De André is better known as L'indiano based on the cover (a Frederic Remington painting "The Outlier") as well as on the contents of the album. Released in 1981, the album grew out of deep reflections on the similarity between Sardinian culture and 19th century Native American culture. De André and his partner Dori Ghezzi had been kidnapped and held for almost four months in 1979 on the island of Sardinia, where De André lived much of the year. In his words, "an experience of this kind helps one rediscover fundamental values of life. You realize what it means to have warm feet, and what a great conquest it is to not have water dripping on your head while you sleep." De André and co-writer Massimo Bubola were familiar with the Native American story through books like Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee and movies like Little Big Man. De André's reflections on Sardinian and Cheyenne ways began as he sensed a similarity between the values of his captors (whom he refused to denounce at trial, stating they were the prisoners, not he) and those of Cheyenne warriors who risked death to steal horses from enemy tribes. He cited other similarities between the two peoples: economies based on subsistence not productivity, love and respect for nature, lack of interest in money beyond bare necessity, a great love for children, and both cultures being menaced by external forces invading traditional ways of life.
Back to Album List         Back to Song List

No comments:

Post a Comment