Friday, August 8, 2014

Rimini:
    Rimini

Teresa ha gli occhi secchi
guarda verso il mare
per lei figlia di pirati
penso che sia normale
Teresa parla poco
ha labbra screpolate
mi indica un amore perso
a Rimini d'estate.

Lei dice bruciato in piazza
dalla santa inquisizione
forse perduto a Cuba
nella rivoluzione
o nel porto di New York
nella caccia alle streghe
oppure in nessun posto
ma nessuno le crede.

Coro: Rimini, Rimini

E Colombo la chiama
dalla sua portantina
lei gli toglie le manette ai polsi
gli rimbocca le lenzuola
"Per un triste Re Cattolico - le dice -
ho inventato un regno
e lui lo ha macellato
su una croce di legno.

E due errori ho commesso
due errori di saggezza
abortire l'America
e poi guardarla con dolcezza
ma voi che siete uomini
sotto il vento e le vele
non regalate terre promesse
a chi non le mantiene ".

Coro: Rimini, Rimini

Ora Teresa è all'Harrys' Bar
guarda verso il mare
per lei figlia di droghieri
penso che sia normale
porta una lametta al collo
è vecchia di cent'anni
di lei ho saputo poco
ma sembra non inganni.

"E un errore ho commesso - dice -
un errore di saggezza
abortire il figlio del bagnino
e poi guardarlo con dolcezza
ma voi che siete a Rimini
tra i gelati e le bandiere
non fate più scommesse
sulla figlia del droghiere".

Coro: Rimini, Rimini

Rimini © 1978 Fabrizio De André/Massimo Bubola

Rimini is a famous Italian seaside resort and tourist destination, and De André said it was the emblem of the album: a place where during summer one casts off one's everyday experience and for a period of time enters into a mirage of consumerism and of feeling well-off, a place where the lower middle class can emulate the upper middle class and feel like somebody. In the song "Rimini," an old woman (speaking to the singer at Harry's Bar in Venice) recounts a dream-like past where she was constrained as a young girl in Rimini to have an abortion against her will. She spins tales of how her lover might have died and of her meeting with Christopher Columbus. A parallel is drawn between the destruction and subjugation of the New World under a Catholic king and the persecution of the young Teresa for her love affair under the hard rules of propriety in Catholic Italian lower middle class society.

Teresa has dry eyes,
she looks out to sea.
For her, daughter of pirates,
I think it’s normal.
Teresa speaks little,
has chapped lips,
she indicates to me a lost love
in Rimini, in the summer.

She says he was burned in the plaza
by the Holy Inquisition,
maybe lost in Cuba
in the revolution,
or in the Port of New York
in the witch hunt,
or in no place at all,
but no one believes her.

Chorus: Rimini, Rimini

And Columbus calls her
from his stretcher.
She removes the handcuffs from his wrists,
folds back his sheets.
“For a sad Catholic King,” he tells her,
“I invented a kingdom,
and he butchered it
on a wooden cross.

“And two errors I made,
two errors of wisdom:
aborting America
and then looking at her kindly.
But you who are men
under the wind and the sails,
don’t give away promised lands
to those who won't maintain them.”

Chorus: Rimini, Rimini

Now Teresa is at Harry’s Bar,
she looks out to the sea.
For her, daughter of drygrocers,
I think it’s normal.
She carries a razorblade hung from her neck,
she’s an old woman of a hundred years.
I knew little about her,
but it seems like she's not foolin'.

“And I committed an error,” she says,
“an error of wisdom:
aborting the son of the lifeguard
and then looking at him with tenderness.
But you who are in Rimini
amid gelatos and flags,
don’t place more bets
on the drygrocer's daughter.”

Chorus: Rimini, Rimini

English translation © 2014 Dennis Criteser



Rimini grew out of De André's disappointments with the political events of the previous couple of years. In close collaboration with Massimo Bubola, a young 24-year-old who had just released his first album, De André explored several social and political themes, including abortion, homosexuality, and how the petty bourgeois attempted to move into the ranks of the powerful and rise above the political and social turmoil of the times. The music has more influence from American rock and pop music than previous albums, and includes his first forays into ethnic music, which will eventually come to full fruition in his masterpiece album Crêuza de mä.

Rimini in summertime
Back to Album List         Back to Song List

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Rimini:
    Volta la carta - Turn the Card Over

C'è una donna che semina il grano
volta la carta si vede il villano
il villano che zappa la terra
volta la carta viene la guerra
per la guerra non c'è più soldati
a piedi scalzi son tutti scappati

Angiolina cammina cammina
sulle sue scarpette blu
carabiniere l'ha innamorata
volta la carta e lui non c'è più
carabiniere l'ha innamorata
volta la carta e lui non c'è più.

C'è un bambino che sale un cancello
ruba ciliege e piume d'uccello
tira sassate non ha dolori
volta la carta c'è il fante di cuori.
Il fante di cuori che è un fuoco di paglia
volta la carta il gallo si sveglia

Angiolina alle sei di mattina
s'intreccia i capelli con foglie d'ortica
ha una collana di ossi di pesca
la gira tre volte intorno alle dita
ha una collana di ossi di pesca
la conta tre volte mezzo alle dita.

Mia madre ha un mulino e un figlio infedele
gli inzucchera il naso di torta di mele
Mia madre e il mulino son nati ridendo
volta la carta c'è un pilota biondo
Pilota biondo camicie di seta
cappello di volpe sorriso da atleta

Angiolina seduta in cucina
che piange, che mangia insalata di more.
Ragazzo straniero ha un disco d'orchestra
che gira veloce che parla d'amore
Ragazzo straniero ha un disco d'orchestra
che gira che gira che parla d'amore.

Madamadorè ha perso sei figlie
tra i bar del porto e le sue meraviglie
Madamadorè sa puzza di gatto
volta la carta e paga il riscatto
paga il riscatto con le borse degli occhi
Piene di foto di sogni interrotti

Angiolina ritaglia giornali
si veste da sposa canta vittoria
chiama i ricordi col loro nome,
volta la carta e finisce in gloria
chiama i ricordi col loro nome,
volta la carta e finisce in gloria.

Volta la carta © 1978 Fabrizio De André/Massimo Bubola

"Volta la carta" is based on an old sing-song nursery rhyme, "La donnina che semina il grano," that strings together one image after another in couplets:

La donnina che semina il grano
Volta la carta e si vede il villano
Il villano che zappa la terra
Volta la carta e si vede la guerra
La guerra con tanti soldati
Volta la carta e si vede i malati
I malati con tanto dolore
Volta la carta e si vede il dottore
etc.

De Andrè and Bubola weave a story of a young girl who falls in love with an American pilot into strands of other references to pop songs (Angiolina, Madamadorè) and films ("a policeman fell in love with her" references Pane, amore e fantasia, for example).




There’s a woman who sews the wheat,
turn the card over, you’ll see a peasant,
a peasant who tills the soil,
turn the card over, there comes a war,
for the war there are no more soldiers,
barefoot, they’ve all fled.

Angiolina walks, she walks
in her blue shoes.
A policeman charmed her,
turn the card over and he’s no longer there.
A policeman did charm her,
turn the card over and he's no longer there.

There’s a boy who climbs over a gate,
he pilfers cherries and bird feathers,
he throws stones and has no sorrows,
turn the card over, there's the Jack of Hearts,
Jack of Hearts who's a flash in the pan,
turn the card over, the rooster awakens.

Angiolina at six in the morning
weaves some nettle leaves into her hair.
She has a necklace of peach stones
that she turns three times 'round her fingers.
She has a necklace of peach stones,
she counts it three times between her fingers.

My mother has a mill and an unfaithful son,
she sweetens his nose with an apple pie.
My mother and the mill were both born laughing,
turn the card over there’s a blond pilot,
a blond pilot, tops of silk,
cap of fox fur, smile of an athlete.

Angiolina seated in the kitchen,
who cries, who eats a mulberry salad.
A young foreign boy has a disc of an orchestra
that spins fast, that speaks of love.
A young foreign boy has a disc of an orchestra
that spins and spins, that speaks of love.

Madame Dorè lost six daughters
midst the bars of the port and its allures.
Madame Dorè knows the stink of a cat,
turn the card over and she pays the ransom,
she pays the ransom with the bags under her eyes,
full of photos of dreams interrupted.

Angiolina is cutting up magazines,
dressed as a bride, of victory she sings.
She calls forth her memories with their names,
turn the card over and it ends in glory.
She calls forth her memories with their names,
turn the card over and it ends in glory.

English translation © 2014 Dennis Criteser



Rimini grew out of De André's disappointments with the political events of the previous couple of years. In close collaboration with Massimo Bubola, a young 24-year-old who had just released his first album, De André explored several social and political themes, including abortion, homosexuality, and how the petty bourgeois attempted to move into the ranks of the powerful and rise above the political and social turmoil of the times. The music has more influence from American rock and pop music than previous albums, and includes his first forays into ethnic music, which will eventually come to full fruition in his masterpiece album Crêuza de mä.
Back to Album List         Back to Song List

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Rimini:
    Coda di lupo - Tail-of-the-Wolf

Quando ero piccolo
m'innamoravo di tutto
correvo dietro ai cani
e da marzo a febbraio
mio nonno vegliava
sulla corrente di cavalli
e di buoi
sui fatti miei
e sui fatti tuoi

e al dio degli inglesi
non credere mai.

E quando avevo duecento lune
e forse qualcuna
è di troppo
rubai il primo cavallo
e mi fecero uomo
cambiai il mio nome
in "Coda di lupo"
cambiai il mio pony
con un cavallo muto

e al loro dio perdente
non credere mai

E fu nella notte
della lunga stella
con la coda
che trovammo mio nonno
crocifisso sulla chiesa
crocifisso con forchette
che si usano a cena
era sporco e pulito
di sangue e di crema

e al loro dio goloso
non credere mai.

E forse avevo diciott'anni
e non puzzavo più
di serpente
possedevo una spranga
un cappello e una fionda
e una notte di gala
con un sasso a punta
uccisi uno smoking
e glielo rubai

e al dio della scala
non credere mai.

Poi tornammo in Brianza
per l'apertura della
caccia al bisonte
ci fecero l'esame
dell'alito e delle urine
ci spiegò il meccanismo
un poeta andaluso
- Per la caccia al bisonte - disse -
Il numero è chiuso.

E a un Dio a lieto fine
non credere mai.

Ed ero già vecchio
quando vicino a Roma
a Little Big Horn
capelli corti generale
ci parlò all'università
dei fratelli tute blu
che seppellirono le asce
ma non fumammo con lui
non era venuto in pace

e a un dio fatti il culo
non credere mai.

E adesso che ho bruciato
venti figli sul mio letto di sposo
che ho scaricato la mia rabbia
in un teatro di posa
che ho imparato a pescare
con le bombe a mano
che mi hanno scolpito in lacrime
sull'arco di Traiano
con un cucchiaio di vetro
scavo nella mia storia
ma colpisco un po' a casaccio
perché non ho più memoria

e a un dio, e a un dio,
e a un dio, e a un dio
e a un dio senza fiato
non credere mai.

Coda di lupo © 1978 Fabrizio De André/Massimo Bubola

"Coda di lupo" must be understood in the context of the failure and dissolution of various protest movements in 1976 and 1977, including the Metropolitan Indians, anarchists who wore face paint, dressed like hippies, listened to rock music and enjoyed acid and weed, and who protested bourgeois values through urban guerilla activism, occupying universities, factories, etc.

When I was little
I used to fall in love with everything.
I used to run after the dogs,
and from March to February
my grandpa kept a watch
over the movement of horses
and of oxen,
over my business
and over your business.

And in the god of the English
don't ever believe.

And when I was 200 moons old -
and maybe that's
a few too many -
I robbed my first horse
and they made me a man.
I changed my name
to “Tail-of-the-Wolf.”
I exchanged my pony
for a silent horse.

And in their losing god
don't ever believe.

And it was in the night
of the long star
with the tail
that we found my grandpa
crucified on the cross,
crucified with forks
that are used at meals.
He was dirty and cleaned
of blood and cream.

And in their greedy god
don't ever believe.

And maybe I was 18
and no longer stank
like a snake,
I owned a rod,
a hat and a sling,
and one gala night
with a pointed rock
I killed a tuxedo
and robbed it from him.

And in the god of La Scala
don't ever believe.

Then we returned to Brianza
for the opening
of the buffalo hunt.
They made us take
a breath and urine test.
He explained to us the workings,
an Andalusian poet.
“For the buffalo hunt,” he said,
“the number is closed.”

And in a god of happy endings
don't ever believe.

And I was already old
when near Rome,
at Little Big Horn,
General Short-Hair
spoke to us at the university
about the blue-suited brothers
who buried the hatchets.
But we didn’t smoke with him,
he didn’t come in peace.

And in a work-your-ass-off god
don't ever believe.

And now that I burned
twenty sons on my grooms bed,
that I unloaded my rage
on a sound stage,
that I learned to fish
with hand grenades,
that they sculpted me in tears
on Trajan’s Arch,
with a glass spoon
I dig around in my history.
But I’m striking a bit at random
because I have no memory anymore.

And in a god, and in a god,
and in a god, and in a god,
and in an out-of-breath god,
don’t ever believe.

English translation © 2014 Dennis Criteser



Rimini grew out of De André's disappointments with the political events of the previous couple of years. In close collaboration with Massimo Bubola, a young 24-year-old who had just released his first album, De André explored several social and political themes, including abortion, homosexuality, and how the petty bourgeois attempted to move into the ranks of the powerful and rise above the political and social turmoil of the times. The music has more influence from American rock and pop music than previous albums, and includes his first forays into ethnic music, which will eventually come to full fruition in his masterpiece album Crêuza de mä.
Back to Album List         Back to Song List

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Rimini:
    Andrea

Andrea s'è perso
s'è perso e non sa tornare
Andrea s'è perso
s'è perso e non sa tornare
Andrea aveva
un amore Riccioli neri
Andrea aveva
un dolore Riccioli neri.

C'era scritto sul foglio
ch'era morto sulla bandiera
C'era scritto e la firma
era d'oro era firma di re
Ucciso sui monti
di Trento dalla mitraglia.
Ucciso sui monti
di Trento dalla mitraglia.

Occhi di bosco
contadino del regno profilo francese
Occhi di bosco
soldato del regno profilo francese
E Andrea l'ha perso
ha perso l'amore la perla più rara
E Andrea ha in bocca
ha in bocca un dolore la perla più scura.

Andrea cogliava
raccoglieva violette ai bordi del pozzo
Andrea gettava
Riccioli neri nel cerchio del pozzo
Il secchio gli disse
gli disse - Signore il pozzo è profondo
più fondo del fondo
degli occhi della Notte del Pianto.

Lui disse - Mi basta
mi basta che sia più profondo di me.
Lui disse - Mi basta
mi basta che sia più profondo di me.

Andrea © 1978 Fabrizio De André/Massimo Bubola

"Andrea" is both an anti-war song and a statement of solidarity with and acceptance of gays, as the song is about the love between two men (Andrea is a man's name in Italian). The setting for the song is World War I, which can be deduced because intense battles occurred on the ground in the mountains of Trent during WWI, whereas in WWII Trent suffered bombing from the air by the Germans toward the end of the war.

Andrea got lost,
he got lost and doesn't know how to return.
Andrea got lost,
he got lost and doesn't know how to return.
Andrea used to have
a love, black curly hair,
Andrea used to have
a sorrow, black curly hair.

It was written on a page
that he'd died on the flag.
It was written and the signature
was in gold, it was signed by the king:
killed in the mountains
of Trent by machine gun fire,
killed in the mountains
of Trent by machine gun fire.

Forest-colored eyes,
peasant of the realm, French profile.
Forest-colored eyes,
soldier of the realm, French profile.
And Andrea lost him,
he lost his love, the pearl most rare.
And Andrea has in his mouth,
he has in his mouth a sorrow, the darkest pearl.

Andrea was plucking,
he was gathering violets at the edges of a well.
Andrea was throwing
black ringlets in the circle of the well.
The bucket said to him,
it said, “Sir, the well is deep,
deeper than the depth
of the eyes of the Night of Tears.”

He said, “It’s enough for me,
it's good enough that it’s deeper than I am.”
He said, “It’s enough for me,
it's good enough that it’s deeper than I am.”

English translation © 2014 Dennis Criteser


Rimini grew out of De André's disappointments with the political events of the previous couple of years. In close collaboration with Massimo Bubola, a young 24-year-old who had just released his first album, De André explored several social and political themes, including abortion, homosexuality, and how the petty bourgeois attempted to move into the ranks of the powerful and rise above the political and social turmoil of the times. The music has more influence from American rock and pop music than previous albums, and includes his first forays into ethnic music, which will eventually come to full fruition in his masterpiece album Crêuza de mä.
Back to Album List         Back to Song List

Monday, August 4, 2014

Rimini:
    Avventura a Durango
    Romance in Durango (Bob Dylan and Jacques Levy)

Peperoncini rossi nel sole cocente
polvere sul viso e sul cappello
io e Maddalena all'occidente
abbiamo aperto i nostri occhi oltre il cancello

ho dato la chitarra al figlio del fornaio
per una pizza ed un fucile
la ricomprerò lungo il sentiero
e suonerò per Maddalena all'imbrunire.

Nun chiagne Maddalena Dio ci guarderà
e presto arriveremo a Durango
Stringimi Maddalena 'sto deserto finirà
tu potrai ballare o fandango

Dopo i templi aztechi e le rovine
le prime stelle sul Rio Grande
Di notte sogno il campanile
e il collo di Ramon pieno di sangue

Sono stato proprio io all'osteria
a premere le dita sul grilletto
Vieni mia Maddalena voliamo via
il cane abbaia quel che è fatto è fatto

Nun chiagne Maddalena Dio ci guarderà
e presto arriveremo a Durango
Stringimi Maddalena 'sto deserto finirà
tu potrai ballare o fandango

Alla corrida con tequila ghiacciata
vedremo il toreador toccare il cielo
All'ombra della tribuna antica
dove Villa applaudiva il rodeo

Il frate pregherà per il perdono
ci accoglierà nella missione
Avrò stivali nuovi un orecchino d'oro
e sotto il velo tu farai la comunione

La strada è lunga ma ne vedo la fine
arriveremo per il ballo
e Dio ci apparirà sulle colline
coi suoi occhi smeraldi di ramarro

Nun chiagne Maddalena Dio ci guarderà
e presto arriveremo a Durango
Stringimi Maddalena 'sto deserto finirà
tu potrai ballare o fandango

Che cosa è il colpo che ho sentito
ho nella schiena un dolore caldo
siediti qui trattieni il fiato
forse non sono stato troppo scaltro

Svelta Maddalena prendi il mio fucile
guarda dove è partito il lampo
miralo bene cercare di colpire
potremmo non vedere più Durango

Nun chiagne Maddalena Dio ci guarderà
e presto arriveremo a Durango
Stringimi Maddalena 'sto deserto finirà
tu potrai ballare o fandango

Avventura a Durango © 1978 Fabrizio De André/Massimo Bubola based on
Romance in Durango © 1975 Ram's Horn Music; renewed 2003 by Ram’s Horn Music


During the making of Rimini, De Andrè and Bubola listened to Dylan's Desire album a lot, and De André considered it one of the best of Dylan's releases. Their translation is fairly faithful to the original; the Spanish choruses are rendered in Neapolitan dialect.

Hot chili peppers in the blistering sun,
dust on my face and my hat.
Me and Magdalena off to the west,
we’ve opened our eyes beyond the gate.

I gave my guitar to the baker’s son
for a pizza and a rifle.
I’ll buy it back along the trail
and I’ll play for Magdalena at dusk.

Don’t cry, Magdalena, God will watch over us
and soon we’ll arrive in Durango.
Hold me, Magdalena, this desert will end,
you’ll be able to dance the fandango.

After the Aztec temples and ruins,
the first star on the Rio Grande.
At night I dream of the bell-tower
and the neck of Ramon filled with blood.

Was it just me at the cantina
to squeeze the trigger?
Come, my Magdalena, let’s fly away,
the dog barks, “What’s done is done.”

Don’t cry, Magdalena, God will watch over us
and soon we’ll arrive in Durango.
Hold me, Magdalena, this desert will end,
you’ll be able to dance the fandango.

At the bullfight with ice-cold tequila
we’ll see the torero touch the sky
in the shadow of the ancient grandstand
where Villa applauded the rodeo.

The priest will pray for my pardon,
he’ll welcome us in the mission church.
I'll wear new boots and an earring of gold,
and under the veil you’ll take Communion.

The way is long but I see the end,
we’ll arrive for the dance
and God will appear there on the hill
with his lizardy emerald eyes.

Don’t cry, Magdalena, God will watch over us
and soon we’ll arrive in Durango.
Hold me, Magdalena, this desert will end,
you’ll be able to dance the fandango.

What is the blast that I heard?
I have a hot pain in my back.
Sit here, hold your breath,
maybe I wasn’t too clever.

Thin Magdalena, take my rifle,
look where the flash of light came from.
Aim at it well, try to shoot it,
we may not see Durango no more.

Don’t cry, Magdalena, God will watch over us
and soon we’ll arrive in Durango.
Hold me, Magdalena, this desert will end,
you’ll be able to dance the fandango.

English translation © 2014 Dennis Criteser



Rimini grew out of De André's disappointments with the political events of the previous couple of years. In close collaboration with Massimo Bubola, a young 24-year-old who had just released his first album, De André explored several social and political themes, including abortion, homosexuality, and how the petty bourgeois attempted to move into the ranks of the powerful and rise above the political and social turmoil of the times. The music has more influence from American rock and pop music than previous albums, and includes his first forays into ethnic music, which will eventually come to full fruition in his masterpiece album Crêuza de mä.
Back to Album List         Back to Song List

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Rimini:
    Sally

Mia madre mi disse - Non devi giocare
con gli zingari nel bosco.
Mia madre mi disse - Non devi giocare
con gli zingari nel bosco.

Ma il bosco era scuro l'erba già verde
lì venne Sally con un tamburello
ma il bosco era scuro l'erba già alta
dite a mia madre che non tornerò.

Andai verso il mare senza barche per traversare
spesi cento lire per un pesciolino d'oro.
Andai verso il mare senza barche per traversare
spesi cento lire per un pesciolino cieco.

Gli montai sulla groppa sparii in un baleno
andate a dire a Sally che non tornerò.
Gli montai sulla groppa sparii in un momento
dite a mia madre che non tornerò.

Vicino alla città trovai Pilar del mare
con due gocce d'eroina s'addormentava il cuore.
Vicino alle roulottes trovai Pilar dei meli
bocca sporca di mirtilli un coltello in mezzo ai seni.

Mi svegliai sulla quercia l'assassino era fuggito
dite al pesciolino che non tornerò.
Mi guardai nello stagno
l'assassino s'era già lavato
dite a mia madre che non tornerò.

Seduto sotto un ponte si annusava il re dei topi
sulla strada le sue bambole bruciavano copertoni.
Sdraiato sotto il ponte si adorava il re dei topi
sulla strada le sue bambole adescavano i signori.

Mi parlò sulla bocca mi donò un braccialetto
dite alla quercia che non tornerò.
Mi baciò sulla bocca mi propose il suo letto
dite a mia madre che non tornerò.

Mia madre mi disse - Non devi giocare
con gli zingari nel bosco.
Ma il bosco era scuro l'erba già verde
lì venne Sally con un tamburello.

Sally © 1978 Fabrizio De André/Massimo Bubola

"Sally" is the fable of a boy who leaves home to discover the world. Like "Volta la carta," the song has as a point of take-off a nursery rhyme, English in this case:

My mother said that I never should
Play with the gypsies in the wood,
The wood was dark; the grass was green;
In came Sally with a tambourine.
I went to the sea - no ship to get across;
I paid ten shillings for a blind white horse;
I up on his back and was off in a crack,
Sally, tell my mother I shall never come back.

There are also references to One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez (Pilar and the fish of gold) and to El Topo, a film by Alejandro Jodorowsky.




My mother told me, “You shouldn’t play
with the Gypsies in the woods.”
My mother told me, “You shouldn’t play
with the Gypsies in the woods.”

But the woods were dark, the grass already green,
there came Sally with a tambourine.
But the woods were dark, the grass already tall,
tell my mother I’m not coming back.

I headed off to the sea without boats for crossing,
I spent a hundred lira for a little golden fish.
I headed off to the sea without boats for crossing,
I spent a hundred lira for a little blind fish.

I climbed on its back and disappeared in a trice,
go tell Sally that I won’t return.
I climbed on its back and disappeared in an instant,
go tell my mother that I won’t return.

Near the city I found Pilar of the sea,
with two drops of heroin she put her heart to sleep.
Near the caravans I visited Pilar of the apple trees,
mouth spotted with blueberry, a knife between her breasts.

I woke up in the oak tree, the assassin had fled,
tell the little fish that I won’t return.
I looked at myself in the pond,
the assassin had already washed,
tell my mother that I won’t return.

Seated under a bridge the king of mice sniffed himself,
on the road his young dolls burned tires.
Stretched out under a bridge the king of mice adored himself,
on the road his young dolls solicited gentlemen.

He spoke to me on the mouth, he gave me a bracelet,
tell the oak tree that I won’t return.
He kissed me on the mouth, he offered his bed,
tell my mother that I won’t return.

My mother told me, “You shouldn’t play
with the Gypsies in the woods.”
But the woods were dark, the grass already green,
there came Sally with a tambourine.

English translation © 2014 Dennis Criteser



Rimini grew out of De André's disappointments with the political events of the previous couple of years. In close collaboration with Massimo Bubola, a young 24-year-old who had just released his first album, De André explored several social and political themes, including abortion, homosexuality, and how the petty bourgeois attempted to move into the ranks of the powerful and rise above the political and social turmoil of the times. The music has more influence from American rock and pop music than previous albums, and includes his first forays into ethnic music, which will eventually come to full fruition in his masterpiece album Crêuza de mä.
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Saturday, August 2, 2014

Rimini:
    Zirichiltaggia - Lizard Den

Di chissu che babbu ci ha lacátu
la meddu palti ti sei presa
lu muntiggiu rúiu cu lu súaru
li àcchi sulcini lu trau mannu
e m'hai laccatu monti múccju e zirichèlti.
  Di quello che papà ci ha lasciato
  la parte migliore ti sei presa
  la collina rosa con il sughero
  le vacche sorcine e il toro grande
  e m'hai lasciato pietre, cisto e lucertole.


Ma tu ti sei tentu lu riu e la casa
e tuttu chissu che v'era 'ndrentu
li piri butìrro e l'oltu cultiato
e dapói di sei mesi che mi n'era 'ndatu
parìa un campusantu bumbaldatu.
  Ma tu ti sei tenuto il ruscello e la casa
  e tutto quello che c'era dentro
  le pere butirre e l'orto coltivato
  e dopo sei mesi che me n'ero andato
  sembrava un cimitero bombardato.


Ti ni sei andatu a campà cun li signuri
fènditi comandà da to mudderi
e li soldi di babbu l'hai spesi tutti
in cosi boni, midicini e giornali
che to fiddòlu a cattr'anni aja jà l'ucchjali.
  Te ne sei andato a vivere coi signori,
  facendoti comandare da tua moglie
  e i soldi di papà li hai spesi tutti
  in dolciumi, medicine e giornali
  che tuo figliolo a quattro anni
  aveva già gli occhiali.


Ma me muddèri campa da signora
a me fiddòlu cunnosci più di milli paráuli
la tòja è mugnedi di la manzàna a la sera
e li toi fiddòli so brutti di tarra e di lozzu
e andaràni a cuiuàssi a a calche ziràccu.
  Mia moglie vive da signora
  e mio figlio conosce più di mille parole
  la tua munge da mattina a sera
  e le tue figlie sono sporche di terra e di letame
  e andranno a spostarsi a qualche servo pastore.


Candu tu sei paltutu suldatu
piagnii come unu stèddu
e da li babbi di li toi amanti
t'ha salvatu tu fratèddu
e si lu curàggiu che t'è filmatu
è sempre chiddu chill'èmu a vidi in piazza
ca l'ha più tostu lu murro
e pa lu stantu ponimi la faccia in culu.
  E tu quando sei partito soldato
  piangevi come un bambinetto
  e dai padri delle tue amanti
  t'ha salvato tuo fratello
  e se il coraggio che ti è rimasto
  è sempre quello ce la vedremo in piazza
  chi ha la testa dura
  e nel frattempo mettimi la faccia in culo.


Rimini © 1978 Fabrizio De André/Massimo Bubola

"Zirichiltaggia" is in the Gallurese dialect of Sardinia and tells the true story of two brothers arguing over their inheritance. De André lived on Sardinia from the late 1970s on and was fascinated by its culture. A zirichiltaggia may also be something like a community center in Sardinia where locals gather, discussing politics and social affairs:





Brother 1:

Of that which Papa left us,
the best part you took for yourself -
the pink hill with the cork,
the Sorcine cows and the big bull -
and you left me stones, rockrose and lizards.




Brother 2:

But you held for yourself the stream and the house
and everything that was inside,
the Butirra pears and the cultivated garden,
and after six months that I was away
it seemed like a bombed out cemetery.




Brother 1:

You went away to live with the gentlemen,
being commanded by your wife,
and you spent all of Papa’s money
on sweets, medicines and magazines,
so that your little son at four years
already had sunglasses.




Brother 2:

My wife lives as a gentlewoman
and my son knows more than a thousand words.
Yours milks from morning to night
and your daughters are stained with dirt and with muck
and they will go to marry some shepherd servants.







Brothers 1 and 2?

And you, when you departed as a soldier
you cried like a little baby.
And from the fathers of your lovers
your brother saved you.
And if your remaining courage
is always that, we'll see in the plaza
who has the hard head,
and in the meantime kiss my ass.

English translation © 2014 Dennis Criteser



Rimini grew out of De André's disappointments with the political events of the previous couple of years. In close collaboration with Massimo Bubola, a young 24-year-old who had just released his first album, De André explored several social and political themes, including abortion, homosexuality, and how the petty bourgeois attempted to move into the ranks of the powerful and rise above the political and social turmoil of the times. The music has more influence from American rock and pop music than previous albums, and includes his first forays into ethnic music, which will eventually come to full fruition in his masterpiece album Crêuza de mä.
Back to Album List         Back to Song List

Friday, August 1, 2014

Rimini:
    Parlando del naufragio della London Valour
    Speaking of the Shipwreck of the London Valour

I marinai foglie di coca digeriscono in coperta
il capitano ha un'amore al collo
venuto apposta dall'Inghilterra
il pasticcere di via Roma sta scendendo le scale
ogni dozzina di gradini trova una mano da pestare
ha una frusta giocattolo sotto l'abito da tè.

E la radio di bordo è una sfera di cristallo
dice che il vento si farà lupo
il mare si farà sciacallo
il paralitico tiene in tasca un uccellino blu cobalto
ride con gli occhi al circo Togni
quando l'acrobata sbaglia il salto.

E le ancore hanno perduto la scommessa e gli artigli
i marinai uova di gabbiano piovono sugli scogli
il poeta metodista ha spine di rosa nelle zampe
per far pace con gli applausi per sentirsi più distante
la sua stella si è oscurata
da quando ha vinto la gara del sollevamento pesi.

E con uno schiocco di lingua
parte il cavo dalla riva
ruba l'amore del capitano attorcigliandole la vita
il macellaio mani di seta
si è dato un nome da battaglia
tiene fasciate dentro il frigo
nove mascelle antiguerriglia
ha un grembiule antiproiettile
tra il giornale e il gilè.

E il pasticciere e il poeta
e il paralitico e la sua coperta
si ritrovarono sul molo
con sorrisi da cruciverba
a sorseggiarsi il capitano
che si sparava negli occhi
e il pomeriggio a dimenticarlo
con le sue pipe e i suoi scacchi
e si fiutarono compatti
nei sottintesi e nelle azioni
contro ogni sorta di naufragi o di altre rivoluzioni
e il macellaio mani di seta distribuì le munizioni.

Parlando del naufragio della London Valour © 1978 Fabrizio De André/Massimo Bubola

The shipwreck of the London Valour was an actual event that took place in Genoa in 1970. But the focus in this song is on the people who came out to the Genoa docks to rubber neck and watch the unfolding tragedy in morbid fascination. The lyrics are somewhat obtuse, with many possible references to political events and cultural figures from Italy's Years of Lead, (the late 1960's to the early 1980's), which were marked by tremendous social upheaval and terrorism.


The seamen are digesting coca leaves on deck,
the captain has a lover ‘round his neck,
just in from England.
The confectioner of Via Roma is descending the stairs,
every dozen steps he finds a hand to step on.
He has a toy whip under his tea coat.

And the radio on board is a crystal sphere,
it says the wind will becomee a wolf,
the sea will become a jackal.
The paraplegic holds in his pocket a little bird, cobalt blue.
He laughs with his eyes, at the Togni Circus,
when the acrobat fails his leap.

And the anchors lost the bet and their hold,
the seamen, seagull eggs, rained on the rocks.
The Methodist poet has rose thorns in his paws
to make peace with the acclaim, to feel more distant,
his star eclipsed
ever since he won the weightlifting contest.

And with a tongue click,
the cable parts from the bank,
steals the captain’s lover, entangling her waist.
The butcher, hands of silk,
gave himself a battle name.
He keeps, swaddled inside the refrigerator,
nine antiwar jawbones.
He has a bulletproof apron
between his newspaper and his vest.

And the confectioner and the poet
and the paraplegic and his blanket
met again on the dock,
with crossword puzzle smiles,
to nurse like a drink the captain
who shot himself in the eyes,
and by afternoon to forget him
with his pipes and his chessmen,
and they smelled secret agreements
in the innuendos and in the actions
against every kind of shipwreck or other revolutions.
And the butcher, hands of silk, handed out the munitions.

English translation © 2014 Dennis Criteser



Rimini grew out of De André's disappointments with the political events of the previous couple of years. In close collaboration with Massimo Bubola, a young 24-year-old who had just released his first album, De André explored several social and political themes, including abortion, homosexuality, and how the petty bourgeois attempted to move into the ranks of the powerful and rise above the political and social turmoil of the times. The music has more influence from American rock and pop music than previous albums, and includes his first forays into ethnic music, which will eventually come to full fruition in his masterpiece album Crêuza de mä.
Back to Album List         Back to Song List