Friday, December 5, 2014

Anime salve
    Le acciughe fanno il pallone
    The Anchovies Make a Ball

Le acciughe fanno il pallone
che sotto c'è l'alalunga
se non butti la rete
non te ne lascia una
e alla riva sbarcherò
alla riva verrà la gente
questi pesci sorpresi
li venderò per niente
se sbarcherò alla foce
e alla foce non c'è nessuno
e la faccia mi laverò
nell'acqua del torrente

ogni tre ami
c'è una stella marina
amo per amo
c'è una stella che trema
ogni tre lacrime
batte la campana

passano le villeggianti
con gli occhi di vetro scuro
passan sotto le reti
che asciugano sul muro
e in mare c'è una fortuna
che viene dall'oriente
che tutti l'hanno vista
e nessuno la prende

ogni tre ami
c'è una stella marina
ogni tre stelle
c'è un aereo che vola
ogni tre notti
un sogno che mi consola

bottiglia legata stretta
come un'esca da trascinare
sorso di vena dolce
che liberi dal male
se prendo il pesce d'oro
ve la farò vedere
se prendo il pesce d'oro
mi sposerò all'altare

ogni tre ami
c'è una stella marina
ogni tre stelle
c'è un aereo che vola
ogni balcone
una bocca che m'innamora

ogni tre ami
c'è una stella marina
ogni tre stelle
c'è un aereo che vola
ogni balcone
una bocca che m'innamora

le acciughe fanno il pallone
che sotto c'è l'alalunga
se non butti la rete
non te ne resta una
non te ne lascia una
non te ne lascia

Le acciughe fanno il pallone © 1996 Fabrizio De André/Ivano Fossati

"Le acciughe fanno il pallone" tells of a fisherman whose solitude is due to poverty. He is in competition with a tuna for the anchovies he fishes for, and faces an uncertain market demand onshore for his catch even then. He can only dream of catching a golden fish that would improve his circumstances and allow him to marry. The musical tag at the end of the song is a wonderful example of the multiculti influences on the album - a middle-Eastern shehnai playing over an African-inspired bed of rhythm along with a Cuban tumbao in the bass.



The anchovies make a ball
because underneath there’s an albacore.
If you don’t cast out the net,
not one of them will be left for you.
And at the shore I’ll disembark,
to the shore will come people.
These surprised fish,
I’ll sell them for nothing
if I disembark at the mouth of the river
and at the river’s mouth there’s no one,
and I’ll wash my face
in the water of the stream.

Every three hooks
there’s a starfish.
Hook by hook
there’s a star that trembles.
Every three tears
the bell marks the time.

Vacationers pass
with their sunglassed eyes,
they pass under the nets
that dry on the wall.
And in the sea there’s a fortune
that comes from the east,
that everyone has seen
and no one catches.

Every three hooks
there’s a starfish.
Every three stars
there’s an airplane that flies.
Every three nights
there’s a dream that consoles me.

Bottle bound tight
like bait for dragging,
draft in a sweet vein
that you free from harm.
If I catch the golden fish
I’ll show it to you.
If I catch the golden fish
I’ll get married at the altar.

Every three hooks
there’s a star fish.
Every three stars
there’s an airplane that flies.
Every balcony
there’s a mouth that charms me.

Every three hooks
there’s a star fish.
Every three stars
there’s an airplane that flies.
Every balcony
there’s a mouth that charms me.

The anchovies make a ball,
because underneath there’s a tuna.
If you don’t cast the net,
not one of them will remain for you,
not one of them will be left for you,
none of them will be left for you.

English translation © 2014 Dennis Criteser



Anime salve was released in 1996, the last of De André's thirteen studio albums. The songs were co-written by De André and Ivano Fossati, and the studio recording was co-produced by De André and Piero Milesi. De André referred to the album both as "a type of eulogy for solitude" and "a discourse on freedom." Here you will discover an album with De André at his full powers as lyricist and singer with his rich baritone in a musical setting that is striking, musically sophisticated and varied, with musical references to South America, the Balkans and the Mediterranean. The album was voted best Italian album of 1997 by the readers of La Repubblica and critics voted De André as the best Italian artist. The album also received the prestigious Targa Tenco prize for best album of 1997.
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